Irish Out For Success in Dubai
A strong Irish challenge have jetted off to Dubai for Dubai World Cup night and after a record breaking year in 2017 it would be some start to this season if Aidan O’Brien could notch up another major success on this stage.
Mendelssohn to book Kentucky ticket
Aidan O’Brien’s seven-strong team have done little on the Meydan track in their two mornings here but Mendelssohn has certainly made his arrival known, calling out as he walked and cantered around the track but that bit of “babyish” as Aidan O’Brien put it didn’t stop him from winning at the Breeders’ Cup as a juvenile and shouldn’t stop him in the UAE Derby today.
The race isn’t one of the Group 1’s on the card but it is a hot little contest with Charlie Appleby’s Gold Town worth considering but while this another step up again for Mendelssohn you’d have to think that he is good enough to progress…
..and his run at Dundalk is a big plus to have coming here and he ticks a lot of boxes.
Blinkers seem to help him and he is a brother to top American Breeders Cup winner Beholder so this surface in Meydan shouldn’t pose any problems and he looks the one they all have to beat.
Jessie goes for more Gold
Jessica Harrington never won a Gold Cup before last season and then ended up with three courtesy of Sizing John. There was no such luck this year, but now she’s after a Gold Cup of a slightly different kind as Torcedor lines up in the Dubai Gold Cup.
By Harrington’s own admission this week, this is a very strong renewal of the two-miler and really Order Of St George is the only one of the big names missing from the field…
..but if he was here you’d have to imagine he’d be a very short priced favourite and Torcedor’s form with him makes him too big at 16/1.
The quicker ground is a slight concern but Harrington is happy the grass cover and watering will leave it right for her charge and he has looked brilliant here all week so the vibes are good. At worst he has to be a strong each-way candidate but it would be no surprise if it was Torcedor that stopped Vazirabad winning three in a row.
West Coast to give Bob another World Cup
Bob Baffert came to Dubai with the best horse in the world last year but Arrogate made him sweat. Things certainly didn’t go according to plan but the horse just proved too good. West Coast won’t want a similar slow start in the World Cup this evening but he does look like a horse that is a notch or two above these and in the absence of his old nemesis Gun Runner, West Coast would appear set for his day in the sun.
West Coast has drawn wider than ideal but with only 10 runners that shouldn’t be a big deal and..
..as a three time winning trainer Baffert is no stranger to what is required here and his confidence was high.
A horse that may give him plenty to think about is the French raider Talismanic who could be an each-way alternative to the short priced favourite but the long straight here at Meydan should be a plus to West Coast and he is the horse they’ve got to beat.