Dubai Golden Shaheen, Sheema Classic & Turf Odds and Picks

The Meydan Racecourse will host the 27th edition of the Dubai World Cup, the prestigious event will bring together the world’s finest racehorses, jockeys, and trainers, offers a total prize money of US$30.5 million, including the US$12 million Dubai World Cup race. Here our Dubai Golden Shaheen, Dubai Sheema Classic & Dubai Turf Betting Preview.

Dubai Golden Shaheen

Grade 1 – Purse $1,980,000 – 6 furlongs – Dirt – 3-Year-Olds and Up

Will Switzerland win back-to-back runnings of the race or can Red Le Zele finally break the trends of second spots in the race and finally make it to the winner’s enclosure?

The chalk here is the Steve Asmussen trained Gunite 11/4 with Tyler Gaffalione doing the steering. He was a fine fourth in the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland back in November and that is one of the best pieces of form on show. He won his seasonal debut and chased home Elite Power in The Riyadh Dirt Sprint last time.He could not get his customary position on the speed that day, so he is surely one that has a strong chance.

One of his toughest rivals is sure to be Lemon Pop 4/1 from Japan who has not finished outside the first two in eleven starts, including eight wins, the last of which came in February in the Grade 1 February Stakes. He’ll be one looking to pounce late in the stretch.

Japan has a strong team here and Red Le Zele 12/1 was second behind Lemon Pop last time but came from way back and was closing all the way to the wire. He has finished second in the last two runnings of the Dubai Golden Shaheen, and nobody would begrudge him a win at the third attempt.

Sibelius 14/1 is another US raider and is a horse on the up. Trained by Jeremiah O Dwyer and ridden by master tactician Ryan Moore, his final run of 2022 saw him win the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park and he continued his upward curve with a minor stakes win at Tampa Bay Downs in February. He has early speed to get a stalking position and looks an interesting contender.

Sound Money 8/1 is a recent acquisition to the Seemar barn and he made a winning debut after coming from the US. He won the Graded Mahab Al Shimaal by two lengths and on his last run stateside he had chased home US sprinting star Jackie’s Warrior in the Grade 2 True North Stakes at Saratoga where he was well clear of the third horse. He is another stalker and if Gunite or one of the longshots goes too quick early, he’ll be waiting to pounce.

Finally, we come to the veteran nine-year-old Switzerland 5/1 who is a barn buddy of Sound Money and was the shock 22/1 winner of this race in 2022. He has only had one run since then, and that came here at Meydan in January when he won the Grade 3 Dubawi Stakes. He has clearly been trained for a repeat win.

Dubai Golden Shaheen Odds, Field & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
C Z RocketA Fresu+1300
GuniteT. Gaffalione+300
HopkinsF. Dettori+900
JustinB Murzabayev+3700
Lemon PopR. Sakai+250
MouheebJ. Doyle+4000
Red Le ZeleY Kawada+1300
Remake Yutaka Take+1300
Road Bloc O Chavez+5000
SibeliusR. Moore+1300
Sound MoneyM Barzalona+1000
Super OchoHector Berrios+5000
SwitzerlandT P O’shea+425
TuzJ Da Silva+3300

On the basis of all known form then Gunite deserves to be the chalk and looks sure to hit the board once again. His run last time was strong form and he’ll be a tough nut to crack here.

Looking at the race from a betting perspective then the vote has to go as an across-the-board play on Japanese star RED LE ZELE who can make it third time lucky in this race. He has the perfect setup and should be rolling late.

Lemon Pop, Sibelius, and Sound Money all should be in the fight for a slice underneath.

Dubai Turf

Grade 1 – Purse $4,950,000 – 1 mile 1 furlong– Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up

Will this be a 1-2-3 for the strong Japanese team or can Nations Pride win the race on home turf for Godolphin?

Kicking off with the local team, and Alfareeq looks big on the morning line at 14/1. He has already taken his form to a new level in 2023 with a couple of runner-up spots and a win last time when taking the Group 1 Jebel Hatta Stakes here at Meydan a couple of weeks ago.

He beat a few of today’s rivals including El Drama, Master Of The Seas, and Shelir. We can expect him to confirm that form and he has a strong chance of hitting the board here.

The Japanese send a very strong team and Serifos 4/1 who is the highest-rated of those. He has won his last two races, including the Grade 2 Fuji Stakes back in October and the Grade 1 Mile Championship at Hanshin in November. He was second to Do Deuce in the 2021 Asai Hai Futurity, but has improved since, and might just have the upper hand on the rival.

His win in the Mile Championship was incredible as he came from near last, to win widening away in the final sixteenth of a mile.

Do Deuce 100/30 has taken a massive step forward since the 2021 Asai Hai. Third in the Japanese 2000 Guineas, he went on to win the Japanese Derby over a mile and four furlongs and was then well beaten in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe on his final run of 2022.

He has since won first time up on the class drop when taking the Grade 2 Kyoto Kinen at Hanshin back in February over a mile and three furlongs. He definitely looks better over a staying trip and the cut back in distance is a downside against some of these top-class milers.

The other Japanese runner we want to look at here is Danon Beluga 14/1. His last run came in the highly competitive Japan Cup where he finished fifth of the eighteen runners. That was only his sixth career start, so to compete at Grade 1 level so early shows the horse has real class. He came to win the race with a furlong to run and there is no doubt the cutback in distance gives plenty of upside.

Nations Pride 15/2 won the Grade 2 Dubai Millenium Stakes here at Meydan in February and he looks like the best chance for Godolphin to take this race.

One at huge odds that looks interesting is the Hong Kong raider Glorious Dragon 25/1. He has finished fourth in two small field races, meeting traffic problems both times, and could be one to include in box exactas and trifectas.

Dubai Turf Odds, Field & Betting Picks

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
AlfareeqD. O’Neill+1800
Danon BelugaJ Moreira+1300
Do DeuceY. Take+200
El DramaE. Egan+4000
Glorious DragonN. Callan+6500
JunkoM. Guyon+1400
Lord NorthF. Dettori+550
Master Of The SeasJ. Doyle+1100
Nations PrideW. Buick+800
Order Of AustraliaR. Moore+4000
Real World O. Murphy+1250
SerifosD. Lane+325
ShelirJ. Watson+8000
Shirl’s SpeightA. Fresu+4000
Sir BuskerB A Curtis+8500
Vin De GardeM Barzalona+3000

A top class Grade 1 and little to choose between Do Deuce and Serifos and either could quite easily go and win the race.

However, it is the Japan Cup fifth DANON BELUGA who gets the vote. His only win came over 1800 meters (today’s distance) and he is sure to enjoy cutting back in distance. He can stalk the pace before using his speed to take it up at the top of the stretch, and go for the wire.

Alfareeq is feared and should be fighting it out for a slice underneath, possibly with the longshot Glorious Dragon.

Dubai Sheema Classic

Grade 1 – Purse $5,940,000 – 1 mile 4 furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up

Can Shahryar fend off his compatriot Equinox and go back-to-back in the 2023 Dubai Sheema Classic?

We have a top-class field for this nearly $6 million purse and once again Japan holds a strong hand.

At the top of the list is Shahryar 8/1 who was second in the 2022 Japan Cup, so it will be interesting to see if that form is given a boost by Danon Beluga in the preceding race.

He was the winner of this race last year and has had exactly the same preparation having been placed in The Japan Cup in 2021, having a four-month break, and then coming to Meydan to win this race.

One of his compatriots is Equinox 5/4 who is the chalk and looks like a tough foe for the others to beat. After breaking the maiden tag the first time up, he went on to finish runner-up in the Japanese 2000 Guineas and also the Japanese Derby and since then has taken his form to a new level.

He won the Grade 1 Tenno Sho ( Autumn) at Tokyo in October before putting up arguably a career-best last time when taking the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) one of Japan’s richest races.

Rebels Romance 11/2 who goes here for Team Godolphin, will be well known to US horse racing fans after his brilliant display in last year’s Breeders Cup Turf At Keeneland. He likes to sit off the pace and come with a late roll, and in this relatively small field, he should not encounter any traffic problems. Now rated at 121, he is the second highest-rated runner in the field, and should be there when the cameraman takes the pictures.

Win Marylin 16/1 was last seen when winning the Hong Kong Vase under a masterful ride from Damian Lane when storming late from the back to streak clear in the final furlong. Being the only mare in the race, she gets a handy 4 lbs from the favorite and is another who will be rolling late on.

Looking at one for those who like to play the exotics, then Senor Toba 50/1, a striking grey, could be interesting at huge odds. He was an easy winner of the graded Centenary Vase Handicap at Sha Tin in February and has had a prep run here at Meydan in the Grade 2 Dubai City Of Gold Stakes in early February. He should strip fit now, and his mid-pack run style means he will not be too far from the speed, and could run above his rating.

Dubai Sheema Classic Odds, Field & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
BotanikM Barzalona+2200
MostahdafJ. Crowley+375
Rebel’s RomanceW. Buick+700
Russian EmperorA. Sanna+2800
Senor TobaF. Dettori+7500
ShahryarC. Demuro+800
EquinoxC. Lemaire+100
WestoverR. Moore+425
ZagreyC. Soumillon+4000
Win MarilynD. Lane+1500

Last year’s winner Shahryar is a big price at 8/1 on the morning line and there is no reason to think he will not run his race, and he should hit the board here.

However, the vote has to go to EQUINOX who was a most impressive winner Arima Kinen, and the second horse Boldog Hos has since come out and run very well in Grade 1 company himself. Equinox is top-rated and looks very tough to beat.

Lot’s of closers here and Win Marylin and Rebels Romance should be battling for a slice underneath.

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