dubai world cup 2022

The final four races on Dubai World Cup 2022 day at Meydan this Saturday bear comparison with any race-meeting anywhere on the globe. The main event offers another opportunity to see the outstanding Life Is Good as he does battle with fellow Americans Hot Rod Charlie and Country Grammer, while compatriots Dr. Schivel and Drain The Clock head the market for the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. The G1 Dubai Turf and G1 Dubai Sheema Classic feature exciting clashes between Britain and Japan, with horses such as Schnell Meister, Yibir, Authority, Lord North, and Shahryar in opposition in the big events on turf.

Dubai World Cup

Group 1, $12,000,000, 1m 2f dirt, 4yo+, post-time 12.30pm EDT

One of the richest races on the planet, the Dubai World Cup 2022 has drawn a field worthy of the purse, with the centerpiece of Meydan’s glittering card on Saturday dominated by a high-class quartet of US-trained stars.

Foremost among them is the brilliant Life Is Good (5-6), who is only a neck short of a perfect eight-for-eight record that includes victories in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar and the G1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on his last two starts. He was superb against inferior opposition in California, and then stretched out to nine furlongs in Florida and ran a high-class field that included Horse of the Year Knicks Go ragged, going gate-to-wire in scintillating fashion to score by three and a quarter lengths.
That performance confirmed him as the best horse in the US, and although he must go another furlong into unknown territory today it’s tough to see that being a problem, given his strength in the stretch after setting fractions that burn off his rivals.

In another year Hot Rod Charlie (11-4) would be a strong favorite after a sophomore campaign in which he won the G1 Pennsylvania Derby, hit the board in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, and ran fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He turned up for this with a comfortable front-running win here in the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 over a sixteenth shorter, but although he likes it on the front end, he is unlikely to beat Life Is Good to the punch from the gate.

His fellow Americans Country Grammer (10-1) and Midnight Bourbon (12-1) filled out the board in the nine-furlong G1 Saudi Cup in Riyadh a month ago behind boxcar longshot Emblem Road, the pair dueling through the stretch before being sandbagged close home by the local boy, a length and a half separating them at the wire.

There are two schools of thought concerning Country Grammer. One says that he’s bound to move up from that first start after a nine-month layoff, the other reckons that such a big run after a long layoff leaves him vulnerable to a ‘bounce’, a below-par showing. Both are plausible theories, although the former seems more likely and the five-year-old is proven at today’s distance. Midnight Bourbon seems better at a mile-sixteenth or a mile-eighth, but whatever the scenario this frustrating colt always manages to find a way not to win.

He comes here on a ten-race losing streak, was behind Hot Rod Charlie in the Kentucky Derby and Pennsylvania Derby, and can’t be regarded as a sensible betting proposition. He likes to be on or near the pace but will struggle to lay up with Life Is Good.

Saudi Cup also-rans Aero Trem (66-1), never nearer than fifth, last year’s Dubai World Cup third Magny Cours (25-1), always in the rear when tenth, and Real World (20-1), never sighted in 11th, are likely to be in the background again today.

The best of the local team should be last year’s Dubai World Cup fourth Hypothetical (25-1), who made just about all when winning the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 over course and distance three weeks ago, seeing off the rallying Remorse (50-1) by a length, but this is a different league and, along with Chuwa Wizard (14-1), runner-up in a much weaker version of the Dubai World Cup 12 months ago, he will have his work cut out to figure today.

Dubai World Cup 2022 Betting Prediction

The four best horses here are all US-trained and the best of them is the brilliant LIFE IS GOOD, who is expected to see out the extra furlong with another all-the-way demolition job.

Dubai World Cup 2022 Odds

HorseHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports

Dubai Golden Shaheen

Group 1, $2,000,000, 6f dirt, 3yo+, post-time 10.45am EDT

The Dubai Golden Shaheen could be another race booked for export Stateside, with three American speedballs dominating the betting market.

It was a disappointing end to the year for Dr. Schivel (5-2), who disappeared without a trace behind the awesome Flightline in the G1 Malibu at Santa Anita over seven furlongs, but prior to that, he had stamped himself one of the nation’s leading sprinters. He won the G1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar and the G2 Santa Anita Sprint Championship over six furlongs before dropping the Breeders’ Cup Sprint right on the line, beaten a nose by the rallying Aloha West after being clear at the sixteenth pole.

Today’s distance will suit him ideally, which may not be the case for Drain The Clock (9-2), who won the G1 Woody Stephens over seven furlongs at Belmont Park in June. He has the benefit of a recent run but couldn’t get the job done in six-furlong stakes at Gulfstream Park when beaten a neck at odds-on, and this quick six is unlikely to bring out the best in him.

His compatriot Wondrwherecraigis (8-1) has a fine seven-for-11 record but, like Drain The Clock, his best effort came at seven furlongs when winning the G3 Bold Ruler at Belmont Park. He tuned up for this in stakes over six furlongs at Laurel Park, coming home a comfortable winner at odds-on, but this represents the toughest test of his career.

Three horses renew rivalry from the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint over six furlongs on the Saudi Cup card a month ago, and on that occasion runner-up Good Effort (16-1) had three and three-quarter lengths in hand over Chain Of Love (12-1) in third, with Switzerland (16-1) back in sixth, but Good Effort has never won above stakes level – he’s zero-for-ten in Group/Graded races – and the overall form doesn’t look good enough.

The local form also leaves something to be desired at this level. Eastern World (16-1) beat Manjeer (16-1) by a length and three-quarters in the G3 Mahab Al Shimaal over course and distance three weeks ago, and Meraas (8-1), who was moderate in Britain but is unbeaten in two since moving to Dubai, won the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint over course and distance last time out, with Al Tariq (16-1) a length and a quarterback in third.

Last year’s runner-up Red Le Zele (7-1) merits respect given the strength in depth of the Japanese contingent but is another who would probably prefer an extra furlong.

Dubai Golden Shaheen Betting Prediction

At first sight, this looks like a competitive contest, but DR SCHIVEL is a specialist six-furlong horse and is the clear choice to bounce back from a below-par performance last time out.

Dubai Golden Shaheen Odds

HorseHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports

Dubai Turf

Group 1, $5,000,000, 1m 1f turf, 4yo+, post-time 11.20am EDT

There is strong representation from three countries in the Dubai Turf, with last year’s winner Lord North (9-2) bidding to retain his title for Britain.

Twelve months ago Lord North justified favoritism by an impressive three lengths from Vin De Garde (16-1), with Lord Glitters (16-1) a never-nearer sixth, but that was the last we saw of him in 2021, and on his comeback from an 11-month layoff was unimpressive when runner-up in the G3 Winter Derby at Lingfield against horses he should have had no problem beating. He flattened out a furlong out and had no more to give, and although he’ll no doubt be better with that under his belt it still requires a leap of faith to imagine him returning to his best.

The US runner Colonel Liam (15-2) did exactly that when coming back from nearly eight months off to win the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park over today’s distance. That was a very strong performance, but the turf scene in the US is a little behind Britain and Japan and he’ll need to find even more in this company.

Another with a long layoff to overcome is Mohaafeth (6-1), who hasn’t been out since running fourth behind Mishriff in the G1 Juddmonte International at York in late August. He has shown his best form at ten furlongs but has a distinct class edge over stablemate My Oberon (25-1), although that horse will be track-fit after victory in a very minor contest at little Southwell over a mile. Better than both could be the filly Saffron Beach (8-1), who saved her best until last in 2021 when clearing away to win the G1 Sun Chariot, over a mile at Newmarket, by three lengths from the high-class Mother Earth.

Again, though, the Japanese entry looks formidable. Panthalassa (13-2) is fresh from victory a month ago in the G2 Nakayama Kinen over today’s distance, going gate-to-wire for an easy score over a distance that is probably his bare minimum. That was a career-best but he may still need to find more to cope with compatriot Schnell Meister (2-1), who has a big reputation and a record to match.

He was third in the G1 Yasuda Kinen over a mile at Tokyo in June, then won the G2 Mainichi Okan over today’s distance, again at Tokyo, and signed off when a narrowly beaten runner-up in the G1 Mile Championship at Hanshin in November. He has raced only seven times and should still be capable of improving on an already fine record.

Horse Betting Prediction

Japanese-trained horses dominated on turf at the Saudi Cup meeting and the trend can continue, with the progressive SCHNELL MEISTER ready to make his mark on the international stage.

Dubai Turf Odds

HorseHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports

Dubai Sheema Classic

Group 1, $6,000,000, 1m 4f turf, 4yo+, post-time 11.55am EDT
Japan has probably its strongest hand of the whole afternoon in the Dubai Sheema Classic, providing four of the first six in the betting in a race that boils down to a straight fight between Japan and Britain.

A month ago, Authority (5-1) cut back in distance to an extended ten furlongs and led every step of the way in the G3 Neom Turf Cup in Riyadh, showing speed few thought he possessed to score by a length and a quarter from Kaspar (50-1), who kept on late but could never get to grips with the winner. Pyledriver (12-1) was a very disappointing 11th.

On his final start of 2021 Authority chased home the great Contrail in the G1 Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse, finishing a length and a half ahead of third-placed Shahryar (4-1), with Uberleben (18-1) an unthreatening sixth. The lightly raced Shahryar had won the G1 Japanese Derby two starts earlier, with Stella Veloce (10-1) a length and a quarterback in third, and is almost certain to maintain his progression.

The Japanese form is tightly knit, but Glory Vase (15-2) demonstrated his talent on an international stage in December when winning his second G1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin Racecourse over a mile and a half, pouncing late to run down Pyledriver and win by a length. The seven-year-old seems to reserve his best for the right-handed Hong Kong circuit and may not match that level of form here at Meydan.

The British challenge is spearheaded by the exciting Yibir (3-1), who has been a revelation since being gelded and is a familiar name to US bettors after his victories in the Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park and the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar, when he delivered his trademark swoop from the back to the front and kept on strongly to lead close home and win by a half-length. He is a strong stayer and still on the upgrade.

Another stout stayer is Hukum (10-1), winner of the G2 Dubai City of Gold over course and distance three weeks ago when he turned back Without A Fight (50-1) to win by a head. His British form suggests he is not a Group 1 horse, but he has won four of his last five and could be reaching his peak.

Dubai Honour (9-1) was a very progressive horse last year, winning G2s in France before acquitting himself well at the highest level, chasing home Sealiway in the G1 Champion at Ascot and running fourth behind Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Loves Only You in the G1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin. He stretches out to a mile and a half for the first time, a distance at which stablemate Alenquer (15-2) won last year’s G2, King Edward VII, at Royal Ascot.

Alenquer’s defeat of Lord North – runs earlier in the Dubai Turf – in a G3 over ten furlongs at Lingfield on his reappearance will have put an edge on him, but improvement is still required against rivals of this quality.

Horse Betting Prediction

Several of these have big chances in a high-quality, open contest, but Japanese Derby winner SHAHRYAR is open to further improvement and is preferred to the top British hope Yibir.

Dubai Sheema Classic Odds

HorseHorse Racing Odds courtesy of JazzSports

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