We have a great day (GMT) of racing ahead this weekend where the Dubai World Cup night will be taking place on Saturday and in this feature we are going to take a look at the Dubai Gold Cup featuring a few well known English and Irish trained challengers hoping to take home that massive $1,000,000 prize fund.
The Dubai Gold Cup will be run on Saturday (25th March) afternoon at 12.50 (GMT) and it will be contested by 14 runners on turf over a distance of two miles.
Vazirabad will be hoping to retain his title after winning the 2016 renewal of this race beating the Michael Bell trainedBig Orange.This French five year old will be ridden by Christophe Soumilon who has a 21% strike rate in the last fourteen days racking up eight winners from 39 rides. He's also won eight of his 11 rides on this horse including this same race last year so clearly knows the horse inside out. Interestingly, the horse didn't have a prep race last year before winning the Dubai Gold Cup but this term his team decided to give him one at the back end of February at Meydan. He got turned over at odds on (4/5) that day losing out to Beautiful Romance over one mile six furlongs which probably isn't his best trip considering all his wins bar one have come over at least 15 furlongs or, one mile seven. With the prep race under his belt, his best trip and being the only horse in the race to win over course and distance hes going to be a tough nut to crack this Saturday.
He can be backed at 9/4 with SkyBet. The horse mentioned earlier Beautiful Romance, who beat Saturday's favourite last time out has attracted a lot of support this week and you can see why with back to back wins in Australia and Meydan. Beating second favourite for this race Big Orange at Sandown in Oz and having Vazirabad (2nd) and Sheikhzayedroad (3rd) behind him in Dubai. The trouble is, those races were at 12 and 14 furlongs and with him only ever running two miles once before and finishing 7th (albeit it was the Melbourne Cup with some strong contenders in it) you have to question whether this horse is a true flat stayer or his optimum trips are middle distances.
What a seven months it would be if Heartbreak City could win this on Saturday. The winner of the Ebor at York back in August 2016 and then a fantastic second in the Melbourne Cup in November only losing out in the final strides to Almandin. The last horse we talked about we mentioned the distance might not be to suit but the same can't be said for Heartbreak City who has three victories, a second and a third from his last five runs over two miles (two of those coming over hurdles) so we know this horse will stay the distance and stay well. He also has some of the best form in the book with that Melbourne Cup second with two of his Saturday rivals behind him that day in Beautiful Romance (7th) and Big Orange (10th). He really could be a dark horse this weekend and can be backed as big as 7/1 with Bet Victor. Big Orange is second favourtie for this race and he has to have a big chance to go one better than last year. The winner of the Goodwood Qatar Cup over two miles two years running as well as his back to back victories in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Newmarket over one mile four just shows how versatile and strong this horse is. Connections are very bullish about him being able to reverse placings with Vazirabad this year and exercise rider, Jill Doman has said 'he's bigger and stronger this time around, he's grown in to himself and has such a big stride'.
This time around Big Orange won't be partnered by Jamie Spencer but instead has Frankie Dettori on board. A couple of horses to mention at bigger prices are Sheikhzayedroad (around 10/1) who won the Ascot Long Distance Cup (over 2 miles) back in October and can't be written off on Saturday after only finishing out of the top three once in his last eight races. That day in October at Ascot he had Quest For More (8/1 for Saturday's race) who will be ridden by Jamie Spencer (who finished second on Big Orange last year) and also holds chances on his grade two Lonsdale Cup win at York back in August. Two who could run big races at very attractive odds are the 2015 Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris who picked up an injury late 2015 and doesn't seem to be the same horse since, although if he's able to recapture some of that 2015 form he definitely has a each way squeak at 25/1 (SkyBet). The other horse at attractive odds and a possible each way bet is the Aiden O'Brien trained Kingfisher. He was second to Trip To Paris in the 2015 Ascot Gold Cup and also second in the Irish Derby in 2014 but hasn't been seen on the track for 508 days since the third of November 2015 after an injury. O'Brien can be a sneaky sort and I dont think he would of entered the horse if he wasn't in tip top shape. Ryan Moore up in the saddle and it wouldn't surprise me if this horse ran a blinder and pulled off a shock or at least hit the frame at 25/1 (Paddy Power).
A very tough race to call with nearly every single horse in the field holding claims and I'm very much looking forward to this on Saturday. Two bets for me in the race as i can't decide between them!
Each Way Bet: HEARTBREAK CITY 7/1 (Bet365, SkyBet, BetVictor)
Each Way Bet: BIG ORANGE 8/1 (Ladbrokes)
Good luck if you're having a bet in this race and fingers crossed it's as exciting as it looks on paper!