Dubai World Cup 2013 Preview

The Dubai World Cup may be missing the star names this year but still looks set to provide a thrilling race. As you would expect, Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation has a strong hand with three live chances.


Monterosso won the race in great style last year but has only raced twice since. He was well beaten behind another Godolphin horse Hunter’s Light last time, although his run was not that far behind his prep race in 2012. On that occasion he finished over six lengths behind Capponi but beat that rival by three lengths in the World Cup. This race has been his target since last summer so he cannot be discounted. African Story completes the Godolphin team, an impressive winner last time out over a mile.

Hunter’s Light appears to be the Godolphin number one on the back of two comfortable victories at Meydan. The son of Dubawi was no superstar during his career in the UK but seems a far better horse on the tapeta surface. He also holds Kassiano on that last run, although William Buick did not get the clearest of runs on the runner-up. However, the draw has done Kassiano no favours on the wide outside in 13. Another horse drawn wide is 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom in stall 12.

Animal Kingdom was also second in the Preakness that year and lost all chance at the start in the Belmont when bumped by a rival, causing his rider to lose an iron and leaving him at the back of the field. He only ran twice last season and finished second to Point of Light at Gulfstream Park last month. Challenging Hunter’s Light for favouritism is Royal Delta, the winner of her last three starts in America and racing from stall 8. She won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, making virtually all of the running to beat My Miss Aurelia by a length and a half. If she breaks smartly and gets a good position she looks sure to run a big race.

There are several runners that will be familiar to UK racing fans including the globetrotting Red Cadeaux from Ed Dunlop’s yard. The seven-year-old won the Hong Kong Vase last December but is used to running over a much longer trip than this. Side Glance has been a consistent horse for Andrew Balding and ran promisingly at Meydan recently when fourth whilst Planteur warmed up for this with a victory on the all-weather at Lingfield. Treasure Beach finished second in the Epsom Derby before winning the Irish Derby in 2011 and has been much travelled since. He is now with Mick De Kock and ran a strange race behind Hunter’s Light last time. He needed reminders from Jamie Spencer well before the home straight and looked in trouble but then ran on well to finish a closing sixth.

Royal Delta looks to be the form pick at 9-2 with Bet365. Hunter’s Light is the favourite at 7-2 with Animal Kingdom at 11-2. Treasure Beach (20-1) could reward each-way support if Spencer can keep him closer to the pace.

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