MEYDAN racecourse hosts its fourth Dubai World Cup (6.05pm) on Saturday evening since the switch from Nad Al Sheba and those interested in backing any of the leading fancies should take note that the last three renewals have been won by 20/1, 12/1 and 16/1 shots respectively.
Godolphin’s Hunter’s Light is a worthy favourite on the back of two impressive course and distance victories already this term and looks rock solid at 9/2 with Coral.
However, there may just be a little value in siding with stablemate KASSIANO at a best-priced 16/1 with Coral.
The French import has been done no favours by drawing the widest stall in 13, but that concern is more than factored into his price.
He was given a fair bit to do behind Hunter’s Light last time and, if he breaks well and gets cover, he will go close. The Godolphin team could well be in for a good night as there is plenty of market confidence behind their SECRET NUMBER in the UAE Derby (2.25pm).
If you hunt around, you might just snap up the last of the 11/4 about a colt that may just be a bit special.
They also saddle the hugely improved SAJJHAA in the Dubai Duty Free (4.40pm). She has recorded three straight victories at the track, having failed to win all three starts in the UK last season. The six-year-old is obviously flourishing in Dubai and is one to keep on the right side of at around 8/1.
Meydan specialist Mike De Kock may have unearthed another superstar in the shape of SHEA SHEA in the Al Quoz Sprint (3.05pm). If the six-year-old repeats his latest performance the other 15 runners will be chasing shadows. Looking at this weekend’s domestic action and there is still plenty of uncertainty over whether Doncaster will be able to re-stage last week’s abandoned Lincoln card. I tipped JUSTONEFORTHEROAD and HIT THE JACKPOT at big prices seven days ago and there is no reason to abandon ship.
It may be a little safer to concentrate on the action on the all-weather at Kempton and keep a close eye out for the Richard Hannon team as they are already beginning to hit top form.
Watch out for the stable’s GOLD TOP, if declared for the opener (1.45pm), as he’s reportedly going pretty well at home.
The same can also be said for DEMOCRETES in the fiercely competitive-looking handicap (4.35pm) later in the afternoon. He’s already shown he handles the artificial surface, goes well fresh and could still be on a handy mark.
The Irish Grand National is run on Easter Monday and, after the latest declaration stage yesterday, the two that catch my eye are Elizabeth Doyle’s RICH REVIVAL at 8/1 and Dessie Hughes’ MAGNANIMITY at 12/1, but I’ll post my thoughts on Twitter @BillEsdaile once the final line-up is confirmed.
Finally, I’ll be at Aintree next week for the John Smith’s Grand National and we’ll have coverage on Thursday and Friday, as well as that all-important office sweepstake kit.
GOLD TOP 1.45pm Kempton (Saturday)
SECRET NUMBER 2.25pm Meydan (Saturday)
SHEA SHEA 3.05pm Meydan (Saturday)
DEMOCRETES 4.35pm Kempton (Saturday)
SAJJHAA e/w 4.40pm Meydan (Saturday)
KASSIANO e/w 6.05pm Meydan (Saturday)