There were punting pointers aplenty at Meydan on Super Saturday, the big trials day ahead of the Dubai World Cup card on March 30. Here are a few things we learned:
Drafted and Comicas are Golden Shaheen players
On first viewing the Mahab Al Shimaal didn’t look much of a Golden Shaheen trial in a bunched finish. But Drafted was the only winner from four dirt races who sat off the early pace and raced wide, so he might need to be upgraded.
Drafted has the same late-running style as Mind Your Biscuits, who won the Golden Shaheen twice, so he should pass a good few rivals late on. He may not be quite good enough to topple a strong US challenge, but he could be placed.
Similarly, Comicas made good late ground out wide for a pleasing fourth after a four-month break. He was a staying-on 50-1 second in the 2017 Shaheen.
Divine Image and Blue Point are worthy favourites
Only three of 14 runners in the Al Bastakiya – middle leg of the UAE Triple Crown – were fillies and they ran first, fourth and fifth, headed by Divine Image.
The colts’ division has been sub-standard this season but Divine Image is a good filly and deserves to top the market for the UAE Derby.
Blue Point did the job well enough in the course-and-distance prep for the Al Quoz Sprint. He was a bit headstrong early, so ideally he would settle better in the Al Quoz. But that’s being picky – he’s hard to fault.
Muntazah was sensational but don’t give up on Heavy Metal
The Meydan dirt has been riding on the slow side this season, so it was extraordinary to see Muntazah lower the 1600m course record in the Burj Nahaar. It was an exceptional performance.
His connections must now decide whether to play safe and go for the Godolphin Mile or take a shot at the Dubai World Cup.
Muntazah was able to dominate from stall one on Saturday and come the big day the break of three weeks won’t look much off such a monster effort. But he has announced himself as a high-class talent.
Heavy Metal was only fourth on Saturday but did well to get that close after completely blowing the start. Don’t rule him out from successfully defending his Godolphin Mile title.
Old Persian is a strong Sheema Classic contender
A dual Group 2 winner in Britain last year, Old Persian added another at Meydan in the Dubai City Of Gold. He overcame trouble in running to pick up best off a slow pace, so was value for plenty more than the short-head margin, and that should put him bang on for the Sheema Classic, which his trainer Charlie Appleby won last year with Hawkbill.
Capezzano’s win is bad news for North America in World Cup
Capezzano booked his ticket for the Dubai World Cup by making all in Saturday’s course-and-distance Group 1. That’s bad news for connections of North America, a confirmed front-runner who now has some serious competition for the lead in the main event.
Capezzano burnt off the opposition through impressive fractions before finishing slowly, but his rivals in the World Cup will be better able to withstand a hot pace, so he’s likely to find things tougher.
Last year’s World Cup winner Thunder Snow was a well-beaten second behind Capezzano, but he’d been off for four months and showed up well until the turn in, when he tired off that demanding tempo.
The winner’s superiority was exaggerated and Thunder Snow will have a fair chance of turning that form around and successfully defending his World Cup title. – www.racingpost.com