The Dubai World Cup at Meydan on March 29th gives us an early chance to see some of the star names in action. Last year’s Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World makes his return to action in a fascinating clash with The Fugue and several other International stars.
Ruler Of The World has not won since Epsom and the form of the classic suggested it was one of the worst in living memory. However, the colt did finish off his season by running third in the Champion Stakes and has to be respected.
John Gosden’s The Fugue was runner-up in both of her last two races, the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the Hong Kong Vase. It was a frustrating end to the season for the mare after Group 1 victories in the Yorkshire Oaks and Irish Champion Stakes.
Jockey William Buick was devastated when Ryan Moore swooped on Magician to beat The Fugue at Santa Anita but he should have several opportunities for further glory on the mare this season. I think she has the tactical speed to beat Ruler Of The World but I am more concerned about Hong Kong Gold Cup winner Military Attack. He had The Fugue’s Hong Kong conqueror Dominant three lengths away in third last month and arrives here fit and fancied.
The card also sees the return of Dank in the Dubai Duty Free. She had a fantastic season last year for Sir Michael Stoute, chalking up Grade 1 victories in the Beverly D Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. The big danger to her is the Japanese-trained Just A Way. He defeated two-time Japan Cup winner Gentildonna at Tokyo in October and a repeat of that form would make him very difficult to beat.
Magician is also back in action in the Sheema Classic over a mile and a half. He won the ten furlong Dee Stakes at Chester before winning the Irish 2000 Guineas over a mile. His only poor run came in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot but he bounced back in style to beat The Fugue at Santa Anita. He has Cirrus Des Aigles and Gentildonna to beat here in a race that looks every bit as good as the World Cup on paper.
Ryan Moore rode Gentildonna to her famous Japan Cup victory in November so he knows what he is up against. Magician looked a quality colt last year and can take this on his way to a successful season in Europe.
The Fugue (Dubai World Cup) at 6-1 SkyBet
Magician (Sheema Classic) at 4-1 Sportingbet
Dank (Dubai Duty Free) at 5-1 Coral
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