Dubai World Cup Analysis courtesy of Globeform:
Dubai World Cup Analysis courtesy of Globeform:
For a breakdown of the other races on the Dubai World Cup card, visit www.globeform.com.
By Geir Stabell
International Racing Correspondent
Nad Al Sheba Saturday: Electrocutionist is the big hope for the home fans as he meets star performers from four visiting nations in the Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (G1). The ex-Italian runner impressed when outclassing Saudi Arabia’s World Cup contender Chiquitin in his prep race. Tougher guys will turn up this week. The US team is led by Brass Hat, who is coming off his lifetime best in the Donn Handicap (G1), where he had Clark Handicap (G2) winner Magna Graduate and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) fourth Super Frolic well behind. Both will try again at Nad Al Sheba.
Choctaw Nation, a game third in the World Cup last year, and Wilko are also set to take their chance. The latter is back with Newmarket trainer Jeremy Noseda, who won the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) with the colt.
Japan will be represented by Kane Hekili, a winner of 8 of his 12 lifetime starts, while English form is represented by Maraahel - third in three Group Ones on turf last year and last seen when chasing Vengeance of Rain in the Hong Kong Cup.
EMIRATES AIRLINE DUBAI WORLD CUP (G1)
Nad Al Sheba 25 March 2006 – 2000 metres / 1 1/4 miles dirt
Horses presented with best Globeform, sire and ratings achieved in most recent starts. Globeform ratings are expressed in pounds (1 length = 2lb).
125 – ELECTROCUTIONIST (Red Ransom) 118+ (22May) 117+ (19Jun) 120 (16Aug) 111 (23Oct05) 125 (2Mar)
122 - BRASS HAT (Prized) 114+ (12Jun04) // GF 110+ (17Dec05) 114+ (7Jan) 122+ (4Feb)
120 – KANE HEKILI (Fuji Kiseki) 119+ (19Sep) 117+ (29Oct) 116+ (26Nov05) 120+ (19Feb)
119 – MARAAHEL (Alzao) 118 (18Jun) 119 (16Aug) 108 (31Aug) 119 (15Oct) 117 (11Dec05)
118 - MAGNA GRADUATE (Honor Grades) 108+ (2Jly) 111+ (30Sep) 114+ (29Oct) 118 (25Nov05) 105 (4Feb)
118 - SUPER FROLIC (Pine Bluff) 109 (21Aug) 110 (24Sep) 118? (29Oct05) 0 (4Feb)
116 – CHOCTAW NATION (Louis Quatorze) 110+ (24Jly) 115+ (21Aug) 115+ (1Oct) 111+ (29Oct) 101+ (1Jan) ?+ (10Feb)
115 – STAR KING MAN (Kingmambo) 115 (26Nov) 0 (29Dec05) 100 (19Feb)
114 – CHIQUITIN (Fitzcarraldo) 114 (5Mar05) // 108+ (9Feb) 109+ (2Mar)
114 – SHAKIS (Machiavellian) 113 (19Jan) 108 (2Feb) 99 (23Feb) 114 (9Mar)
113 – WILKO (Awesome Again) GF 113 (9Apr05) // ?+ (10Dec) 91 (26Dec05) 110 (5Feb) 102 (4Mar)
This race should set up well for the three best horses in the race, Electrocutionist, Brass Hat and Kane Hekili, and there is absolutely no reason to make our betting plans any more complicated than that. There is a good chance they will fill the first three places. An 11-runner field ought to ensure a true pace (is Shakis a pacemaker?) and the top three are all strong on stamina.
Electrocutionist ran a super prep when he won the Maktoum Challenge III (G2). Racing on dirt for the first time, and tackling the full World Cup distance, he was always travelling well just off the pace – before moving up on the turn and running away for an easy win. He beat Chiquitin and Elmustanser – who had run first and second in the race 12 months earlier. Neither ran up to form but Electrocutionist still produced Globeform 125, improving on his best turf form. Which was close to top class last year. He could improve again of course but may not have to – and he is the obvious choice.
He made his name known worldwide when winning the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York in England last summer. Electrocutionist came with a strong run from off a hot pace to deny the Japanese champion Zenno Rob Roy in a tight finish. He got up to win by a neck, with fellow World Cup contender Maraahel just a head further back in third. It was close but Electrocutionist won the race ‘going away’ ands he was clearly the best. The most impressive aspect to his big win in England, was that he was able to beat top class opposition over 1 ¼ miles. Electrocutionist is essentially a 1 ½-mile performer on turf – and that is often what you want when going for a big race over 1 ¼ miles on dirt.
Godolphin bought Electrocutionst at the end of last year and he is their only runner in the Dubai World Cup. As he is by Red Ransom out of an Arazi mare, one can say that his pedigree makes him ideal for dirt racing – though he comes from a stamina biased turf family. He will be hard to beat on Saturday.
Brass Hat improved to Globeform 122+ as he won the Donn Handicap (G1) over 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park last time out, racing like he will be even better over 1 ¼ miles. He came from behind – in a strongly run race – to sweep home for an impressive win over the Nick Zito trained duo Pies Prospect and Andromeda’s Hero. Pies Prospect, who has produced GF 118 in his career, had prepped with a very solid come-back win at Tampa Bay Downs. Andromeda’s Hero was making his first start of 2006, but he had produced his lifetime best (GF 113+) on December 17, when he won the Hooper Handicap (G3) at Calder. He has since finished a positive fourth in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2).
The Donn form is solid, albeit produced on a sloppy track. Sometimes we see wide margin winners on wet tracks in North America. More often than not, the margin is deceptive. More often than not, the winner has been the lone speed – or close to the pace – while opponents are toiling in the muddy, wet, kick-back. Not so with Brass Hat’s win in the Donn. He was at the back early, but extremely well – and confidently – ridden by jockey Martinez, who took him wide all the way. Brass Hat is at the top of his game and, like the favorite, a horse that may improve again. Brass Hat can run a big race at Nad Al Sheba – where the added distance and the long home straight will probably be just perfect for him.
Kane Hekili is also in with a good chance. He is clearly the best dirt performer in Japan but not as easy to assess as the others. One thing we can say for sure; he is coming off his lifetime best performance. Last year, he was a narrow, but oh so game, winner of the 2005 Japan Cup Dirt (G1) – when he beat Seeking The Dia by a nose, with Star King Man a neck away in third and Time Paradox beaten 1 ½ lengths in fourth. Time Paradox had won the race in 2004, Seeking The Dia was a G2 winner who had also run second in the February Stakes (G1), and Star King Man had finished fourth (behind Fleetstreet Dancer) in the 2003 Japan Cup Dirt (G1). Kane Hekili’s win over these rivals was solid, rather than brilliant, form. Breaking from post 10 in a 16-runner field, he was ridden from off the pace in the 11-furlong JC Dirt and came with a determined finish to reach the lead a furlong out. He battled on well to pip Seeking The Dia at the wire.
He improved again when dropping back to a mile in the February Stakes (G1) at the same course last month. This time, Kane Hekili broke from post 14 and once more the betting public showed absolute faith in the colt. He swept home for an easy 3-length win over Seeking The Dia, returning Globeform 120+ in the process. As he had shown his best form over 10 and 11 furlongs as a 3-year-old, this form over a mile may tell us that he is improving still and it is quite possible that he will be able to produce even better form in a strongly-run race over 10 furlongs.
Maraahel, Magna Graduate and Super Frolic are closely matched on ratings but they could all be passed by Choctaw Nation in the closing stages – as he is the one most suited to a race of this nature. He finished third behind Roses in May last year and is probably set for a nice paycheck again this week.
None of the others make any sort of appeal and, as there are doubts about the duo Magna Graduate (will he get the trip?) and Super Frolic (was he BC Classic run a total fluke?), it is tempting to let just two extra names into the exotics plan; Choctaw Nation and Mahaahel. The latter will be making his dirt track debut. He was at his best when third in the Champion Stakes (G1) at Newmarket last October. That is a straight 10-furlong race and quite different to the World Cup – but it is also a true test of stamina. Sir Michael Stoute won this race with Singspiel. Maraahel is nowhere near as good, but if one of the top three ‘flops’ he could sneak in and take advantage.
B: BRASS HAT
C: KANE HEKILI
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