03/25/2011 12:05PM

A Quick Look at the Dubai World Cup


Here’s one man’s quick and dirty rundown of the field for Saturday’s Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest thoroughbred horse race with a purse of $10 million:

Fly Down – I thought his third in last fall’s Breeder’s Cup Classic behind Blame and Zenyatta was basically a clunk up special, and he never really got involved last time in the Donn despite getting a great pace set up for his late run. Pass.

Monterosso – Does sport a win over the track three weeks ago, but he looks a decided cut below on class lines and Racing Post Ratings.

Prince Bishop – Wasn’t good enough in the hot local prep for this. Seems overmatched.

Cape Blanco – You have to throw out his Arc outing because of the bad trip. When you do, you find a strong contender off his big wins in the Irish Champion and Irish Derby. He’s one of the ones.

Gio Ponti – The winner of three Eclipse Awards was a good fourth in this event last year. But unlike last year, he didn’t have a prep race for this, and this year’s Dubai Cup field seems decidedly better than last year’s. Looking elsewhere.

Victoire Pisa – His last two performances last year place him in this class, and he picked right up where he left off with a strong score in a prep for this a month ago. He’s very intriguing, especially since he might be overlooked in the betting.

Musir – Was a soundly beaten second in the hot prep for this, but that was just a prep and his barn knows how to win on the World Cup card. Winner of last year’s UAE Derby and UAE Guineas over the track is set for a peak performance.

Gitano Hernando – Only a nose behind Musir in his last start means that it’s hard to throw him out, especially when you consider some of his best back races. But I can’t help but wonder if he’s lost a step.

Transcend – Comes into this on a three race win streak. But he is up in class while stretching out to a distance that looks like it will be beyond his scope.

Poet’s Voice – Distance and level of competition look like they are big hurdles for this one, too.

Richard’s Kid – Was always underrated in this country despite being a multiple Grade 1 winner, but he was so surprisingly dull in the hot local prep for this that it is tough to have much, if any, confidence in him.

Twice Over – Finished 10th in this race last year, but every performance since has been a good one, and he is a deserving favorite off his powerful victory in that much mentioned, hot prep for this. Still, he’s no lock.

Buena Vista – The only female in the field, she and Victoire Pisa were thisclose in Japan last fall. Victoire Pisa is preferred because he has the edge of a recent start, but she can be used if the price is big enough.

Golden Sword – Certainly in fine form having won his last two, but he has never indicated he could be competitive with a group like this.

Picks: Cape Blanco, Victoire Pisa, Twice Over.