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.

Anderson More than 1 year ago
Was thinking Cape Blanco too, but got put off by what Marcus Hersh wrote "cool Friday morning, and Cape Blanco was making his second journey over the track, the horse was sweating from his kidneys before even beginning to jog".