Our expert takes a look at the upcoming Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday 25th of March and provides readers with a solid winning tip.
The Dubai World Cup may be one of the most lucrative contests in the sport, but it’s also proved to be one of the most competitive over the past few decades. The whole card on Saturday 25th March is packed full of quality and this year’s renewal of the Dubai World Cup is no different. However, there is one entrant who stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.Arrogate
(1/3 Paddy Power
) has established himself as the leading light on the American flat racing circuit. He may have lost on his three-year-old debut back in April, but since then, Bob Baffert’s charge has ridden roughshod through every field he has faced. He won comfortably over eight furlong trips during the early months of the season, but since stepping over the mile mark, the four-year-old has looked close to being unbeatable.
He went to post as 117/10 second favourite for the Group 1 Travers Stakes title at Saratoga in August. Arrogate led confidently from the front for the majority of the contest and when Mike Smith asked him to put his foot down around the final bed, he switched on the afterburners and pulled clear – eventually passing the post an astonishing 13 lengths ahead of his closest challenger.
Two showdowns with California Chrome followed during the spring and Bob Baffert’s charge was well fancied to give the soon-retiring legend a stiff test. Arrogate gave his high-rated rival a head-start down the home straight in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but the young pretender to Chrome’s crown reeled in the favourite with apparent ease and eventually won by half a length. Another comfortable victory followed in the Pegasus World Cup, where he demolished a smart field from the front, sending California Chrome into retirement with his tail firmly lodged between his legs.
Tom Asmussen’s Gun Runner
) should have been able to land a Breeders' Cup title in the Las Vegas Dirt Mile as odds-on favourite Dortmund slipped back through the pack, but he couldn’t match 14/1 shot, Tamarkuz for pace down the straight and had to settle for second. The four-year-old didn’t have to wait long make amends, returning to action less than a month later to beat Shaman Ghost and Breaking Lucky to the Grade 1 Clark Handicap title at Churchill Downs. He finished 15 lengths behind Arrogate in second, during that astonishing Travers Stakes performance, so he’s clearly got a lot of ground to make up on the favourite.Gun Runner finished third in the Kentucky Derby last year.
) is likely to go off closest to Arrogate in the betting, despite Mike de Kock's charge not claiming a win since the 2015 Dubai World Cup Festival. He finished less than four lengths behind California Chrome in this race last season and he recorded two solid runner-up finishes in high-profile races this season, coming home just a head behind Shaman Ghost in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, before following Etiijaah home in a Listed Handicap here at Meydan last month.Keen Ice
) and Neolithic
) finished third and fourth in the Pegasus World Cup. Although they are highly respectable finishes in a top-quality race, they never got within touching distance of the winner at the front of the field. Bob Baffert's Hoppertunity
) and Japanese raider, Gold Dream
) both bring Graded winning form into the race, but whether either are quick enough to stay with the market leaders is debatable.
Mubtaahij has a Dubai World Cup title to his name and pushed California Chrome for a long way in this race last year, so he deserves to go to post as the second favourite. Gun Runner is always capable of putting in a good quality display, but in truth, this year’s Dubai World Cup looks to be ARROGATE’S for the taking.
Arrogate is the new star of the flat racing scene. California Chrome, at the peak of his powers, could only get within half-a-length of his adversary when the duo crossed the line in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Bob Baffert hasn’t managed to get his hands on the Dubai World Cup since Silver Charm sprinted to the title in 1998 and it would take a brave man to bet against his name being etched into the trophy on March 25th. A very brave man, indeed.
25/3/2017 5:00pm Meydan selection – ARROGATE (1/3 PaddyPower)