Dubai: The $2 million (Dh7.34 illion) Dubai Golden Shaheen is the first Group 1 race on the dirt on Dubai World Cup night and it is always a real thrill to enjoy.
A mixture of old favourites and young pretenders clash in this speedster’s delight. Run at a breakneck speed round a bend, it’s one of the most thrilling races.
Looking for this winner is usually difficult and a lot of talk is about the draw. Most winners have come from Gate 2 over the years, but more recently they have come from right across the track. So a draw-bias is limited, especially if you jump out quickly.
Out of stall, ten Reynaldothewizard will jump and the evergreen 2013 Dubai Golden Shaheen champion really has become a local favourite not just for his longevity but his sustained success. At the age of ten, he is more than capable of putting up another bold show. He really is a credit to his team and to get the best out of him, his trainer Satish Seemar knows he needs to run fresh.
X Y Jet looks like the one to beat. Arriving here aiming to make it six wins on the trot, the American challenger will be confident. Although he has not done it at the highest level, his form looks rock solid with Graded wins and he sets the standard both with results and consistency. Horses from the USA have won ten times in the past and with that track record he certainly will be well supported.
With the good American record we should look at the other challenger from “across the pond” and that is Godolphin’s representative Confrontation who like Frosted later is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. He looked excellent when winning the Firebreak Stakes so comes here fresh and should be one to watch. It is the first time running over this distance since 2014 when he incidentally won. Do not be put off by this and nothing will be staying on stronger than him come the end.
Muarrab is another local favourite having picked up lots of popularity at his beloved Jebel Ali. However he proved he was not a one trick pony when absolutely destroying the field in the Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday seeing off two of today’s opponents in Kifaah and Rich Tapestry. There is no reason to doubt that form so he will be very popular with Pick 7 players on tonight.
If horses for courses is anything to go by we should look for horses that have performed well in this race. Rich Tapestry for Hong Kong was runner up two years ago and is back again for another try. Michael Chang’s pride and joy has been trained for the race this year and Gerard Mosse is an exceptional booking. Super Jockey was runner up last year and also is trained in Hong Kong. He was not really tipped up in many quarters and ran a race that nearly came off and he will be hoping to get close again. This race will have been in connections minds for a long time so keep an eye on him.
Dhruba Salvaratnam is jointly the most successful trainer and his representative Morawij will need a career best to feature. Domineer are the other two from Hong Kong who aim to make a big impression and the former is more fancied of the two. And with the help of Frankie Detorri, he could get very close.
This is another very difficult race to predict the outcome of but with the American dominance in the race and the confidence X Y Jet arrives with he is going to be our selection. Muarrab has to be the one who will push him very close with Confrontation running on at the end strongly.
1. X Y Jet