We are just over a month away from the Cheltenham Festival and two away from the Grand National but in between those two great days of Racing we have the Dubai World Cup card. We take a look at the Ante Post market for the Dubai World Cup itself…
Meydan based Algiers is currently the 3/1 favourite with Betfred having won back-to-back races at the track to kick-off the 2023 season. Victory in the Grade II Al Maktoum Challenge raised eyebrows but the way the gelding followed that up with a fine win in the second-race of the Al Maktoum Challenge last Friday got people talking.
This six-year-old has had a middling career but is suddenly one of the hottest horses on the planet. To be given favouritism of such a big race shows that the market really respects this son of multiple GI winner Shamardal. The Saudi Cup later in February remains an option but all signs point to him staying in Dubai in March.
A trio of US invaders follow him in the betting and the winner of the Pegasus World Cup is listed as the rank-outsider of the three. I tipped up Art Collector to win that race and I’m certainly not ruling him out from winning yet another big race. This six-year-old has endured quite the up and down career but he keeps winning big races and he legitimately won that race against a good albeit not great field. The 8/1 on offer now seems generous.
Plenty of punters love Country Grammar but this son of Tonalist has always flattered to deceive for me. I know he won this race a year ago with Frankie Dettori in the saddle but domestically he’s always been the nearly horse with his wins coming against less than stellar opposition and when he did face-off against real class acts like Tiz the Law and Flightline, it wasn’t to be. The best win was in this race a year ago when Life is Good really disappointed. Favourites tend to struggle here and I would be swerving this Baffert horse at this juncture. 5/1 for those wanting to bet on him however.
Bobby B has another runner set to ship to the Middle East in Taiba. This Gun Runner colt is one I struggle to fully get behind. A fine way to break his maiden was followed up with a dominant Santa Anita Derby victory but since then his only two wins have come against weak fields albeit in very fast times. If everything breaks right then this four-year-old can win this race but I struggle to trust him. 11/2 with Betfred.
2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is available to back at 10/1 and is a hard pass. Hasn’t won since that day and his only good run was a close second to Hot Rod Charlie in the Grade II Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs. He failed to hit the board in his other four races and you shouldn’t expect anything from him next month.
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