Horse Racing Tips

Dubai World Cup Tips: Mark Milligan is backing four on excellent Meydan card

Horse racing at Meydan
Meydan stages the Dubai World Cup on Saturday

Fresh from a profitable Cheltenham, Mark Milligan sets his sights on the desert with four selections on Saturday's Dubai World Cup card...

One of the international highlights of the year takes place in Dubai on Saturday, where Meydan stages the 27th running of the Dubai World Cup at 16:35, which is the highlight of a stellar card that also includes a Purebred Arabian race to kick off proceedings.

It's probably fair to say punters were dealt something of a blow at Wednesday's draw ceremony, where the three horses with the best form were handed the three widest draws in a field of 15.

While it's still likely that one of Country Grammar (14), Algiers (13) or Panthalassa (15) will come out on top, their tasks have been made much more difficult with just a relatively short run to the first turn on the Meydan dirt track.

Of the three, Algiers and Panthalassa have the most tactical speed and it could be that Algiers secures the most favourable position in the early stages.

If he can reproduce the form of his last two wins on the Meydan dirt, he'll be pretty tough to peg back, though the waters are undoubtedly much deeper this time.

The draw has made this race particularly murky from a punting perspective and I think there are better races to bet in earlier on the card.

Take two against the field in Godolphin Mile

The opening thoroughbred race on the card is the Group 2 Godolphin Mile at 12:05, which sees Bathrat Leon attempting to follow up his win in last year's renewal of the race.

That form sets the standard, though not by a great deal, and it's worth noting he was sent off at 80/1 last year, while this time he heads to post as the favourite.

He's also not quite as well drawn as last year, though stall 8 shouldn't pose too many problems for a horse who has plenty of tactical speed.

He might not get the lead to himself this time, as the ex-Us-trained runner Isolate is perfectly drawn to attack from stall 2 under the excellent Tyler Gaffalione.

His two runs for current trainer Doug Watson have come over 6f but he was a winner over a furlong further in the States and I don't see any problems with him lasting out the mile here.

Isolate's form in the US is comparable to just about anything in the field and I like his chances if T-Gaff is aggressive from the gate.

Back Isolate to win 12:05 Meydan at


While Isolate is the main bet in the race, I can't resist a saver on Andre Fabre's Egot, who has the perfect rider on board for his dirt debut in Mickael Barzalona.

Barzalona is by far the best dirt jockey of those that ply their trade at Meydan over the winter and I expect him to be positive on this son of Exceed And Excel, who has dirt influences on the dam's side of his pedigree.

Stall 10 could be better, but with an attacking ride it's not hard to see Egot gaining an early prominent position.

Back Egot To win 12:05 Meydan at


Classy Sight Success has strong claims

Al Dasim's rise through the sprinting ranks this winter has been nothing short of meteoric but he faces the stiffest task of his career so far when taking on some quality sprinters in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at 13:15.

For a horse who started his winning spree in novice company at Wolverhampton in October, to head into this sprint with a favourite's chances is a big feather in the cap of his trainer George Boughey.

However, he's never faced anything of the calibre of the Hong Kong-trained Sight Success and will have his hands full trying to contain this one.

Runner-up to Wellington in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint in December, John Size's 7-y-o went on to win a Group 3 contest there next time before finishing before being placed again at the top level on his most recent start, beaten less than 2 lengths.

That form sets a tall standard for Al Dasim to aim at and he'll need to improve again if he's to down a hard-knocking rival such as this.

With Ryan Moore taking the ride the icing on the cake, Sight Success looks a tremendous bet at around 5/1.

Back Sight Success to win 13:15 Meydan at


Japanese hold the key to Dubai Turf

Japan is strongly represented in virtually every race at this year's meeting, but the cat is well and truly out of the bag regarding their quality and it can be hard to identify value amongst their runners these days.

That said, Serifos looks a tad overpriced in the Dubai Turf at 15:10, with his win in the Group 1 Mile Championship at Hanshin last time arguably the best piece of form on offer.

That was a career-best effort on Timeform ratings from the 4-y-o son of Daiwa Major and a reproduction of that will see him go very close, with the only slight negative being he's unproven over the extra furlong of this trip.

Fellow Japanese-trained runner Do Deuce is another to strongly consider, though he's been well backed over the past few days and is likely to go off favourite.

Lord North is going for the hat-trick in this race having dead-heated with Panthalassa last year and should put up a bold show, while Godolphin's home team also hold a strong hand, though I'm taking the Japanese to emerge on top.

Back Serifos to win 15:10 Meydan at


Racing... Only Bettor. Watch below.

Recommended bets

Mark's P/L

Staked: 337 Returns: 415.07 P/L: +78.07


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