Timeform Smartplays: Dubai World Cup Night

Who will you be backing on Dubai World Cup night?

Timeform's Dubai Handicapper Stephen Molyneux goes through the Dubai World Cup night card, picking out his best bets.

"Tenenbaum is my idea of the best bet of the meeting in the Dubai Gold Cup at 13:45."

A lot of the talk about those in the Godolphin Mile (13:10) surrounds Soft Falling Rain and he could literally still be anything, but his form in Dubai isn't particularly strong and I think Surfer offers plenty of value against him. Surfer has finished behind Hunter's Light on his last two starts, both over further than the 1m he runs over on World Cup night, and the drop in trip looks sure to suit given he hit the front on both of those occasions before tiring. He is well drawn and looks to have slipped under the radar a little bit.

Tenenbaum is my idea of the best bet of the meeting in the Dubai Gold Cup at 13:45. He was patiently handled by Andre Fabre last year, progressing as he stepped up in trip, and he caught my eye on his recent reappearance when staying on steadily into fourth behind Ahzeemah, set too much to do and faring much better than Saddler's Rock, for all the prices don't reflect that.

What value there was in backing Secret Number for the UAE Derby at 14:25 has all gone and I think Lines of Battle can upset the favourite. It wouldn't be much of an upset in truth, Aidan O'Brien's charge thought good enough to run in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf last year, and he was far from disgraced having been forced wide throughout. Daddy Long Legs had a similar profile to this one prior to winning the race 12 months ago and Lines Of Battle is worth supporting to repeat the feat.

Shea Shea is a short price in the Al Quoz Sprint at 15:05 but he's very difficult to oppose. Like so many of the Mike de Kock runners, he was badly in need of his reappearance before showing his true colours last time when bolting up in the Meydan Sprint. He had several of his rivals in behind, and whilst the likes of Sole Power and Spirit Quartz can be expected to finish closer with that run under their belts, it will be a surprise if either are good enough to reverse form.

The Dubai Golden Shaheen at 15:45 looks far harder to solve. Mental was impressive on his reappearance and is a worthy favourite but the draw is hardly ideal so it might be worth trying to find something at a bigger price and Kavanagh fits the bill. On the book he isn't entitled to beat Mental, he was a length behind him in the Al Shindagha Sprint and is now 5 lb worse off, but he went for home soon enough that day before Mental pounced from much further back. Kavanagh has won on turf since then and is worth risking at double-figure odds.

Trade Storm is priced up more on visual impression than solid form in the 16:40 but in a race where nothing can boast a solid profile, it is worth sticking with David Simcock's charge. He has flourished in Dubai this season, winning his last two starts with loads in hand, and whilst he is a prisoner to luck given how he is ridden, he has the right man for the job in Jamie Spencer. Godolphin are reportedly very confident about Sajjhaa and you could do worse than back the pair.

It's hard to know what to make of Gentildonna in the Dubai Sheema Classic at 17:20, and a short price is enough to have me looking elsewhere. Await The Dawn probably didn't achieve a great deal when winning a handicap on his penultimate start but he was very impressive in doing so and I maintain he wasn't seen to best effect in a messy race more recently. There should be a sound pace on here, which will suit Await The Dawn who is being reinvented by Mike de Kock as a hold-up horse and he is the value call.

The World Cup itself which concludes matters at 18:05 is a cracking renewal and I think Godolphin can win it. Whether it is with Hunter's Light or African Story I am not quite sure, the latter certainly a very interesting runner given the Godolphin Mile would have been a far easier assignment. He should stay and needs to be kept safe but Hunter's Light just gets the verdict. He can boast an excellent strike rate, clearly loves this tapeta surface and is positively thriving at present, a good draw in stall 4 sealing matters.

Timeform's Dubai Smartplays
All times GMT
Back Surfer in the 13:10
Back Tenenbaum in the 13:45 (NAP)
Back Lines Of Battle in the 14:25
Back Shea Shea in the 15:05 (NB)
Back Kavanagh in the 15:45
Back Trade Storm in the 16:40
Back Await The Dawn in the 17:20
Back Hunter's Light in the 18:05

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