Friday, March 6, 2015

Dubai World Cup Carnival 2015

Racing blog - Mar 7-8 - North America
Cheltenham - Mar 10-13


SUPER SATURDAY, MARCH 7, DUBAI WORLD CUP CARNIVAL.  This will be the last of the preps as next up on March 28 will be the WORLD CUP DAY.

Several running this Saturday have already won or placed high in races during the Carnival, including MUBTAAHIJ, LAYL (Street Cry), TAMARKUZ (Speightstown), ROMANSH (Bernardini), HUNTERS LIGHT. 

AFRICAN STORY, who won the World Cup last year, and the ever popular FRANKYFOURFINGERS are entered in the 10f AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE on Saturday, a prep for the WORLD CUP. 

One of the horses running this Saturday has possible Kentucky Derby implications:  MUBTAAHIJ is slated for the 9.5 furlong AL BASTAKIYA (Race 2), on the dirt, the prep for the UAE DERBY on World Cup Day, a prep for the KY Derby with 100-40-20-10 points on the line to qualify to get in the KY Derby gate.  Also entered in this race is the Uruguyan sensation, SIR FEVER, who has yet to prove his form against top competition. (Scroll down for more on this horse)

The other who has been nominated to the KY Derby is MAFTOOL, who will be entered in the UAE Derby also, won the UAE 2000 Guineas on Feb. 12.  You will find that race replay below as well.

You can quickly review all of the previous stakes preps below at the bottom of this blog at the Calendar and Stakes Replay section. No need to hunt for a particular race at the AmWest video site or the YouTube Dubai Fan Channel.  Your best bet are the replays I have posted below, which will get you familiar with the horses that have had success at the Carnival.

An all-time favorite, 9 year old gelding, REYNALDOTHEWIZARD has won twice at the Carnival: on Jan. 15, in the Dubawi, and on Feb. 12 in the Al Shimdagha.  Those races can be found below.

Finally, RON THE GREEK (new name, Wattani) has had a phenomenal run in the desert, with several wins, most recently Feb. 14.  Here is a link to his Horse Racing Nation page. Ron The Greek - Horse Racing Nation - Page with Race Replays  Scroll down to the comments at HRN to watch several of his races that have been posted there.  In the Dubai Handicapping Show two weeks ago, Joe Kristufek and Pat Cummings updated the Greek's plans for the World Cup: Update on Ron The Greek at 4:50 on the tape.  Posted here is the replay of his impressive win on Feb. 14, 2015 (the race was marred with a spill).
Ron The Greek - Feb. 14 - "Wattani"

Joe Kristufek and Pat Cummings Handicapping Show

Pat Cummings Picks for Super Saturday - click here

UPI Robert Kieckhefer Weekend Peview



Choose either AmWest site or DRF site for full Dubai racing experience

This site is comprehensive, handicapping, entries, race cards, and the LIVE STREAMING for each day's races.  First post for Super Saturday will be around 7:30 a.m. ET with Race 2 (Race 1 is a non-wagering event).

DRF SITE w/cards, live streaming of races, click to see cards, links to handicapping with Pat Cummings and Jeremy Plonk


DRF Dubai Report for Saturday, March 7 - click here


Note:  Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a complete
calendar and replays

2015 World Cup Carnival - Dubai   AmWest Entertainment Racing Carnival Guide
DUBAI WORLD CUP CARNIVAL kicked off Thursday, January 8 and has run each Thursday in January, with a couple of Saturdays later in the meet in February and March.  AmWest Entertainment live streams the races each day of the meet, so no need to miss any of the action.  All the info you need for a complete Dubai Carnival experience at the site.  Pat Cummings and Joe Kristufek provide daily handicapping info via articles and videos, plus free PPs through Super Saturday on  March 7, and World Cup Day, March 28.

The DIRT IS BACK as the main track surface for the first time since American trained Well Armed won the World Cup in 2009.  American participation in the carnival had dwindled in recent years when the main track surface went from dirt to Tapeta in 2010 with the opening of Meydan Racecourse.  Notable US winners included Cigar in the first World Cup in 1996, and followed with wins by other American trained horses included Silver Charm, Roses In May, Pleasantly Perfect, Curlin, all on dirt, and Animal Kingdom in 2013 on the Tapeta surface.  The new dirt surface is expected to lure more horses from the U.S.

Nominees for races for World Cup Day, March 28
Nominees by Nation represented


Scroll past Super Saturday races for more news and catch up with some of the horses that will run on Super Saturday and who are pointed to the grand finale on Saturday, March 28, World Cup Day.

Time ordered races Dubai, NA, Cheltenham - printable file
Above file includes Entries for each of the races.  Or you can print out the Cards file.  Same information, different format.

UPDATE:  Full results for Super Saturday - Replay videos directly below.  Full Carnival results and replays available at the bottom of post in the Schedule/Results section.

7:35 a.m. ET R2 $250,000 Al Bastakiya (L)  3yo – 9.5f – Dirt 
Pat's Picks:  1st - #3 MUBTAAHIJ, 2nd - #2 SIR FEVER, 3rd - #1 AJWAD
Mubtaahij on Derby trail
2015 winner - Mubtaahij  Order of finish: 3-2-1-4        RACE REPLAY

8:00 a.m. ET  R3 $200,000 Mahab Al Shimaal  G3  6f - Dirt
Pat's Picks:  1st - #2 KRYPTON FACTOR, 2nd - #8 COOL COWBOY, 3rd - #9 SPEED HAWK

Shaishee Up to Take the Mahab Al Shimaal
2015 winner - Shaishee  Order of finish:  10-7-9-8     RACE REPLAY

8:45 a.m. ET  R4 $175,000 Meydan Sprint (G3)  5fT
Pat's Picks:  1st - #14 MOVIESTA, 2nd - #15 AHTOUG, 3rd - #8 SOLE POWER

Royal Applause's Sir Maximilian Takes the Meydan Sprint
2015 winner:  Sir Maximilian  Order of finish:  12-15-5-13   RACE REPLAY
9:20 a.m. ET R5  $200,000 Burj Nahaar (G3)  8f – Dirt
Pat's Picks:  1st - #1 TAMARKUZ, 2nd - #6 GOLD CITY, 3rd - #10 LAYL

2015 winner - Tamarkuz   Order of finish:  1-6-10-12      RACE REPLAY

9:55 a.m. ET  R6  $250,000 Dubai City of Gold (G2)  About 12fT
Pat's Picks:  1st - #7 SONGCRAFT, 2nd - #8 SKY HUNTER, 3rd - #4 SHEIKHZAYEDROAD

Sky Hunter rules City Of Gold
2015 winner - Sky Hunter  Order of finish:  8-4-9-5      RACE REPLAY

10:30 a.m. ET R7  $400,000 Al Maktoum Challenge – R3 (G1)  10f Dirt
Pat's Picks:  1st - #4 PRINCE BISHOP, 2nd - #2 STORM BELT, 3rd - #6 TOOLAIN

Pivotal's African Story Adds the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 on the Dirt
2015 winner - African Story - Order of finish:  1-4-5-2-7   RACE REPLAY

11:05 a.m. ET  R8 $300,000 Jebel Hatta (G1)  9fT P

Pat's Picks:  1st - #2 VERCINGETORIX, 2nd - #1 HUNTER’S LIGHT, 3rd - #9 ELLEVAL

Dubawi's Hunter's Light Completes a Group 1 Double for Godolphin in the Jebel Hatta
 2015 winner - Hunter's Light   Order of finish  1-10-6-3   RACE REPLAY

SIR FEVER: Is he the real deal? SIR FEVER, first Uruguyan Triple Crown winner since Invasor, was purchased by Godolphin in a private sale (reported to be the highest ever paid for a Uruguyan horse).
Sir Fever
(Courtesy of John Fulton
 Bloodstock via Facebook)

"Sir Fever brings a profile reminiscent of Invasor, who compiled a perfect career in Uruguay culminating in that nation's Triple Crown. Sir Fever boasts a perfect 10-for-10 record, winning his races fairly easily, by open lengths. He will now try to translate his unbeaten form ...from his home track of Maronas to the world stage, beginning in Dubai. According to Turf Diario, his major target could be the March 28 U.A.E. Derby, or possibly even the Dubai World Cup."   From Brisnet, read more

You can watch him live on Dubai's Super Saturday tomorrow if you can get up early enough to watch his Meydan debut for new owners, Godolphin. He will be putting his perfect record on the line against Mubtaahij in the Al Bastakiya S, a prep for the UAE Derby, itself a prep for the KY Derby. This will be a test to see if Sir Fever can live up to his being compared to the great Invasor. Until now, his record has been against questionable competition. He gets the services of top Godolphin rider William Buick. 

It looks a tall order for Sir Fever on his first start, given the streetwise nature of Mubtaahij, and his superior fitness, but the suspicion is that Sir Fever could be really something special. Meydan holds its breath.
Dubai World Cup winner African Story to try Meydan’s dirt again
Saeed bin Suroor will test the waters to see whether his stable star African Story can act on dirt once again after the Dubai World Cup winner headed the cast for Saturday’s concluding round of the Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan Racecourse.

African Story received a mighty amount of kickback when chasing Capital Attraction around the rail when seventh in the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge last month.

Immediately after the race, Bin Suroor suggested a return to turf might be in order, but with Godolphin’s World Cup cupboard decidedly threadbare, the Quoz trainer will hand the eight-year-old chestnut gelding a second chance.

Since that race, the dirt surface at Meydan has bedded down enough for records to tumble at the region’s flagship course this past Thursday.

Price Is Truth, Pit Stop and Mashaaref all lowered record times, suggesting that the dirt is beginning to ride differently than at the beginning of the season, when the kickback was likened by horsemen to a spray of dust.

The change in conditions could well aid African Story.

African Story is the highest-rated horse on the eight-race Super Saturday card, and could be joined in the 2,000-metre Grade 1 race by stablemate Prince Bishop, who was edged out of the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge by Frankyfourfingers, who also has been entered.


More Dubai Carnival news
Super Jockey comes in late to earn Golden Shaheen call-up
Powell star Emerald in line for Godolphin Mile
Soumillon and Cladocera cruise to Balanchine Stakes victory at Dubai World Cup Carnival
Safety Check locks up impressive hat trick at Dubai World Cup Carnival
Versatile Local Time merits a run in next month’s UAE Derby
Masterstroke as Fownes' Art brushes aside field 
Irish import acclimatises quickly to return Caspar Fownes to the winner's circle

Other sites to explore:


Sprint star Sole Power set for Super Saturday
03 Mar 2015 | 

Top sprinter Sole Power could start his 2015 campaign on Meydan's Super Saturday card in the Group 3 Meydan Sprint.
The 5f race, which is sponsored by Arabian Adventures, has attracted 27 entries including the Olly Stevens-trained Extortionist and recent Meydan winner Caspian Prince, the star of Tony Carroll's yard.

Four-time Group 1 winner Sole Power, who looked as good as ever when recording his second wins in the King's Stand Stakes and Nunthorpe Stakes last year, has used the Meydan Sprint to start his seasons in 2013 and 2014 and Saturday's race will likely act as a stepping stone to the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night on March 28.
David Simcock, who has Caspar Netscher engaged against Sole Power, could run Sheikhzayedroad in the Dubai City of Gold, which is a trial for the Dubai Sheema Classic at the end of the month.

The classy Vercingetorix is top rated in the DP Dubai Turf trial, the Group 1 Jebel Hatta, while last year's World Cup winner African Story could prep for this year's race in round three of the Al Maktoum Challenge, despite connections seemingly ruling out another run on dirt when he was beaten in round two last month.


Next stop Dubai as Rome aims to conquer the desert  
Reigning Horse of the Year, DESIGNS ON ROME, puts in '110 per cent effort' and makes short work of Gold Cup field as trainer John Moore eyes the Sheema Classic

Kellie Reilly, Brisnet:  Feb. 18:  Will Maftool and Mubtaahij bring their rivalry to Churchill?
"Godolphin's Maftool (Hard Spun) and the Mike de Kock-trained Mubtaahij (Dubawi) fought out a spine-tingling finish in last Thursday's U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-G3), drawing 10 3/4 lengths clear of third and stamping themselves as a pair of quality three-year-olds.

"Both U.S. Triple Crown nominees, the duo had competed in Meydan's
Guineas trial, with a different result. Mubtaahij rolled to a five-length victory in track-record time that day, with a slow-starting Maftool a creditable third in the circumstances.

"The acid test for that hypothesis will come later in the Carnival. Either way, since the U.A.E. Derby offers a total of 170 points toward the Kentucky Derby (G1), Maftool and Mubtaahij could earn enough points to carry their rivalry to Churchill Downs."  Note:  Scroll to the bottom to watch 2000 Guineas Trial Jan. 15, and then the 2000 Guineas Feb. 12 to see the rivalry in action  Read more

Kellie Reilly, Brisnet, thinks the time may be right for foreign invaders at Meydan
"The biggest storyline coming out of Round 2 was the subpar effort by African Story, whose turn of foot on synthetic deserted him on dirt, and he wound up a one-paced seventh. In the immediate aftermath, bin Suroor reportedly said that was African Story's one and only dirt experiment. Apparently there was a change of heart, or a decision by the Godolphin brain trust. According to Godolphin's website, bin Suroor will give African Story another chance in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-G1) on Super Saturday March 7. Prince Bishop is likewise aiming for another title defense in that course-and-distance prep for the World Cup."

"With the locals looking suspect, thoughts turn to the internationals to find the World Cup winner. While California Chrome's (Lucky Pulpit) forward running style is tailor made for this track, he's not the only one with logical claims. Toast of New York (Thewayyouare), who beat Chrome when second in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1); Constitution (Tapit); Tonalist (Tapit); the old warhorse Ron the Greek (Full Mandate), who is in sparkling form at present in Saudi Arabia; Japanese dirt star Hokko Tarumae (King Kamehameha); and Japan Cup (Jpn-G1) romper Epiphaneia (Symboli Kris S) are all waiting in the wings."


 2015 DWCC Meydan Stakes Schedule
and Results/Race Replays

Completed races


The relevant/important Carnival stakes races results/replays are posted below by date.  To look at all the finishers in each race, click on the RESULTS PAGE - AMWEST above.  Recommend watching the past races and getting to know the horses.  Many are running on Saturday, and many will run on World Cup Day. 


Thursday, 8 January 2015
$250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge – Round 1 (G2)
1,600 metres – Dirt                          RACE REPLAY

2015 winner: Surfer (USA) Dirt
2014 winner: Shuruq (USA) – Tapeta

$150,000 Singspiel Stakes (Listed)
1,800 metres – Turf                                   RACE REPLAY
2015 winner: True Story (GB) Turf
2014 winner: Mushreq (AUS)

Thursday, 15 January 2015
$150,000 Dubawi Stakes (Listed)
1,200 metres – Dirt
2015 winner: Renaldothewizard (USA) Dirt         RACE REPLAY
2014 winner: United Color (USA) – Tapeta

Reynaldothewizard shows he's still got magic

$75,000 UAE 1000 Guineas Trial
Three-year-olds, Fillies – 1,400 metres – Dirt
2015 winner: Local Time (GB) Dirt                      RACE REPLAY
2014 winner: Wedding Ring (IRE) – Tapeta

$75,000 UAE 2000 Guineas Trial
Three-year-olds, Colts & Geldings – 1,400 metres – Dirt
2015 winner: Mubtaahij (Ire) Dirt               RACE REPLAY  
2014 winner: Emirates Flyer (GB) – Tapeta

Thursday, 22 January 2015
$250,000 Al Fahidi Fort (G2)
1,400 metres – Turf                         RACE REPLAY
2015 winner: Safety Check (Ire) Turf 2014 winner: Anaerobio (ARG)

Thursday, 29 January 2015
$200,000 Al Rashidiya (G2)
1,800 metres – Turf                           RACE REPLAY  
2015 winner: Versingetorix (SAF) Turf
2014 winner: Mujaarib (SAF)

$200,000 Cape Verde (G2)
Fillies and mares – 1,600 metres – Turf
2015 winner: Cladocera (Ger) Turf                       RACE REPLAY
2013 winner: Certify (USA)

Thursday, 5 February 2015
$250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge – R2 (G2)
1,900 metres –  Dirt
2015 winner: Frankyfourfingers (FR) Dirt               RACE REPLAY
2014 winner: Prince Bishop (IRE)

$250,000 UAE 1,000 Guineas (Listed)
Three-year-olds, Fillies – 1,600 metres – Dirt           RACE REPLAY     
2015 winner: Local Time (GB) Dirt
2014 winner: Ihtimal (IRE) – Tapeta

$75,000 Meydan Classic Trial
Three-year-olds – 1,400 metres – Turf                RACE REPLAY
2015 winner: Mastermind (SAF) Turf
2014 winner: He’s No Saint (GB)

Thursday, 12 February 2015
$200,000 Al Shindagha Sprint (G3)
1,200 metres – Dirt    R4
                             RACE REPLAY
2015 winner - Reynaldothewizard
2014 winner: Russian Soul (IRE) – Tapeta

$250,000 UAE 2,000 Guineas (G3)
Three-year-olds – 1,600 metres – Dirt
    R3     RACE REPLAY
2015 winner - Maftool
2014 winner: Long John (AUS) – Tapeta

$200,000 Firebreak Stakes (G3)
1,600 metres – Dirt                      

2015 winner - Tamarkuz (Speightstown)
2014 winner: Variety Club (SAF) – Tapeta

Tamarkuz Brings Up Speightstown Double at Meydan

$175,000 Range Rover Trophy Handicap
9 F  Turf - R7                               RACE REPLAY
2015 winner - Limario
Thursday, 19 February 2015

$175,000 Meydan Sobha Handicap
1000 M (5F) - Turf - R2                      RACE REPLAY
2015 Winner - Caspian Prince (IRE)

$110,000 Meydan Sobha Handicap
1600 M (8F) - Dirt - R3                                RACE REPLAY
2015 winner - Layl (USA) 

$200,000 Dubai Millennium Stakes (Listed)
2,000 metres (10f) – Turf - R4                 RACE REPLAY
2015 winner:  Hunter's Light (IRE)

2014 winner: Tasaday (GB)

$200,000 Balanchine (G2) F/M
1800 meters - Turf - R6              RACE REPLAY
2015 winner - Cladocera (Ger) 
2014 winner: L’Amour De Ma Vie

Cladocera turns Cape Verdi/Balanchine double
Cladocera takes Balanchine Stakes at Meydan


Thursday, 26 February 2015
$250,000 UAE Oaks (G3)   R3          RACE REPLAY
Three-year-olds, Fillies – 1,900 metres – Dirt

2015 winner - Local Time
2014 winner: Ihtimal (IRE) – Tapeta

Local Time doubles up in Oaks; Safety Check finds no problem in Zabeel

$125,000 Meydan Classic (Listed)  R4
Three-year-olds – 1,600 metres – Turf             RACE REPLAY
2015 winner - Volatile
2014 winner: My Catch (IRE)


$250,000 Zabeel Mile (G2) R6
1,600 metres – Turf                 RACE REPLAY

2015 winner - Safety Check
2014 winner: Mshawish (USA)

Saturday, 28 February 2015
$200,000 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (G3) R6
2,800 metres – Turf                            
2015 winner - Almoonqith

2014 winner: Cavalryman (GB)

Saturday, 7 March 2015 - SUPER SATURDAY

$250,000 Al Bastakiya (Listed)  R2
Three-year-olds – 1,900 metres – Dirt        RACE REPLAY   

2-15 winner:  Mubtaahij  Order of finish:  3-2-1-4
2014 winner: Asmar (IRE) – Tapeta

$200,000 Mahab Al Shimaal    R3 (G3)
1,200 metres – Dirt                             RACE REPLAY
2015 winner:  Shaishee Order of finish:  10-7-9-8
2014 winner:  Rich Tapestry (IRE) – Tapeta

$175,000 Meydan Sprint R4 (G3)
1,000 metres – Turf                RACE REPLAY
2015 winner - Sir Maximilian  Order of finish:  12-15-5-13
2014 winner: Shea Shea

$200,000 Burj Nahaar R5  (G3)
1,600 metres – Dirt                  RACE REPLAY      
2015 winner:  Tamarkuz  Order of finish:  1-6-10-12
2014 winner: Shuruq (USA) – Tapeta

250,000 Dubai City of Gold R6  (G2)
About 2,400 metres – Turf                   RACE REPLAY
2015 winner - Sky Hunger Order of finish:  8-4-9-5
2014 winner: Excellent Result (IRE)

$400,000 Al Maktoum Challenge – R7 (G1)
2,000 metres – Dirt                                  RACE REPLAY

2015 winner - African Story - Order of finish:  1-4-5-2-7
2014 winner: Prince Bishop (IRE) – Tapeta

$300,000 Jebel Hatta   R8 (G1)
1,800 metres – Turf                         RACE REPLAY                      
2015 winner - Hunter's Light - 1 Order of finish: 10-6-3
2014 winner: Vercingetorix (SAF)
Saturday, 28 March 2015 - WORLD CUP DAY
$10,000,000 Dubai World Cup (G1)
2,000 metres – Dirt
2014 winner: African Story (GB)

$6,000,000 Dubai Sheema Classic (G1)
2,400 metres – Turf
2014 winner: Gentildonna (JPN)

$6,000,000 Dubai Duty Free (G1)
1,800 metres – Turf
2014 winner: Just A Way (JPN)

$2,000,000 Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1)
1,200 metres – Dirt
2014 winner: Sterling City (AUS) – Tapeta

$2,000,000 UAE Derby (G2)
1,900 metres – Dirt
2014 winner: Toast of New York (USA) – Tapeta

$1,000,000 Godolphin Mile (G2)
1,600 metres – Dirt
2014 winner: Variety Club (SAF) – Tapeta
$1,000,000 Al Quoz Sprint (G1)
1,000 metres – Turf

2014 winner: Amber Sky (AUS)

$1,000,000 Dubai Gold Cup (G2)
3,200 metres – Turf
2014 winner: Certerach (IRE)

$250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic for purebred Arabians (G1)
2,000 metres – Dirt
2014 winner: Rabbah De Carrere (FR) – Tapeta

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