Kirby Calls It: All Weather champion previews Meydan
12:40 GODOLPHIN MILE (GROUP 2) (DIRT) (3yo+) 16 runners 1m Fast
I ride Dark Emerald here for Brendan Powell. The horse has improved beyond recognition since last May. He was rated 83 that day and runs on Saturday off a mark of 112. I think he has a good chance. I’m hopeful; the only thing that I’m slightly concerned about is the surface. His best form is on the turf but if he can translate it to the dirt he’ll be there or thereabouts. He needs to hit the gate. The last few times he’s been held up a little bit. He needs to get the gate on that track and on that surface he needs to be in the firing line, because they don’t hang around. They’ll do a serious gallop. It’s a very competitive race. They’ve all been running out there, they will get a serious amount of speed on and it’ll be the survival of the fittest. As for dangers, well I’d have to say every single one of them is a danger, this is not Wolverhampton! These are serious animals. Tamarkuz is top rated, has won his all three races and has a devastating turn of foot. Ironically enough he won his maiden at Wolverhampton and he’s is the one that could take all the beating. But if things fall right for my fella, he’ll run a big race.
1:15 DUBAI GOLD CUP (GROUP 2) (TURF) (3yo+) 15 runners 2m Good
There’s seems to be plenty of confidence behind Brown Panther but again it’s a very open race. There are some very good horses in there however, if he turns up in good nick, he’ll be a hard horse to peg back. Dubday has done all his winning in Doha and although he ran a shocker in the Classic here last year, this could be more his cup of tea. He’s in good form and has Frankie Dettori for assistance. Marzocco is a really nice horse and one I could definitely see being involved at the business end. If I was to choose one I’d go for Tom Dascombe’s runner, it would be a nice win for him.
1:55 UAE DERBY GROUP (GROUP 2) (DIRT) (3yo) 10 runners 1m1f110y Fast
Golden Barows will probably start favourite here. I haven’t seen any of his races but Ryan Moore rode him twice in Tokyo back in November and will be aboard on Saturday. His last win was only in Listed class so he will have to step up to win this. I haven’t sat on Sir Fever for Mr Appleby but I think he won ten on the spin in Uruguay, starting odds on in every race before he joined Godolphin. I saw his last run when he was second at Meydan. He’s a big strong horse and ran well on the dirt, they went a good gallop and he travelled round well and looked like he was going to do something but met one too good on the day. I’d like to think that run could bring him on. But if I was to choose one and although not knowing his form very well, the Ryan Moore horse could be anything and would get my vote.
2:30 AL QUOZ SPRINT (GROUP 1) (TURF) (3yo+) 16 runners 5f Good
I ride Caspian Prince for Tony Carroll here. It’s going to be a mad dash, a very fast run race. I’ll probably be tracking the leaders but there’s going to be a lot of horses coming late including the likes of Sole Power. Hototo will be in the firing line all the way. It will be a proper flying five and it’s a very open race. Mr Appleby’s horse Ahtoug is an alright horse. He travels up nicely. James gave him a good ride when he won on him a couple of starts ago getting him up on the line. But I like my horse. He’s got good form. Ignore his last run he had an excuse for running poorly last time. But if he hits the gate, I’m not saying he’s going to win but it could take some catching! At 20/1 I wouldn’t put anybody off backing him each way. I expect Sole Power to run a nice race too.
3:05 DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN (GROUP 1) (DIRT) (3yo+) 14 runners 6f Fast
I don’t have a ride in this race but if I was given the choice, I’d probably go for Salutos Amigos he has looked quite good. They think a bit of him. He has a fine record on Dirt in America and although he’s yet to win above Grade 3 company he was very impressive on his last start. Super Jockey has some okay form in Hong Kong and has the right man on board in Ryan Moore. He could go well at a big price.
3:40 DUBAI TURF (GROUP 1) (TURF) (3yo+) 10 runners 1m1f Good
This is a proper race. Solow looks very smart. He’s won his last four and looked like a very good horse on his last start. His trainer seems very bullish. But he’ll earn it as Farraaj is no mug. Trade Storm is a good horse; The Great Gatsby is a good horse. Euro Charline is a very good filly. I wouldn’t want to pick between them but I had the choice of one I’d love to ride Euro Charline. I’ve ridden her before, she’s a sweet filly. She’s decent make no mistake about that, she a very good filly, I rode her in the Guineas last May and she really has improved since then. But she’s taking on the boys and it will be a tough ask, but I think she’ll run a big race.
4:15 DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC (GROUP 1) (TURF) (3yo+) 9 runners 1m4f11y Good
True Story is an interesting horse in this race. There was a lot promised of him last year and he just didn’t seem to deliver but he’s running well now and has got his confidence back. I wouldn’t rule him out. I thought he ran okay on his last start and could run a lot better than his odds suggest. Harp Star has disappointed a little. She was very well fancied in the Arc and her form since isn’t anything special but the big long straight will help her. If I had a choice of a ride in this, I’d go for Main Sequence. I’ve followed the horse over the years and he wasn’t at his best in England but seems back to his best now. If you recall he was second to Camelot in the 2012 Derby but has really thrived on fast ground since joining Graham Motion in the USA. He has won four successive Grade one races and I think he’ll take all the beating on Saturday.
5:00 DUBAI WORLD CUP (Group 1) (Dirt) (3yo+) 9 runners Fast
This is going to be a great race. The obvious place to start is with California Chrome. He failed in his bid to land the Triple Crown last season when only fourth at Belmont, and disappointed a little bit after that but bounced back to form when winning a Grade 1 at Del Mar in November. He ran a nice race in early February and that should have him spot on for this. African Story won this on Tapeta but he’s continued in good form on Dirt having beaten his Prince Bishop on Super Saturday. Hokko Tarumae is no mug too; it has the makings of a cracker. But if I had the choice of any horse in the race it would have to California Chrome in a very open looking renewal.