Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Thursday 16th January 2014
Racing UK
Shuruq Won a Weak Race at Meydan

The Dubai World Cup Carnival got underway last week and it was very much a case of as you were as the superpowers of Godolphin and Mike De Kock dominated proceedings.

Courtesy of the tremendous service provided by Trakus I have had a look at how all the races were run last week, and as such how individual performances were achieved. The sectionals timings tell us exactly what happened in the race and throw up some horses we should be interested in, and some we should look to avoid. 

Longines Master Collection Handicap - Ahtoug:

The sectional timings show that this race was one in which the middle section of the race was too hot and those that made a big move at the halfway point suffered late on in the race.

The best example of this is Desert Law. Between the three pole and the one furlong point this horse made a massive effort. His sectionals were the fastest in the field and then in the final furlong he paid for the big mid-race move that he had made.

He should be backed next time in the hope that his effort is better timed.

In the latter stages of the race it is impossible not to notice the late headway of Roicead. Do not be deceived, though, he only started racing once the likes of Desert Law had done their running and the yards he gained late on were very cheap. He is one to avoid.

Avoid: Roicead

Longines Saint Imier Handicap - Busker:

Busker came from off the pace to win. Indeed the first three home came from some way off the pace.

This does not necessarily mean that the pace was too strong, such a generalisation is used in racing analysis too much.

The figures tell us that the pace was steady early on where James Doyle dictated matters on Izaaj. In fact he took them along at a steady pace for the first four furlongs.

It is clear that the other jockeys were anxious to prevent the race turning into a sprint and just before halfway the pace was really cranked up as Silvestre De Sousa roared Transparent to the front. Thus although the pace was steady early, it picked up to such an extent and far enough from home for the race to fall in to the hands of the closers.

The big move made by Transparent did for him in the last furlong and a half and he looked very awkward under pressure. He is one to avoid.

Avoid: Transparent

Longines – Dolce Vita Handicap -Fulbright:

The winner gave the impression that he was much better than these. He easily ran down Modern History from off the pace and is clearly a horse who could make a splash in Pattern company.

He is unexposed on artificial surfaces and can go in again in a handicap before stepping up in grade. Ahmed Ajtebi went a shade too fast on the leader, Modern History.

Between the four and the six pole he fired in sub 12-second furlongs when not under any pace pressure.

If he had got an easier time on the lead he may have been able to steal the race. He could take a handicap at the Car vial but there is just a feeling that this was his day. Fulbright on the other hand will have bigger days.

Singspiel Stakes - Mushreq:

The pace was an even one set by Artigiano. The winner was always well placed. The runner-up, Gabrial was a little keen early on and came from the rear, but was not inconvenienced by being patiently ridden.

The third horse was Artigiano, who had every chance from the front. This is very much a race to take at face value, however, one horse stands out as one to follow. Do It All tracked the pace early on, but for the third time on the card Silvestre De Sousa felt as if he had to get on with things at halfway. Not content with a good position just tracking the pace he felt compelled to go to the front at halfway, and whilst this did not cost him the race it means that Do It All is capable of better.

As for De Sousa I get the impression he is really anxious to make a point, to prove he is Godolphin's No. 1 rider and his anxiety has caused him to ride with a little more aggression than usual. He will do better through the Carnival.

Al Maktoum Challenge -  Shuruq:

A decidedly weak and underwhelming renewal of the Al Maktoum Challenge. The winning filly is very tough and ground it out from a position in mid division. The runner-up, Empire Storm, was perfectly ridden from the front by Kieran Fallon and ran an absolute blinder for Mick Attwater.

He was, however, seen to best effect and may not be able to back this effort up. The winner was something of a shock winner of the UAE Oaks last season. She lacks pace and is not one to be interested in as far as the Dubai World Cup Is concerned. Nonetheless she did well to peg back the perfectly ridden runner-up.

Avoid: Empire Storm

Longines Conquest Classic Handicap - Anaerobio:

The winner was impressive and won with plenty in hand from two exposed types in Iguazu Falls and Dafeef. Both the second and third inherited those positions having been held up in the early stages of the contest. They must be flattered by their finishing positions. Anaerobio was much the best and is worth following next time, while both the second and third should be opposed.

Avoid: Dafeef and Iguazu Falls.

I hope you find those notes of some use as we work our way through the rest of the Carnival.

As for Thursday’s action, it is the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Trials and both contests look tough to call. They are races to watch, rather than get involved in. I would prefer to get involved with Cat O' Mountain in the handicap at 2.30.

This horse is unbeaten on a synthetic surface and I believe he can make it five from five this afternoon.

His win in September at Kempton where he beat Ningara was particularly impressive. A short break will have refreshed him and a mark of 100 from a decent draw in stall three gives him every chance.

Angus's Thursday tip:

2.30 Meydan: Cat O' Mountain at 3-1 with BetVictor