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Dubai Super Saturday

It might be the Festival next week but the action in Dubai is genuinely heating up as we get near Dubai World Cup Day. Today's card is deemed Super Saturday, and timing expert, Steve Lines, @sjlone1, returns with his assessment of the meeting.

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Super Saturday preview

Remember ‘in the day’ when C4 quiz show ’The Morning Line’ presenters had personalities, mainly in the differing shapes of A.Down and J.Francome; when all lads and Dads wanted to be James Bond, wall-to-wall girls and gadgets, Daniel Craig now makes spying look a lot less appetising.

Racing and the media is following suit with Cheltenham….. as things stand a 3/1 winner at Cartmel pays the same as a 3/1 winner at the Gloucestershire course – just easier to find. Willie Mullins tried to explain the Irish Champion Hurdle had good prizemoney and was not a trial race for Cheltenham – the interviewer’s reply started with “yes, but…..”

Also, could the racing channels explain the benefit of knowing Dave from Upper Picklewompton fancies a 33/1 shot in the Martin Pipe?

Do I: a) pick up the phone and follow Dave in for my maximum or
b) reach for the mute button?

Yes, the anticipation before the first race is great, but pick 7 losers and the ‘atmosphere’ loses its gloss! Those staying in the Cotswolds still have the chance to reload by fleecing the Southern Hemisphere barman in the obligatory early-morning poker. Consequently the Dubai Carnival slips under the radar. If you prefer your selections to be based on facts rather than fancies then the sectional timing aspect will appeal. Trakus data logs all relative race positions and speed throughout the contest. Throw these figures into a spreadsheet and form study becomes a whole lot easier.

The Listed Al Bastakiya (1.05) involves a step up in trip for most participants. The figures reveal no hidden gems but a dominance for the Godolphin team. Snowboarder has now moved into the Godolphin colours with Barzalona taking over the ride and has an obvious chance.

Krypton Factor, not surprisingly, heads the figures in Mahab Al Shimaal (2.15).Proven at a higher grade over course and distance nothing else appeals although Balmont Mast could follow him home.

The Burj Nahar (3.25) is made more difficult with the inclusion of American ‘shipper’ Dullahan. A triple Grade 1 winner in the States he is the class in the race, although Godolphin’s Aesop’s Fable also holds Group 1 winning form when triumphant in a weak Prix Jean Prat. African Story was most progressive when winning this race last year but comes here on the back of a 307 day layoff. This may be an opportunity for Moonwalk In Paris to take advantage of race fitness and the chance classier rivals may be prepping for bigger targets. He received a perfect trip last time out but has form figures of 2,1,1,1 on synthetic surfaces (his only defeat coming on racecourse debut).

The Yanks are at it again! They’ve shipped in a triple Grade 1 and Breeders Cup winner in the form of Little Mike. It’s very easy to assume he’s being prepped for the World Cup but with a purse (see what I did there – Americanisms) of £245,399 why would you want to use it as a warm up! Not proven on Tapeta he could easily lead throughout but trying to find the quickest horse is difficult enough without second guessing the trainer/owner. Monterosso falls into the same category. A surprise winner of the World Cup in 2012, finding any pattern to his form eludes me! Hunter’s Light, Mendip and Surfer are all legitimate winners if the Group 1 horses are having an easy! Toooooo difficult bucket – have a stab at the Imperial Cup.

Contestants in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta (4.35) provide little Group 1 form. Igugu disappointed last time but has proved she is capable at this level – but as a six year old mare she is vulnerable. The younger improvers Sharestan and The Apache are priced accordingly. The sectionals show Sharestan had a better trip when finishing behind The Apache last time out so I am not expecting a reversal in form. Sajjhaa has shown improved form this term but this is her stiffest task to date. I won’t be looking any further than the Mike De Kock pair Igugu and The Apache.

The Cheltenham ‘banker’: the Racing Post price to increase on Monday…

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Grade 1 Chase, 2 Miles
Sandown 13:50
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