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Golden Shaheen preview

Now we get serious in the Dubai World Cup night previews with the sprints and some Aussie representation! For the last of his previews, it's back to David Haddrell from Star Sports ... @davidhaddrell.

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Golden Shaheen

The Golden Shaheen is a 6f Group One run on Meydan's Tapeta track and it's a real test of speed. After a couple of below par years with Rocket Man attracting all attention, we've got an open contest with candidates from all corners of the globe lining up.

1. Frederick Engels - Former UK sprinter who won the Norfolk and July Cup as a two year old for David Brown before being sold to Hong Kong. Really took a while to adjust to life in the former British colony but has recently been thriving and was recently touched off by top HK sprinters Eagle Regiment and Lucky Nine. It'll be interesting to see how Eagle Regiment gets on in the Al Quoz as a handle on this fella's form on a world stage and they could even be worth a small double. Connections claim that Fred has been loving the Tapeta surface and they seem pretty bullish. Drawn against the rail and whilst he's been held up in HK, he was a prominent racer in the UK and I think that'll be the way he'll be ridden here. Very interesting runner and would be dangerous to discount him.

2. Gordon Lord Byron - Improved beyond all recognition in 2012 having run in a handicap off 88 less that twelve months ago. Touched off in the Haydock Sprint Cup before winning a soft Prix Foret on Arc weekend at Longchamp. Has handled the synthetic surface very well at Dundalk so got to presume he will handle this too. Travelling is no problem for him, he finished fourth in Hong Kong at the end of last year and he's had a prep for this. My issue is he's thrown in against hardened worldwide Group One sprinters here and on a surface he's not run on before, he's worth opposing at his relatively skinny price given the opposition.

3. Trinniberg - The US champion sprinter having taken the Breeders Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on dirt in November. He's got a nice draw for one that likes to get on with things but the big problem I have with him is that he's never run on synthetics and that's a huge question mark for a horse travelling here at single figures for me. If he takes to the surface, he'll probably win but it's a big ask given how many American horses have struggled here in recent years.

4. Reply - Decent two year old for Ballydoyle but barely did a jot in 2012 and returns here fresh as a four year old on a surface he's never encountered before after looking like he didn't train on last year. Couldn't have him at all and if he was trained by anyone else, he'd be 100/1.

5. Reynaldothewizard - There must be something in the water at Mr Seemar's gaff as this one and a couple of others from there have improved beyond all recognition this winter. He is a Meydan legend and has been round more times than the tractor and he somehow won the trial for this race last time out by four lengths. On that form, he'd have a shout but his performances on the clock haven't backed them up and I suspect he will struggle here against some serious sprinters and there's not really much juice in his price.

6. Balmont Mast - Irish raider who has been running well here but bumping into horses like Mental and Reynaldothewizard. Not really much to put in his favour regarding why he can reverse those places but he wasn't given the best of rides and he is one that I think will outrun his 40/1 price, probably without getting paid.

7. Kavanagh - Finished behind Mental on Tapeta before beating Ballista on turf. That is't Group One sprinting form but he does look like the type of De Kock horses which just keeps on improving when on a roll and he was only beat a length by Mental despite it looking like it could be more. The time of his turf win was sensational, one of the best ratings of the carnival and I have a feeling he could improve again and give Mental something to think about. 11/1 is a big EW price for me.

8. United Color - Former Italian horse who's got a soft Italian Group 3 and a Meydan handicap to his name. Unbeaten on the track but that's as he was beating handicappers. Hard to see him taking a hand in this.

9. Kaisei Legend - Japanese sprinter who has a couple of listed dirt sprints on his CV out there. Started this year with two shockers round Tokyo in better class over further and was put in his place. Extremely unlikely winner.

10. Mental - Top class Australian sprinter who showed them all how it was done in his only Dubai run beating Kavanagh over C&D comfortably. Clearly a very talented sprinter and one they'll probably take to war at Ascot. Deserves to be favourite but I'm not rushing to take 3/1 with Barzalona onboard from the 10 box.

11. Tamaathul - Solid handicapper in the UAE but well beaten by Kavanagh and Mental this year and that won't be changing here.

12. Private Zone - Well backed at the start of the week and his American connections are apparently bullish of a big run despite the wide draw. Certainly has the form and has handled synthetics in the States. Pedroza has a job getting to the front from 12 though and whilst I can see why he was backed at 20s, I'm not sure if I'd be so keen to take 12. Dangerous to rule out though and potentially the surprise package but not for me at the price.

13. Krypton Factor - Last year's winner comes into this in lesser form than last year having seeing the rear of both Mental and Reynaldothewizard. Fallon gets on with him very well but he's going to have to produce something special to get the boy's 2012 sparkle back in a stronger race than last year from the outside stall.

A fascinating race and whilst Mental is the one to beat with all the ticks in most of the boxes, the half ticks in the draw and jockey boxes are enough to put me off in a race this strong. I was torn between something new in Frederick Engels and something to reverse the form in Kavanagh. Mike De Kock's charge looked like he was an upward curve last time out and whilst all the attention has been on his sprinter in the turf race, this lad could spring a surprise and he'd be my bet at 11s.

Advice: Back Kavanagh EW at 11/1 but perhaps have a saver with Frederick Engels

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