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Golden Shaheen preview

It's Dubai World Cup weekend when the world racing spotlight turns to the obscenely rich and the delights of Meydan racecourse. Taking on the feature sprint race is international racing aficionado Calum Swan, @calumswanlaw.


Dubai Golden Shaheen
G1 1200m Dirt
1505 GMT

Big Macher- Californian sprinter who climbed the ranks from Maiden Claiming level to G1 winner when besting Goldenscents in the Bing Crosby at Del Mar. Hasn't been able to replicate that level of form since and was below par when only fifth in a G2 when last sighted. Will need to run right up to his best form in order to strike here

Cool Cowboy- Former US speedball who was four from four on Dirt over 1200 metres when based stateside. He lost his unbeaten record over the distance when only 4th on his debut for Watson in the Mahab Al Shimaal, but he travelled really well before tiring late on. His trainer was on record as saying he was a week or two behind schedule for that assignment and improvement from that display can be expected. He looks a big runner at juicy odds

El Padrino- Singapore raider who was known as Ip Man in 2012 when he attacked Meydan first up and broke the course record in a 1400 metre Handicap on the Tapeta. The wheels somewhat came off after that performance and he has been lightly raced since. He did take a local G3 last time but doubtful he will follow up in this field

Krypton Factor- Winner of this race in 2012 on the Tapeta when besting the mighty Rocket Man but not so good nowadays. Well beaten in the trial for this without any obvious excuse and will need to roll back to years if he is to regain his crown

Lucky Nine- Exceptional Hong Kong based sprinter who is approaching the twilight of his career but is still a capable sort at the highest level. He has taken two of his three G1 victories in Singapore and has also ran with credit at the highest level in Australia, Japan and here at Meydan, so travelling is of no concern. He split Aerovelocity and Peniaphobia in his prep for this and that level of form puts him right in the mix here

Salutos Amigos- David Jacobson charge who has rattled up a four-timer at Aquaduct since finishing 7th in the Breeders Cup Sprint in November. He really impressed in accounting for the useful Dads Caps on the slop last time and he looks a sprinter on the upgrade. If he is able to translate his recent form to Dubai then he has every chance of winning outside of NY for the 1st time

Secret Circle- Very consistent 6yo who has finished off the board only once in 15 starts, having seemingly done all of his racing at the highest level. He won at the Breeders Cup as a Juvenile, and then took the G2 Rebel Stakes over 1700 metres at three before reinventing himself as a top grade sprinter when taking the Breeders Cup Sprint at four. Having taken the latter race on only his second start after a 14 month layoff he looked to have the potential to dominate the sprinting ranks in the US. However he is winless in six since and he looks a tight price to get back on the winning trail here

Rich Tapestry- Runner-up in this race last year having taken the prep race on Super Saturday, and has since become the first Hong Kong based horse to win a G1 in the US when taking the Santa Anita Sprint Championship by a nose from Goldenscents. Was unable to back that up when last and heavily eased [reported to have bled] as the chalk in the Breeders Cup Sprint and he hasn't been seen since. His trainer has stated he lost some weight and was dehydrated on arrival in Dubai and he looks massive unders on his first start in five months

Muarrab- Locally based 6yo who has been campaigned disappointingly this season having not been since at Meydan since finishing second in the Dubawi Stakes. He travelled like a dream that day before finding nothing off the bridle and connections didn't hesitate to scuttle back to his beloved Jebel Ali following that display. He has since won two races there at long odds-on, taking his winning streak at the venue to seven. The level of competition is far removed from what he faces here and his light preparation may have left him ill prepared for this challenge. The choice of Hanagan and Looks the best of the home team. He certainly has the talent to compete in this grade, but has he got the toughness

Shaishee- Often a slow starter and took advantage of a pace meltdown when cooking up a shock in the Mahab Al Shimaal. Very possible a similar pace scenario could unfold here and he should be finishing strong at the finish. He remains unexposed over this trip and may have been underestimated by the market. One to keep in mind

Montiridge- Son of Ramonti who was a winner of five races for team Hannon before becoming a disappointing sort at four, having started that season as a 5/1 shot in the Lockinge. Was jettisoned to Saudi Arabia at the end of his 4yo campaign and has returned to form of late, winning his last two over 1400 metres. Hard to quantify that form but likely he will find things happening all too quickly here

Speed Hawk- UK based son of Henny Hughes who has shown an affinity for the Meydan Dirt in a busy carnival campaign. He has travelled best of all on his three tries on the surface but has found little off the bridle each time, and seems to struggle to see out the final 100 metres over thie 1200. Has been placed in the two G3 trials for this race and will do well to match those efforts

Super Jockey- Hong Kong representative who was a winner on his off turf debut last time. He beat a useful field that day, but did get an ideal trip that day and was perhaps a fortunate winner. Does get the benefit of Ryan Moore, who has won on him before, and should run a praiseworthy race whilst finding a few too good

United Color- Ghostzapper colt who was third in this contest last year and showed a return to that level of form when a steady finishing second in the trial. That contest was run at a frantic pace and he picked up the pieces late. Such a pace war has the potential to happen again here and he should be staying on past beaten horses at the end

Verdict- Strong looking renewal which can go the way of the New York Gelding Salut Amigos who arrives in the Gulf having won four on the spin at Aquaduct and looks a sprinter on the up. His prolific trainer has been making bullish noises in the build up and he can complete the five-timer here. Cool Cowboy is entitled to improve from his run in the trial, having fared best of those who ran up with the pace and he is a threat for the in form barn of Doug Watson. Lucky Nine and Shaishee are others to consider.

1 Salutos Amigos
2 Cool Cowboy
3 Lucky Nine


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