Next up on Meydan previews is the Golden Shaheen, the G1 sprint for dirt racers. Once again with the preview, it's international racing guru Davy Lane, @loscharruas.
Group 1, US$2,000,000
1845 local, 1445 GMT, 0145 AEDT
Ten go to post in the Golden Shaheen. XY Jet has been a winning machine at Gulfstream Park. Super Jockey, second in the race last year and ridden by the João “Magic Man” Moreira, returns with a shot. As does, Rich Tapestry, third last year, with the seasoned Gerard Mosse aboard. The Maktoum brothers are each throwing respectable speed into the mix.
The market suggests it is a one horse race. And it promises to be so for at least four or five furlongs. Can anyone catch XY Jet? I 'bet the farm' on the Florida beast a few weeks ago. His latest win over 6.5 furlongs has only cemented my conviction.
XY Jet has been portrayed as an obscure Florida-bred, winning Grade 3 and Conditions races. A closer look at his pedigree on the dam’s side reveals the big hearted beast, Secretariat, to be among the ancestors. XY Jet is no rags to riches story. He is bred for big time glory. The XY Jet team arrived in Dubai with a equine scientist as part of the team. I spoke with the said scientist yesterday. Her readings show XY Jet has never been more relaxed and happy. But if you don’t yet trust the science of horse happiness, then stick with what you know. And this much you should know: Venezuela jockey Emisael Jaramillo has been booked for the ride. He has ridden XY Jet to victory on his last four starts. Jaramillo is no stranger to big race wins, winning the Clásico del Caribe (Carribbean Derby) on four of the last six occasions. And also don’t forget the wisdom of the trainer, Jorge Navarro who said of his charge yesterday, “You see that backside. That’s all the other horses are going to see on race day. That backside!”
The Hong Kong Quartet
On paper Super Jockey is probably the most likely to prevail should XY Jet not find Meydan on race day to his liking. Ryan Moore was aboard last year. João Moreira takes the ride this year. Connections like to give their horse the best possible chance. But how prepared is Super Jockey? He has not run on dirt since his second at Meydan last year. Picking him to pick up the pieces could be construed as a lazy pick based purely on the jockey booking.
Rich Tapestry took advantage of Marking ejecting his rider to win first time out at Meydan, but was woefully exposed beaten 6.5 lengths by Muarrab next time out. I am inclined to pass on both the Hong Kong charges with the name recognition and esteemed jockeys.
This leaves Domineer and Master Kochanwong. On historic race form, Domineer would be the logical next best option, especially with Frankie Dettori booked. But a closer look at the goings on at Sha Tin is always important. They run trials which are often akin to full blown races. Recently, Master Kochanwong and Domineer went at it and if you had seen this contest and the ease in which Master Kochanwong glided to victory, you will be left in no doubt that Master Kochanwong with the old champ Douglas Whyte riding is the value bet in the race. The 20/1 on offer from Paddy Power and Betfair is superb each way value.
The Maktoum Speed
Sheikh Hamdan has the best shot of an upset here with Muarrab. Muarrab went in to notebook with blistering wins up the hill at Jebel Ali late last year. He has taken time to adjust to the level required at Meydan, but his latest victory by six lengths over Kifaah in track record time was super impressive, even if the opposition was weak. Rich Tapestry was clearly not prepared for that race. Nevertheless, Muarrab has done it against the clock and cannot be discounted. Confrontation is a mile horse, but probably a cut or two below Marking. The decision to run him in this race is political. It is hard to advise a bet on the horse in such circumstances. Kifaah will run a respectable race, but he is in here to make up the numbers.
Forget About It
It pains me to include Reynaldothewizard in this category. He was once the wisest of all wiseguy horses, but he’s now a 10 year old, and rightly priced at about 14/1. He won this race back in 2013 and had shown bits of strong winning form between injuries since. Some sentimental punters may be still punt this son of Speightstown, but to be drawn 10 from 10 suggests they would be wise to leave the wizard alone. Morawij brings respectable Jebel Ali form to this. This 6 year old gelding by Exceed and Excel could spring an outrageous surprise and land a place, but too many of the others would have to have off days and there’s too much money at stake for that to happen.
1 XY Jet
2 Master Kochanwong
4 Super Jockey
XY Jet 2/1 - William Hill
Master Kochanwong 20/1 - Paddy Power, Betfair
Bet XY Jet to win, Bet Master Kochanwong to win.
Include XY Jet in all Yankee, Canadians and Heinz bets
Include Master Kochanwong in multiple each way parlays.
Trifecta XY Jet, Master Kochanwong, Muarrab