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Dubai Sheema Classic preview

Ah, the turf. Some international competition. Actually, this is no more international than the the DWC and a smaller field to boot, so that turf v dirt rant doesn't stand up here. Decent field to run around for six million bucks...

Setting his sights on the prize is international racing aficionado and racecalling prodigy, Luke Humphreys, @worldracingluke.

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Dubai Sheema Classic
G1 12f Turf
$US6,000,000
Meydan, 2005 local, 1605 BST

ODDS LISTED ARE BEST AVAILABLE AT TIME OF WRITING

1 Earnshaw (40/1): Finished second to Ectot in G1 Criterium International in 2013. Yet to win in this country for trainer and is trying longer trip here. But finds a few that are a couple of lengths better than him. Savaged line in G1 Jebel Hatta last time and should enjoy going further but as I say is not up to G1 level against horses like this.

2 Jack Hobbs (4/1): Only making start no.10 here would you believe. Second in G1 Derby to Golden Horn in June 2015 and then won the Irish equivalent on the bridle before G3 All-Weather win at Kempton Park and then third in the last two G1 Champion Stakes and between those two thirds, went amiss in G2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket last April. Formline of last run is so so strong with Almanzor, a superstar, and Found, won the Arc and hit line well. Has targeted this race for a long, long time and the trainer is a master in John Gosden. Still untapped if anything. High respect.

3 Highland Reel (9/2): Globetrotting star. Has competed in the French 2000 Guineas, French Derby (second), Irish Derby, Cox Plate (third), this race last year (fourth), Royal Ascot, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (second) two Irish Champion Stakes (fifth, seventh) and has won the G1 King George, G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf and G1 Hong Kong Vase and finished a game second in that race last year last time. Should lead them up here and in a small field could grab another big prize. It might be a similar ride from Ryan Moore to what Seamie Heffernan gave him at Santa Anita two runs back.

4 Sounds Of Earth (16/1): Japanese raider ridden by Christophe Lemaire. Consistent describes him. Second in 2014 G1 Japanese St Leger, second in 2015 G1 Arima Kinen and second in 2016 G1 Japan Cup. Never in the Arima Kinen last time. A length or so off the cream G1 horses in JPN and can grab a place here but is a good horse.

5 Prize Money (10/1): Second at Royal Ascot in G3 Tercentenary to subsequent Eclipse winner Hawkbill. Has won three of four since being gelded including the November Handicap and a career best victory last time when taking the C&D G2 Dubai City of Gold trial event for this over Postponed, who wasn’t at his best. Will drop out the back and try to swamp them with one run and can get into the placings.

6 Seventh Heaven (8/1): Distanced in the Oaks at Epsom but then won the G1 equivalents at the Curragh in Ireland and at Yorkshire beating subsequent Arc heroine Found. She looked a certainty for the G1 British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes after what Found had done a fortnight earlier but never got into the race and then stayed on the same category of race at the Breeders’ Cup over 10f on Turf doing her best work late and if anything was a bit outpaced in the run. She looked a superstar on her G1 Classic victories. Hopefully can bounce back to her best.

7 Postponed (2/1): Was one of the stars of last year. Winning this race brilliantly over Duramente, smashing them in the G1 at Epsom, brilliant over the shorter 10 ½ f at York and then disappointed in the Arc when having every hope. He refused to load for 60+ seconds in the trial race here last time, which he won unextended last year, he got into a tad of trouble in the run and it cost him. If he was at his best he would’ve won but he wasn’t. I was very worried about his attitude before the race. Reluctant to load etc, disappointed at Chantilly, and really whilst he was unlucky last time it was a very weak race for his standards. I have doubts about whether he is the same horse.

Ratings: (2) JACK HOBBS – (3) HIGHLAND REEL - (4) SOUNDS OF EARTH – (7) POSTPONED – (6) SEVENTH HEAVEN – (5) PRIZEMONEY - (1) EARNSHAW

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