Dubai World Cup 2023 - Betting Tips & Predictions

An international field lines up in the Grade 1, $12 million Dubai World Cup (4.30pm UK time) at Meydan on Saturday. Runners from the US, France, Japan and Brazil feature in the ten-furlong dirt contest.

Dubai World Cup Features International Field

Favourite is American racing’s newest star, Life Is Good (5-6 with William Hill) Winner of five of his six starts, the four-year-old comes here off a win in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream at the end of January. Prior to that, he won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar in early November. Irad Ortiz, Jr rides.

Life Is Good’s running style is pure speed, and the biggest question mark is if he will be able to hold that speed going ten furlongs. He’s never gone this far in his career. Also, he breaks from the rail in the Dubai World Cup, which could be a huge disadvantage to a speed horse in a field of 11.

He might also have company up front, in the form of second favourite Hot Rod Charlie (7-2, Paddy Power). The Doug O’Neill trainee arrived in Dubai in January in order to acclimate and get a race over the track. This he did, winning Round 2 of the Al Maktoum Challenge over a mile and three-sixteenths, only a half a furlong shorter than the Dubai World Cup, by an authoritative 5 ¼ lengths.

In November, he was fourth to last year’s US Horse of the Year, the now retired Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, over the same trip as the Dubai World Cup. In last year’s 1 ½ mile Belmont Stakes he finished a length and a quarter behind winner Essential Quality.

Country Grammer (12-1, Ladbrokes) was second in the 1 1/8-mile Saudi Cup on February 26 at Riyadh, only a half length behind local longshot winner Emblem Road. He’d been off for nearly nine months, following a win in the Hollywood Gold Cup over the Dubai World Cup trip at Santa Anita on June 1. He only ran twice in 2021, the other being a second in the Grade 2, 1 1/8-mile Californian at Santa Anita in April. Frankie Dettori is aboard for the first time for trainer Bob Baffert.

Midnight Bourbon (12-1 with Coral), trained by Steve Asmussen, was third in the Saudi Cup, but you have to go back a long way to his last win, in a Grade 3 at Fair Grounds in Louisiana in January of last year. However, he was second in last year’s Preakness at 1 3/16 miles, and was only a neck behind winner Essential Quality in the Travers at Saratoga last August over the Dubai World Cup trip. Jose Ortiz rides.

The Andre Fabre-trained Magny Cours (25-1 with Bet365) was third in last year’s Dubai World Cup. He ran third to Lord Glitters in the Group 3 Bahrain International Trophy in November and was a well-beaten tenth in the Saudi Cup, both of those at 1 ¼ miles. William Buick is aboard.

Hypothetical (25-1, Betfred), trained by John Gosden earlier in his career, has won his last two starts, both at Meydan, the one-mile, Group 3 Firebreak Stakes in early February, and Round 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge over course and distance on March 5.

Remorse (Betfair go 50-1) finished second in the latter race, only a length behind Hypothetical. Previously with Andre Fabre, he also has a win over the course and distance a year ago.

Japan won four races on Saudi Cup day, but Chuwa Wizard (33-1 with 888sport), although second in last year’s Dubai World Cup, has had only one win since and would need to improve to go one better this year.

Aero Trem (66-1 bet365) was fifth in the Saudi Cup but has a win over the trip in the Grade 1 Gran Premio Latinoamericano at Uruguay’s Maronas racecourse in October.

More Group 1s on Dubai World Cup Card

There are other Group 1 races on the Dubai World Cup card. They include the Sheema Classic (3.55 UK time), over 1 ½ miles on the turf, a race with a handful of standouts.

Trainer Charlie Appleby’s Yibir (4-1 with Bet365) has won his last three races, all over this trip. He won the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar, the Jockey Club Derby at Belmont, and the Great Voltigeur at York. He looks the one to beat.

Hukum (12-1 with Coral), trained by Owen Burrows, is the ‘now’ horse. He won the Dubai City of Gold over course and distance on March 5. Jim Crowley rides. He’s moving up in class but looks up to the task.

Without A Fight (50-1, William Hill), trained by Simon and Ed Crisford, was second, only a head behind Hukum, in the City of Gold. Andrea Atzeni is aboard.

Japan field four runners. The two with the best chance must be Glory Vase (8-1 bet365), winner of the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin over this trip in December, and Authority (6-1 Paddy Power), winner of the Neom Turf Cup at Riyadh over just half a furlong shorter last time out.

Pyledriver (20-1, Betfred) finished eleventh of 14 in that race, with trainer William Muir saying his outside post compromised his chances. He won’t have that problem this time, as he breaks from the rail. Prior to that run he was second in the Hong Kong Vase, and last year landed the Coronation Cup at Epsom. Frankie Dettori takes over from the injured Martin Dwyer.

Dubai Future (66-1,Ladbrokes), trained by Saeed bin Suroor, has a course and distance win in January. Pat Cosgrave rides.

Yibir and Hukum rate the strongest chances. Dubai Future is a live longshot.

  • A field of 16 go in the 1 1/8-mile Dubai Turf (3.20 UK time).

Lord Glitters (16-1, Unibet) finished sixth in the Jebel Hatta here last time in a race not run to suit his closing style. Prior to that he won the Grade 2 Singspiel Stakes over course and distance. He won the Grade 3 Bahrain International Trophy over a longer trip in November.

Lord North (6-1, William Hill) won this last year, but has had only one run since, finishing second in the Grade 3 Winter Derby over 1 ¼ miles on the all-weather at Lingfield at the end of February. Frankie Dettori rides for John and Thady Gosden.

Colonel Liam (8-1, LeoVegas) won Gulfstream’s Pegasus World Cup Turf over this trip last year and repeated his victory in the race this year. Irad Ortiz, Jr takes the mount for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Alfareeq (25-1, SportNation) won the Jebel Hatta over course and distance on March 5 and is looking to repeat here.

Jane Chapple-Hyam’s four-year-old filly Saffron Beach (10-1 with Betfair ) has won her last two starts, the latest being the Group 1 Sun Chariot over Newmarket’s Rowley Mile in October. The extra furlong shouldn’t be a problem. Hollie Doyle rides.

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