Find a range of betting tips and expert advice available on Dubai thoroughbred racing from Expert Dubai Form Analyst analyst Rory Flanagan. Racing tips are online now.

Head to the Betfair Exchange to check out the markets for Dubai World Cup night.


The Dubai World Cup Carnvial concludes with the showpiece at Medyan, featuring a plethora of Group 1 races and stellar up-and-coming types in the Group 2 races. It’s typical Meydan conditions and it’s as typically favourable to be close to the pace on the turf course, or leading/back and wide on the dirt course avoiding the kickback.

I’ve watched every single race of the Meydan racing season thus far and I’ve settled on some key strategies to make some profit. Meydan markets traditionally move very late and very close to the jump as the heat and parade can take its toll on some horses.

As there is no betting ring in Dubai, information on track then gets given to the bigger players late on in the peace and you can sometimes see mega-moves as the horses are on their way down to the gates. There was a huge plunge on Mystic Guide to win the Dubai World Cup last year, so keep your Betfair graphs open.

BEST BACK OF THE DAY: RACE 7 | #14 Yibir for 5 units

He powered home in stunning fashion to win the Great Voltigeur, then went to New York and wiped the floor with the Jockey Club Stakes field before finally cutting the Breeders’ Cup Turf field to ribbons from the rear of the field. The wide draw shouldn’t be of concern as he loves to sweep down the outer and they should put on a good gallop for him to aim at. I’m of the opinion only traffic gets him beat as his turn of foot is unmatched.

BEST LAY (PLACE) OF THE DAY: RACE 3 | #5 Emaraaty Ana & #16 Suesa for 4 units liability (each)

Lay EMARAATY ANA & SUESA to place in the Al QUOZ. Both look up against it and under the odds in the place market. Can’t see either of them firing a shot and the home team should be running 1-2, with the Americans fighting out third.

Race 1 | Dubai World Cup | Key Runners 

Still very much an unfinished product, he was no match for Hot Rod Charlie last time out. The pleasing aspect is he ran 7L ahead of 3rd and the time wasn’t too shabby. Deserving favourite with a premium gate.

Staggeringly overpriced despite the gate. Still had too much for Remorse who went on to finish 1L 2nd in the G1 Al Maktoum challenge. Seems priced on his past ability and not current form where he has taken to dirt like a duck to water,

Done exceptionally well since switching to dirt. Only been beaten by two Saudi Cup winners and Charlatan in last 6 starts.Gate makes life tough but could definitely shock at odds.

The query here is does he handle dirt, because if he does he may well annihilate everyone here. He wiped the floor with a few solid G2 turf types last time out and without a suitable race he accepts here.

Betting Strategy

AL NEFUD is expected to sit prominently and either lead all the way or box set and record a strong win to confirm his progress as a horse to watch for next season’s Dubai Carnival. ALGIERS offers large value as a knockout hope as he has been forgotten in the market after the wide draw. If GREAT SCOT handles the track his form is impeccable, especially considering the Saudi Cup winner was the only horse to beat him in his last three.

BACK (WIN) – Al Nefud for 3.5 units

BACK (WIN & PLACE) – Algiers 0.5 unit WIN & 1 unit PLACE

BACK (WIN & PLACE) – Great Scot 1 unit WIN & 1 unit PLACE

Click here to view the market for Race 1 at Meydan on the Betfair Exchange.

Race 2 | Dubai World Cup | Key Runners 

Infuriating conveyance in a sense that he wins when he shouldn’t, and misses a place when he’s hard in the market. Likely to get a good run in transit from the inside gate.

Had plenty to do from the braindead ride last time out and will again likely be ridden negatively and have too much to find with the favourite.

Crawled along in the Red Sea Turf and pinched it from the front. Only chance of winning is to repeat the dose and hope Manobo doesn’t find anything, but should have most of these covered. Horses he’s run behind in Japan are all top-shelf and he’s untapped as a stayer.

Best staying animal on the planet. Utterly imperious in all five starts to date, doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. Gets allowance being a 4yo, jockey should be motionless at the 2f pole before he bolts off with the prize. Don’t think anything could get near him in a Melbourne Cup, but they’ll likely go to the Gold Cup with him.

Betting Strategy

There shouldn’t be anything capable of beating MANOBO here so I’m going to take STAY FOOLISH to run 2nd in the “Without Fav” market. I expect the Japanese horse to bowl along in front and then crank it up from the corner, much like he did in Saudi Arabia. He had Baron Samedi well-beaten so with less work to do from gate 4 instead of 11, he’s clear 2nd-pick. 

BACK (WIN) – Stay Foolish (without fav) for 3 units

Click here to view the market for Race 2 at Meydan on the Betfair Exchange.

Race 3 | Dubai World Cup | Key Runners & Expert Tips

Miler who steps down in trip. American invaders have done well in this race in the past when stepping down in trip to a hot-tempo and onto a straight track rather than a bend. Drawn ideally.

Powerful 1400m type. Possibly better with cut in the ground but has been a model of consistency at G1 level. Only ever run one bad race in his life and he was gelded after it. Excuses for 5th & 6th-placed finishes last prep (trapped on rail + knucked at start)
He is the new Space Blues.

Borderline fraudulent in winning the Haydock Sprint Cup, on a day where no horse outside the first four in the run finished in the first two no matter the tempo. Beaten almost 20L on Dubai debut last time out with no excuses.

The one to beat. Utterly devastating last time out when storming clear along the rail to win going away from a G1-winner by 4.5L. A repeat run to that level of form has this race in the bag and he’s drawn on the faster side which is another huge positive. If he finds the fence and smooth sailing it should be game over.

Very puzzlesome entry. Better over 1000m, better on wet surfaces, but at the same time hasn’t had a fair go at her last two starts when never in the race at York, and drawn on the wrong side at Longchamp. She is drawn the right side here and has been supported heavily in early markets in France, but I feel the more acclimated types hold sway over her.

Betting Strategy

A repeat of last start has MAN OF PROMISE winning this going away. He’s drawn on the side that dries quicker and therefore is a few lengths faster which only enhances his chances. His stablemate CREATIVE FORCE is clear second pick, but my query is the ground might be slightly jarring for him, especially since his last run was on a heavy track. CASA CREED is the unknown quantity stepping down in trip, drawn perfectly.

BACK (WIN) – Man Of Promise for 5 units

LAY (PLACE) – Suesa 4 units liability

LAY (PLACE) – Emaraaty Ana 4 units liability

Click here to view the market for Race 3 at Meydan on the Betfair Exchange.

Race 4 | Dubai World Cup | Key Runners & Expert Tips

Russian invader who was utterly absurd in both wins this prep. Didn’t even try to jump, just flopped out of the gates and jogged in last place before powering home from last and swamping the lot of them, twice. Step up in trip doesn’t look a bad thing at all.

Japanese horse for the “home team” in that he’s representing Godolphin but trained in Japan. Narrowly beaten by Sekifu last prep, could do well at 1900m. Gate is okay, feels like he needs to find the rail to have best hope. Seems to handle kickback which is important.

Clicked up to lead in Saudi Arabia, and repelled all challengers. Had the Bob Baffert “polish” put on him and if smartly out of the gates he’s the one to beat again. He’s likely got another speed battle on the cards from Summer Is Tomorrow, Bendoog, Island Falcon and Reiwa Homare. If he holds the lead, none of the aforementioned types can win, so he provides an intriguing in-play angle.

Strong winning chance if able to find the front from the inside gate. Lemaire booked to ride is a big plus, just needs adequate speed to sit first three.

Betting Strategy

“They” have come for COMBUSTION. $19 into $6. Have to respect that money and continue to check betting close to the jump. PINEHURST will be in front in this for a long, long way and as such I expect him to trade quite short.I am making him a back–to-lay strategy as that will be the best chance of making a profit.

I also expect AZURE COAST to get well and truly out of his ground once more and trade at a long price before making his customary move.

BACK (WIN) – Azure Coast in-play for 1 unit at $12 & 0.5 unit at $20.

BACK (WIN) – Pinehurst for 4 units

LAY (WIN) – Pinehurst in-play at $1.8 for4 units liability. Lay Pinehurst at $1.2 for 1 unit liability

Click here to view the market for Race 4 at Meydan on the Betfair Exchange.

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Race 5 | Dubai World Cup | Key Runners 

Best horse on paper in this field but ugly gate. Very consistent and has only missed a place on one occasion, rated 119 which makes him the one to beat over his preferred trip. Crucially he is capable of finishing off a strong pace but will get back in the run.

Been thrashed by the improved Jackie’s Warrior last two starts after originally getting the better of him at Belmont. That horse is the only one to have beaten Life Is Good. He’s drawn to vie for the lead and that could prove the difference here if he’s able to find it without much pressure, or sit handy. Has always fared better with inner draws than outer draws, gets that here and

Lead-at-all-costs type who has gone to a new level since departing Mark Johnston’s stable. Looks much better suited to dirt racing which favours front-runners and he’s recorded wins on both runs here. He has had two setbacks, but after his first one he managed to win a G3 next time, albeit slowly in a rack-stack affair.

Runner up last year chasing an absurd tempo. Not sure he’s in as good shape this time around but still needs to be respected from a good draw.

Betting Strategy

I think if MERAAS can get the lead he’s a very, very strong winning chance, but that lead is questionable with the pace involved. DRAIN THE CLOCK has a good gate and should be prominent, which gives him the chance to pinch a break on DR SCHIVEL who is a much better in-play bet than his SP as he’s a get-back horse.

BACK (WIN) – Meraas for 1.5 units

BACK (WIN) – Drain The Clock for 2.5 units

BACK (WIN) – Dr Schivel in-play at $6 for 2 units

Click here to view the market for Race 5 at Meydan on the Betfair Exchange.

Race 6 | Dubai World Cup | Key Runners 

Very good in America and looks the right type of horse for this. Form figures 31411111 over 1700-1900m, and this is 1800m. Looks ideally placed with no strong Godolphin runners to spar with.

Defending champ. Quickened like he was attempted to break the sound barrier last year when storming past the majority of the field down the outside in extremely good time. (1:47 slick, his time was 1:46.46)
Bled that day and missed the rest of the season, but set for this once more. Ugly defeat on reappearance last time.

Now a rig (horse with one testicle). Connections seem to think he’s a miler, so stepping back from 2100m to 1800m is a logical starting point. He’s only really beaten horses that aren’t much chop, or past tiring horses who didn’t get the trip in the Juddmonte. I don’t think bullying Juan Elcano is grounds for a winning profile for this.

Run and gun mad leader from Japan. Will make a charge for the lead from the off and likely ensure a genuine tempo as the Japanese love a proper gallop. Will likely be first or second approaching the final 200m, then it’s a question of what he has left in the tank. Won his last three in this distance range with a 2500m blip in between.

Gun. Couldn’t hold off the stellar Gran Alegria in November, but ran a stormer for 2nd. Great gate, runs slick times, never been out of the finish (always within 1L if not winning) will definitely loom up and trade quite low I imagine. The harder they go, the better it suits him.

Betting Strategy

 SCHNELL MEISTER has to be respected here but I just can’t ignore COLONEL LIAM and PANTHALASSA at the prices. The former is a winning machine and has excuses for his flops, the latter will lead and control the race the way he likes and most of the field wouldn’t dare serve it up to him and has won his last three over this trip.  I feel the favourite could be vulnerable if stepping away slowly, so it’s these two that I’ll be backing. LORD NORTH didn’t impress me at Lingfield and his best might be past him. Connections haven’t been enthusiastic in the media.

BACK (WIN & PLACE) – Colonel Liam 1 unit to WIN & 2 units to PLACE

BACK (WIN & PLACE) – Panthalassa 1 unit to WIN & 2 units to PLACE

Click here to view the market for Race 6 at Meydan on the Betfair Exchange.

Race 7 | Dubai World Cup | Key Runners 

Japanese horse who won with Authority at the Saudi Cup meet, straight to the front and kicking on strongly. Tough to find such an easy lead here but capable of figuring in the finish and will definitely take luck out of the equation.

I suspect Frankie has instructions to try and dictate this race. It could not have gone worse at the Saudi Cup, he only jumped moderately, was 4-wide the trip, collided with a falling horse and never fired a shot. He’s drawn the inside gate and he’s got form to match most of these and that is why he’s been heavily backed since the barrier draw. If he holds the lead he can figure.

Touted as the next big thing in Japan. Pipped Efforia last year before running third to Contrail and Authority in the Japan Cup despite having the run of the race. A repeat run of that is probably not quite enough to best Yibir, but if Yibir goes awry it makes sense as to why he’s priced the way he is. Ideal gate for him

Dry track form: 1131111
Since he’s had his plums made into jam he’s been something of a revelation. He powered home in stunning fashion to win the Great Voltigeur, then went to New York and wiped the floor with the Jockey Club Stakes field before finally cutting the Breeders’ Cup Turf field to ribbons from the rear of the field. The wide draw shouldn’t be of concern as he loves to sweep down the outer and they should put on a good gallop for him to aim at. I’m of the opinion only traffic gets him beat as his turn of foot is unmatched.

Betting Strategy

Since his Breeder’s Cup win I have been waiting for YIBIR to tackle this race. His turn of foot was truly staggering that day and it holds him in good stead for this feature, despite the strong field. He should peel out into the middle of the track and explode down the outside after being drawn gate 12. If he’s the horse I think he is, there are no excuses. With SHAHRYAR in the field we are getting a staggering price that must be attacked. AUTHORITY will run them along and make it a proper race, and hopefully PYLEDRIVER puts his best foot forward from the front too.
Back YIBIR 5 units.

BACK (WIN) – Yibir for 5 units

Click here to view the market for Race 7 at Meydan on the Betfair Exchange.

Race 8 | Dubai World Cup | Key Runners 

Looked the winner in the Saudi Cup until Emblem Road came from the clouds at 100-1 to win. Doesn’t have the early toe to match Life Is Good it would seem, but a strong chance of running 2nd for mine.

Imperious when trouncing the smart Al Nefud last time out. Likes to lead and won’t get that here. Might have a tough run out wide and for that reason I’d suggest Country Grammer is a better play at the prices.

Bold front-runner. Has absorbed pressure last two and won well with blistering speed out of the gates. Looks like he’s got his work cut out this time with Life Is Good drawn the rail. The pair could be in a speed battle and out wide he’ll struggle for mine having to cover more ground against a better horse.

World’s best horse on dirt. Front-runner drawn gate 1. Every chance this could be a procession. The only thing that could seemingly beat him is a bad break from the gates and even then he has the early toe to make up ground and hold the fence. Not a chance he starts in the black.

Betting Strategy

I really cannot envisage anything getting anywhere near LIFE IS GOOD. He’s the best dirt horse in the world and his only defeat lies purely at the hands of his jockey that day who didn’t even urge the horse along in one of the most arrogant rides in history. He’s drawn gate 1, perfect for him to fly out and hold the rail and gallop them all into submission.

At the prices, COUNTRY GRAMMER looks a very good place bet.

BACK (WIN) – Life Is Good for 8 units

BACK (PLACE) – Country Grammar for 2 units 

Click here to view the market for Race 8 at Meydan on the Betfair Exchange.