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One of the world’s most lucrative race meets is back for 2023 in the form of Dubai World Cup Night – and the name is a fitting one. Horses from more than a dozen countries – including Australian representation – shape up with a wonderful culmination of formlines plus prizemoney and prestige to boot. The best of turf and dirt come together to tackle five Group 1s on a thrilling card kicking off at 10:30pm Melbourne time.


Betting Strategy

** BACK: Race 8 | #3 Rebel’s Romance (PLACE) for 5 units (Rated at $2.20)

He will be ridden cold, wide and down the outside, and I can easily envisage him running second, if not third at a bare minimum.

** BACK: Race 3 | #9 Siskany (WIN) for 3.5 units (Rated at $4.00)

He simply loves this track and has romped home effortlessly in two 2800m wins. The way he has tanked in those races gives the feeling he can handle a further 400m up in trip.


13. Royal Mews
3. Desert Wisdom
12. Raaeb
2. Bathrat Leon


Last year’s edition saw BATHRAT LEON make use of the inside gate to lead all the way and win on a frontrunner’s night. From gate 8 it’s highly unlikely he can repeat the dose and his price is drifting since the barrier draw. I’m inclined to side with those who will be just in behind the lead and poised to take advantage when the leader burns up, or lead themselves if Bathrat Leon can’t cross. DESERT WISDOM chased home Bathrat Leon in this race last year and he’s been a shade disappointing this prep, but he got no room at all last start. He draws a similar gate to last year. His record over the mile at Meydan last prep was 2212 and is the forgotten horse of the race this time around. ROYAL MEWS ran an unsustainable 1400m two starts back with 61kg and just couldn’t go on with it to be beaten 0.5 lengths. He was pestered for the lead last time out, handing it up to be three wide, but stuck on stoutly for third and looks likely to get a more economical run this time. His odds look generous. RAAEB tackled the Meydan mile for the first time last start and gave plenty of cheek from the inside gate. He should be able to land a forward spot once more from gate 4.

Betting Strategy

** BACK: #13 Royal Mews (WIN) for 1 unit
** BACK: #3 Desert Wisdom (WIN) for 0.5 units
** BACK: #12 Raeeb (WIN) for 0.5 units


7. Quickthorn
9. Siskany
13. Ardakan
1. Broome


QUICKTHORN is the proven formula at this trip but needs to handle questions of fitness and the barrier. The Oisin Murphy booking is eye catching. He is too appealing a price to go around without something on, but I am still heavily in the camp of SISKANY from a good barrier. He simply loves this track and has romped home effortlessly in two 2800m wins. The way he has tanked in those races gives the feeling he can handle a further 400m up in trip. He should be winning this if he wants to be tackling a European stayers campaign this season. ARDAKAN chased home Siskany strongly, but was left for dead by the Appleby charge’s turn of foot. They reoppose, but Ardakan has a worse barrier for Damian Lane. BROOME is so genuine and honest that he just can’t be left out, he is just an awful beginner from the barriers. When he jumps and lands on speed, he’s shown to be a genuine Group 2-to-Group 1 horse. When he doesn’t, all hope is lost. If you like him, the inside gate is a poisoned chalice. SUBJECTIVIST won this two years ago but has had two years off. His first up run in Saudi Arabia he was beaten into a different postcode. If he’s fitter and allowed to find the front, he’s very hard to get past.

Betting Strategy

** BACK: #9 Siskany (WIN) for 3.5 units
** BACK: #7 Quickthorn (WIN) for 1 unit


16. Al Dasim
1. Al Suhail
11. Sight Success
5. Flaming Rib
7. Miqyaas


I couldn’t find much to separate AL DASIM and AL SUHAIL – and then the barrier draw happened. Al Dasim is in 8, and Al Suhail has almost the worst possible draw in 2. While it’s not as far across to the stand as I’d have liked, it should actually mean Al Dasim does get some clear running, as most of his pack moves across to the far rail. He drifted massively in price last start – from $2.30 out to almost $6.00 based purely on the barrier – and still bolted in. He gets the 3yo allowance of 4kg, and as a more furnished 3yo that could be the difference. SIGHT SUCCESS comes from Hong Kong and brings the Lucky Sweynesse form to the table. He’s been crunched in betting after the barrier draw and with Ryan Moore booked to ride, he’s the clear pick for those hunting the rails bias. FLAMING RIB is Group 1-placed in the UK and comes here off a good win first up. Drawn on the correct side, he looks the most likely roughie from MIQYAAS, who has chased home Al Dasim after a hat-trick of wins.

Betting Strategy

** BACK: #16 Al Dasim (WIN) for 3.5 units


7. Go Soldier Go
5. Derma Sotogake
11. Perriere
12. Tall Boy


GO SOLDIER GO made use of every yard in the Al Bastikiya, rattling home late to win. He’s always struck me as one of the better types in this division that was crying out for a trip. He is going to get a gun run behind the Japanese horses from gate 2 and give another big showing at a great price. Have to respect the Japanese here of course, and Lemaire being booked from gate 1 on DERMA SOTOGAKE is a big sign of intent. They don’t have the best winning record on the dirt compared to turf (some bold placings from bad barriers seem to be forgotten) but when in front-running roles in Saudi Arabia and Dubai their record is strong, winning 8 races in the last two years when bowling along. Derma Sotogake should give them something to chase after the asleep-at-the-wheel ride cost him any chance of victory in the Saudi Derby. If he doesn’t lead, then there is PERRIERE, who may also take up the running under Oisin Murphy. He was third to his compatriot back in Japan and looked good winning last time out. TALL BOY has already proven himself at this track and handled a wide trip to get the better of Shirl’s Bee over a mile. He’s drawn to take a similar way home while the Japanese horde battle it out up front. CAIRO doesn’t have the gate speed to hold the lead here, nor does he have Listed class Irish horses to beat up on, hence the massive drift as punters come to their senses.

Betting Strategy

** BACK: #7 Go Soldier Go (WIN) for 1 unit
** BACK: #5 Derma Sotogake (WIN) for 1.5 units
** BACK: #11 Perriere (WIN) for 1 unit


13. Switzerland
10. Sibelius
5. Lemon Pop
3. Hopkins


I can see SWITZERLAND or SIBELIUS having enough to take this out from the front end if Lemon Pop doesn’t get going quick enough dropping to 1200m for the first time. He looked better than ever when storming away to win this last season, and he’s put the writing on the wall first-up with a smooth success. Drawn in gate 2, he can lead or sit behind a hot speed that might be forced by the stablemate trying to cross from out wide and look the winner at some stage. SIBELIUS is a typical American greyhound sprinting type who needs to rail along the fence and lead to win. He’s got the inside gate to do that and Ryan Moore is engaged to ride. LEMON POP is a Japanese super star, but I just hold some concerns that this might be a shade on the sharper side. However, connections are adamant they can win with him and that he’s always been a sprinter without any races to contest in Japan, hence boarding the plane here. If he wins, he’ll shock no one, but I’m not taking under $5.00 to find out. I want his price to balloon out a bit before thinking of getting involved. He’s been beating Red Le Zele, who has run second in this race the last two years, so that is a decent yard stick to say he can win. HOPKINS will vie for the lead but has a less advantageous gate than his pace rivals.

Betting Strategy

** BACK: #13 Switzerland (WIN) for 1.5 units
** BACK: #10 Sibelius (WIN) for 1 unit


11. Real World
7. Lord North
9. Nation’s Pride
12. Serifos


I can’t jump off REAL WORLD for one bad run where everything went wrong and he hadn’t been seen on the track for 18 months. Prior to last start’s blip, he had seven starts on turf for five wins and two second placings behind Baaeed, which is exceptional form. A kinder draw and more positive jockey should help here and he can hopefully return to form. LORD NORTH has won this race twice, romping away two years ago and dead-heating with Saudi Cup winner Panthalassa last year in a photo finish for the ages. He doesn’t have the kindest draw for a backmarker, when they’ll all be packing up on the corner without a relentless tempo to chase. Perhaps back him in-play when he drifts back. You should be able to get $6.00 at least. NATION’S PRIDE has one bad run in his career and that was an Epsom Derby 8th. He’s a stable star for Charlie Appleby and would’ve gone much closer in the Breeders’ Cup if not for the barrier and subsequent bum steer. He’s got great pace and cruising speed, so cutting back to 1800m I have no qualms about. He’s a winning chance who is undefeated at this track. Looking at SERIFOS I feel like it’s a 1400m type who scrapes the mile, so I’m against the step up to 1800m.

Betting Strategy

** BACK: #11 Real World (WIN) for 1.5 units
** BACK: #7 Lord North (WIN) for 1.5 units IN-PLAY (at $6.00+)
** BACK: #9 Nation’s Pride (WIN) for 1.5 units


7. Equinox
3. Rebel’s Romance
6. Shahryar
9. Zagrey


If EQUINOX is as good as everyone thinks he is, then he should be winning this with ease, but there is no price about him at all. Meanwhile, I am very keen to heavily invest in REBEL’S ROMANCE to run a place. This horse is a three-time Group 1 winner, a Breeders’ Cup winner and unbeaten on turf – and we’re getting a better price for him to place than there is for Equinox to win. He will be ridden cold, wide and down the outside. I can easily envisage him running second, if not third at a bare minimum. I’ve heavily invested in futures when he was $3.30 to run a place and after the scratchings there’s still a generous price for him to run a drum. The only knock on him is his missed lead-up run, but he’s a three-time winner first-up. SHAHRYAR is the defending champion, but only beat Yibir with the ride last time, whilst ZAGREY is a total X-factor knockout hope who keeps running well and shouldn’t be 100-1.

Betting Strategy

** BACK: #3 Rebel’s Romance (PLACE) for 5 units


9. Panthalassa
4. Country Grammer
8. Jun Light Bolt
13. T O Keynes


PANTHALASSA has been a massive drifter in betting since drawing the widest gate, but I actually don’t mind that. He’ll be away from a cluster of types who all bounce well, whilst the three horses to his inside jump like a sack of bricks. This should mean he can zoom out, cross and lead in an attempt to repeat the dose from the Saudi Cup, where he burned them all away. He presents a sensational back-to-lay strategy, where you’re getting close to $20.00 for a front runner who will shorten into single figures in-play – and maybe even odds-on. COUNTRY GRAMMER will be the one who rattles home hardest late. He won this last year and is capable of doing it again, but that gate makes life difficult. He closed on the heels of Panthalassa in the Saudi Cup and if Frankie can find an economical passage and keep him close enough, the bird may not have flown again. You’ll get a better price in-play than the current rubbish pre-play odds. JUN LIGHT BOLT is a winning chance if Ryan Moore decides he’s interested this time. You’re not winning a Dubai World Cup from gate 3 at the rear of the field, so Moore must make use of the gate and not let him plod along at the rear like the Saudi Cup, simply expecting them all to come back. The Japanese leaders don’t stop. T O KEYNES will attempt to hold out Panthalassa for the lead and make things interesting. If he does, then he’s a winning chance at double figures. As for ALGIERS, the market says SALUTE THE SOLDIER’S form is worth being a 40-1 chance, but Algiers beating the same horses makes him favourite. That is intriguing, as when Algiers beat Salute The Soldier this prep. the latter horse pulled up with a bad scope full of mucus and EIPH. He then came out next start and bolted in against the same horses. Salute The Soldier has gate 4, while Algiers has gate 13. Algiers is $4.00, Soldier The Soldier is $40. Make sense of that.

Betting Strategy

** BACK-TO-LAY: #9 Panthalassa (WIN) for 2 units

(Back at pre-play odds, then Lay in-play at less than $3.00)

** BACK: #8 Jun Light Bolt (WIN) for 1 unit
** BACK: #4 Country Grammer (WIN) for 2 units IN-PLAY (at $6.00+)

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