The Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup has come a long way since its inception. There have been some great editions, and some really good horses have won it. We have seen both favorites and long shots as well as participation from all over the world. You have to admit it has become major racing event.
The race this year has a star in Life is Good. He has all the looks and checks all the boxes of one of the special if not elite ones. We also have some solid competitors some of whom can turn into stars in their own right. Hot Rod Charlie is building up quite the resume. Midnight Bourbon keeps knocking on the door. Country Grammer is quietly putting himself in the conversation of the top older horses.
The Dubai World Cup will definitely make a statement as to what to expect from the upper tier of older horses as the year progresses.
Although the field is a worldly one, the US horses seem to hold a strong hand and advantage and I would be surprised if one of them does not win and a US exacta would also be no surprise.
So is it as simple as Life is Good is just too good and too fast for these? If he can get a mile and a quarter that can surely be the case. Todd Pletcher thinks he can get it and he has absolutely looked the part since arriving in Dubai and even training after his Pegasus win. I don’t think we have seen the best of this colt yet and I think the race is more likely for second than the win. Unless the desert beats him I think Life is Good will prove too good.
Frankie Dettori rides Country Grammer for trainer Bob Baffert. Bob has had huge success in Dubai and he sends this horse in off a big second in the Saudi Cup. Yes he lost to a big price and not a highly regarded horse, but he has Frankie, Bin and a nice race to go forward off of. I think he can complete the US exacta and at longer odds than both Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon. With all Bob is dealing with here in the States you know he’d love a big effort in Dubai from Country Grammer.
Magny Cours could be the surprise long shot that makes some noise. He did not run a step last out but he has world class connections and Fabre and Buick know how to win big races.
Midnight Bourbon showed a new dimension last out rallying from off the pace in Saudi. It looked like it would work for a second or two but he could or close the deal. Beat Life is Good, I don’t think so.
Hot Rod Charlie tried the get to town early method and have a nice easy prep. I like the methodology but he will need his absolute best race to win. I’ll stick with my one two punch of Life is Good over Country Grammer. Ice cold.