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Hyperion's Dubai World Cup 2007 pre-race article

"Saturday evening sees the four Group 1 and two Group 2 races that make up Dubai World Cup night. Two of the fields, the Dubai Duty Free and the Dubai Sheema Classic, are arguably the strongest in the twelve year history of this outstanding event. The Dubai World Cup itself features 7 runners in its smallest field but they include Godolphin’s 2006 UAE Derby winner, the unbeaten Discreet Cat, and last years Breeders Cup Classic winner Invasor, as well as Premium Tap, Vermilion from Japan and Hong Kong’s Bullish Luck. Discreet Cat and Invasor share favouritism. We favour Invasor to win this contest and become the third Breeders Cup Classic winner to triumph at Nad Al Sheba. Although Discreet Cat was rated the joint best three year old in the world in 2006, we have yet to see how good he really is against the best opposition in the world. Whatever the stated reasons, Discreet Cat missed the Kentucky Derby last year, missed the Breeders Cup and missed his intended prep run earlier this month, although Simon Crisford did confirm that he is a stronger and improved horse this year. In contrast, Invasor won his prep race, the Group 1 Donn Handicap in the US last month. Discreet Cat’s best chance may lie with a slower pace, enabling his speed to overcome his opponents in the latter stages. Although we do not rate Invasor on a par with the two former Breeders Cup Classic winners to triumph in Dubai (Cigar in 1996 and Pleasantly Perfect in 2004), we do predict an Invasor win on Saturday night. Premium Tap is third best and may well separate the leading two, with Japan’s underrated Vermilion the place value of this intriguing race. Hong Kong star Bullish Luck can be relied upon for his usual honest run. Any one of about eight horses could win a terrifically competitive Dubai Duty Free. Of the Japanese duo, we prefer Admire Main over Daiwa Major and fear that 2006 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup winner Irridescence may be inconsistent at present. Breeders Cup Turf third English Channel is expected to put in a bold performance but we feel that Lava Man could be the surprise in this race. Admire Main’s close second place behind French hero Pride in December’s Hong Kong Cup is the best recent form of the race and we believe that he will fight out the finish with Lava Man, with Australian star Pompeii Ruler a chance for third. The Dubai Sheema Classic includes Melbourne Cup second Pop Rock from Japan, Hong Kong Vase winner Collier Hill and Breeders Cup Turf winner Red Rocks. Of the others, 2006 Epsom Derby hero Sir Percy has yet to recapture his best form and Vengeance of Rain does not seem to be operating at his 2005 level. Laverock may be a notch or two under the best of these and has a poor draw and, in a race of many experienced international travellers, we expect to see Red Rocks and Collier Hill fill the first two places. Collier Hill was second in the 2006 Dubai Sheema Classic and may go one better this time. In the sprint race, the Dubai Golden Shaheen, we expect National Treasure to just beat last year’s second Thors Echo. We believe that the EW value of the night lies with Eu Tambem in the UAE Derby. Although Asiatic Boy is justified as a strong favourite, we note that connections considered entering Eu Tambem in the Cup itself. The Godolphin filly Folk is well weighted against the colts but we feel that she will have too much to do to beat both Asiatic Boy and Eu Tambem. In the opener for purebred Arabians, we expect to see the excellent Madjani retain his Kahayla Classic crown (Robert Bishop)".

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