Former Talksport man Charlie McCann picks out 7 potential winners at Lingfield, Newbury and Bangor, plus a look at the Dubai World Cup.
The Dubai World Cup is the richest horserace in the world and it is nice to see Ballydoyle represented in the feature event (their first runner for six years in Dubai) with last year’s Irish Champion Stakes winner Cape Blanco who is likely to make it a thorough test from his low draw given he gets further than today’s 10f trip. His ability to handle the track must be taken on trust given he has never run on an all-weather surface but if jockey Jamie Spencer can get the fractions right he can make a bold bid from the front.
The dual Champion Stakes winner Twice Over has been a superstar for the great Henry Cecil, who had a Cheltenham Festival winner last week and is long overdue a knighthood. He was most impressive when beating one of today’s rivals Musir by a long looking 3l over C&D earlier in the month, but this is a tougher ask and having drawn stall 11 when down the field last year he must race from 12 today.
The heart says Twice Over but at more than treble the price with victorchandler.com the head says Gio Ponti (5.35 Meydan) who has twice finished ahead of Twice Over on this surface in the corresponding race last year and when runner up (Twice Over back in 3rd) to the great Zenyatta in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Dubai World Cup: prices from : ew ¼ 1,2,3
Twice Over 9/4
Cape Blanco 4/1
Gio Ponti 9/1
Victoire Pisa 10/1
Buena Vista 10/1
Poets Voice 12/1
Gitano Hernando 12/1
Golden Sword 12/1
The Golden Shaheen was won by Kinsale King from Rocket Man (3.05) in 2010 but the latter is taken to reverse the form today given the selection was not given the best of rides. His critics will suggest he is always the bridesmaid in these big international sprints but he deserves to win a major prize and today ought to be his day.
Last year’s Derby third Rewilding the mount of Frankie Dettori looks to have outstanding claims in the Sheema Classic for Godolphin but Redwood (4.50) is progressing nicely for Barry Hills and ought to get the strong pace he needs with a couple of confirmed front-runners in the line up.
Sheema Classic: prices from : ew ¼ 1,2,3:
Dangerous Midge 9/2
The Winter Derby is the feature race on a good card from Lingfield and I can’t see past the new partnership of Clive Brittain/Philip Robinson who team up with Nideeb (3.10) who is ideally drawn in stall 3, was most progressive when last seen back in the autumn and has won two from three on a fibresand surface.
There is a competitive card over jumps at Newbury including the prestigious Mares’ Novices’ Chase Finale. Kerada has been very impressive in winning her last three starts for Nicky Henderson but she carries plenty of weight as a result and Cool Friend (2.15) is the vote for the excellent yard of Jeremy Scott.
The selection made a terrible blunder at Exeter last time and that effort is best ignored. Her critics will suggest that a run of five seconds last year makes her one to be wary of but she did bump into the excellent mare Carole’s Legacy on more than one occasion and in a wide-open event she gets the nod.
The ground has come right for Ogee (3.25) and the handicapper has given him a chance by dropping him 5lbs since his last effort behind the progressive Always Right at Doncaster. Rey Nacardo has stopped as if shot on his last couple of starts having looked the likely winner on both occasions. If trainer Charlie Longsdon has got to the bottom of what prevented him from going through with his effort he would be a big danger at the foot of the weights but without that information Ogee must be the recommendation.
Pouvoir (3.50) looks well handicapped in a competitive handicap chase at Bangor-On -Dee; the selection didn’t quite get home on soft ground coming back from a break at Fontwell and today’s better ground looks perfect for the grey who hasn’t yet fulfilled the potential he showed in his formative years over hurdles.
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