by Jeremy Plonk
March 24, 2021
A capacity field of 14 entered for Saturday’s 25th edition of the $12 million Dubai World Cup, including a quartet of American-based runners. The marquee, mile and one-quarter dirt contest tops a 9-race card simulcast internationally with wagering available on all races via the 1/ST BET app and Xpressbet. Post time for the first race will be 7:45 a.m. ET with the Dubai World Cup slated for 12:50 p.m. ET.
Mystic Guide, winner of last month’s Grade 3 Razorback at Oaklawn and last summer’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga, should go favored from post 6. He’s being offered in the international books around 5-2 odds in advance of the race. His 6-length Razorback romp put the Godolphin color-bearer on the fast track to Meydan, the track owned by his connections. He’ll compete under the flag of the United Arab Emirates while racing for New Orleans-based trainer Mike Stidham.
America’s other entrants include 2020 Grade 1 Preakness Stakes third-place finisher and 2021 Pegasus World Cup runner-up Jesus’ Team (post 9); Grade 2 Charles Town Classic champ and Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup fourth-place finisher Sleepy Eyes Todd (post 10); and Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes winner Title Ready (post 4).
2021 Dubai World Cup Field
1. Great Scot
3. Chuwa Wizard
4. Title Ready
5. Military Law
6. Mystic Guide
8. The Great Collection
9. Jesus' Team
10. Sleepy Eyes Todd
11. Salute the Soldier
12. Magny Cours
13. Ajuste Fiscal
14. Gifts of Gold
The Meydan main track is a left-handed course like the US with just under a quarter-mile run into the clubhouse turn from the start, so starting positions should not be of major consequence.
None of the American entrants possess the kind of world-class early speed on dirt synonymous with US racing on the world stage. Sleepy Eyes Todd likely will show the most early pace interest, but is not the type of run-them-off-their-feet speed that often dissuades the international runners when faced with American dirt horses. That said, the Dubai World Cup could open up to the world cast. Note in its previous 24 runners, US-based horses own 12 wins, the same total for the world challengers.
The international cast sprung wide open when the connections of Saudi Cup winner Mishriff decided to return to turf in the Dubai Sheema Classic. Military Law, sixth in the Saudi Cup and winner of the Maktoum Challenge Round 1 at Meydan in January, is among the global leading contenders around 5-1 with the bookmakers in early betting. He’ll break from post 5 with favorite Mystic Guide just to his outside. German-bred Salute the Solider, winner of the Maktoum Challenge Rounds 2 and 3, leaves from post 11. He’s being offered anywhere from 4-1 to 8-1 with the bookmakers and it will be interesting to see how his price shifts as the week progresses.
Americans competing on the undercard include last year’s US Champion Turf Male Channel Maker in the Dubai Sheema Classic; Yaupon, Wildman Jack and Zenden in the Dubai Golden Shaheen for dirt sprinters; Ambivalent and Lugamo in the UAE Derby; Extravagant Kid, Cowan and True Valour in the Al Quoz Sprint on grass; and the trio of Avant Garde, Snapper Sinclair and Parsimony in the Godolphin Mile on dirt.
1/ST BET and Xpressbet are offering a $10 money-back guarantee promotion on all of the Dubai World Cup Day races from Meydan. Get up to $10 refunded on any win wager in any of those races if your selection finishes second or third. See the 1/ST BET app and Xpressbet.com for details.
Saturday’s Meydan schedule for Dubai World Cup Day (times US eastern)
7:45AM ET // Dubai Race 1 // Dubai Kahayla Classic
8:15AM ET // Dubai Race 2 // Godolphin Mile
8:50AM ET // Dubai Race 3 // Dubai Gold Cup
9:30AM ET // Dubai Race 4 // Al Quoz Sprint
10:05AM ET // Dubai Race 5 // UAE Derby
10:40AM ET // Dubai Race 6 // Dubai Golden Shaheen
11:30AM ET // Dubai Race 7 // Dubai Turf
12:10PM ET // Dubai Race 8 // Dubai Sheema Classic
12:50PM ET // Dubai Race 9 // Dubai World Cup