So….. That’s Cheltenham done for another year, a gap until the Grand National at Aintree, it gives us time to get in to the swing of the changing seasons!
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AS we head out of winter & face spring, with a little bit of zest in our step, we all know that the warm weather is on the way & that can only mean that the FLAT is back, whisper it quietly, so the NH stalwarts don’t shout at ya! We at AOLR are fans of both codes.
A big thanks to Neil for his help over the Cheltenham 4 days & no doubt, he will be back soon with another Watty Spots & we recently published the AOBFS 10 Ballydoyle to follow 2023, so go check it out!
Jamie & Rich are here, with their thoughts on the Dubai World Cup from Meydan & it’s Lincolnshire day at the Curragh, on their opening weekend of Flat racing, the UK kick off next Saturday, with the Lincoln at Doncaster!
1:50 – UAE Derby (G2) – 1m 1 1/2f
Selection: Derma Sotogake
A wide-open edition of the premier UAE classic as you could make a case for every horse in this 13 strong field. Several runners are coming here on the back of the Saudi Derby and I believe the third home that day Derma Sotogake represents value. Having shown some decent ability back home in Japan courtesy of a listed win over a mile, Derma Sotogake went off second favourite for the Saudi Derby at 7/2. The race got away a bit for my selection rounding the home bend as he was a little outpaced and the front pair got away. However, Cristophe Lemaire (who takes the ride again today) got Derma Sotogake gathered, and he stayed on well up the straight beaten only two lengths. The form of the race is still up in the air and this does look a better Derby but the step up in trip looks like it will suit this son of Mind Your Biscuits. Japanese horses have been cleaning up at these big international meetings recently and I hope they will do so here. 7/1 available in places… Each way advised!
4:35 – Dubai World Cup (G1) – 1m 2f
Selection: Country Grammar
A top-class field of 15 horses line up for the 27th running of one of the world’s richest races. US trained horses have a tremendous record in the Dubai World Cup, with the trophy going to the American’s 13 times. Japan has sent over a strong looking team but I don’t see any reason why Country Grammar and Frankie Dettori cannot repeat last year’s win. I was certainly impressed by how he finished off in the Saudi Cup last month where he flew home to finish second from a long way back. I expect Country Grammar to reverse the form with Panthalassa from Riyadh on a track that will play more to his strengths as will the step back up to 1m 2f which is his best trip. Stall 14 isn’t ideal but he is drawn around the speedier horses so that will help. I am hoping my selection is still in touch turning for home and can stay on well up the home straight. Cafe Pharoah might be worth a look for an each way play at 14s as he ran very well when third in the Saudi Cup.
Curragh – Soft to heavy
3,25 Irish Lincolnshire Handicap – 4yo+ – 1m..
Joe Masseria – Fast Company X Island Home 4yo gelding
Last seen finishing a 2 length 4th of 14 in a 1m Leopardstown Handicap from a mark of 88, which he runs from today. He has won 2 of 12 starts with 2 places. He got off the mark on his 6th run, in a 1m Maiden at Naas on heavy ground in late October 2021 & his last win was in July 2022 over the extended mile ( 1m 73yds)at Galway on soft ground, winning the handicap by 1/2 a length from a mark of 79. His form on Soft/Heavy ground reads – 2/1/4/1/4.
EACH WAY ( Extra places)
3.57 – Park Express Fillies’ & Mares’ Group 3 – 3yo+ – 1m…
Delightful – Galileo X Lilly Langtry – 3yo Filly
Took 4 runs to break he maiden tag but the filly improved for every run, finishing 4th on debut over 7f at this course in August, which was followed by a 3rd in a 1m Gowran Maiden in September by 3/4’s of a length. On her 3rd start, she finished 2nd in a Thurles Maiden by 2 lengths before finally getting off the mark on October 22nd at Leopardstown – EACH WAY
Thanks to everyone for popping by, remember the blog isn’t just for Cheltenham or Aintree…
All the Best – AOLR Team