The pandemic wiped out the race last year, but the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) is back for 2021 with a wide open field of 14 lining up for the 25th running.
The Michael Stidham trained Mystic Guide is the 5-2 morning line favorite and the best hope among the U.S. based contenders. The colt won the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park in his last outing. Luis Saez has the return call, and the colt will break from the six post.
“Going a mile and a quarter, I would love to see him break well and be forward and be in a comfortable stalking position, depending on how fast they’re going in front of him,” Stidham said. “Luis Saez certainly handled him well at Oaklawn and got along well with him. I’m happy to have him back.”
Salute The Soldier (8-1) won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G1) last out, his third win in five trips over the main track at Meydan. The Fawzi Nass trainee drew the 11 post with jockey Adrie de Vries again in the irons.
“The draw could have been kinder but the horse is in great form and his final piece of serious work was very pleasing,” de Vries said. “When he works well he normally runs well so let’s hope that is the case again.”
Salute The Soldier Wins Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3
The legendary French trainer Andre Fabre will look for his first victory in the Dubai World Cup when he sends out the lightly raced Magny Cours, who has won five of his eight career starts.
“Yes, he has had his issues,” Fabre said. “But now he is in perfect condition and form. He had an excellent journey over to Dubai, he drank up, he ate up and everything is going well. He is six now and is just more stabilized in his body.”
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The Dubai World Cup is the ninth and final race on the card with a post time of 12:50 ET and will be televised on FS1.
Meydan Racecourse Race 8 The Dubai World Cup G1 12:50 ET
11 Salute The Soldier 8-1
8 Magny Cours 12-1
10 Mystic Guide 5-2
5 Great Scot 15-1
Salute The Soldier
This gelding is coming off impressive victories in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 and 3. Last out he took the field gate to wire and opened up turning for home without much asking and held on to win by 1 ¾ lengths. He draws an outside post but has enough tactical speed to overcome it. Last March he won the Burj Nahaar (G3) at a mile and would have been one of the major players in the Godolphin Mile (G1), but the pandemic knocked out the races last year. He has shown he can handle the distance and I like the fact he will be forwardly placed, and a decent price makes him the play here. He has won three of his five trips over the surface in his career.
The six-year-old has made just eight starts in his career for trainer Andre Fabre, winning five and running second in two others. He is perfect in his three starts on synthetic surfaces, the most recent a win as the heavy favorite at Chantilly in the Prix Darshaan at 1 3/16 miles. That outing was his first start off a nine-month layoff. He earned solid Timeform numbers two and three back on turf. This is certainly a class test as he has just two outings in Group company, a second and a fifth, but this race has not come up as tough as in previous years. He reunites with Buick who was aboard him two back for his win and he is going to be a decent price here, currently at 12-1 in early betting and possibly higher by post time.
The Stidham trainee will be the favorite here and the best hope of the U.S. contingent. U.S. based runners have won just three of the last 10 editions of this race. The colt came back off a 4 1/2-month break winning the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park in the slop with a career top Beyer of 108. He made six starts last year including winning the Jim Dandy (G2) and then running a game second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) behind Happy Saver. He showed at Belmont Park he can handle the 1 ¼ miles and does draw a better post than our top pair.
WIN: Salute The Soldier to win at 5-1 or better.
EXACTA: 11 / 5,8,9,10 and 8,11 / 8,10,11