The world’s richest race day takes place at Meydan racecourse in Dubai today with prize money totalling a whopping $30 million.
The meeting is the culmination of the Meydan carnival, which has been ongoing since the turn of the year and consists of 6 Group 1s and 3 Group 2s with 5 races on the dirt and the remaining 4 on the carpet-like turf track.
West Coast bids for a three-peat for the US after the anointing of Arrogate in 2017 and the witnessing of alchemy in 2016 when California Chrome turned to gold for Art Sherman.
West Coast’s form is streets ahead of his rivals (solid placed efforts behind Gun Runner in both the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup) and – provided there is no speed bias on the track this evening – he really should retain Arrogate’s crown and go back to back for trainer Bob Baffert.
The card begins at 12:45 with the Godolphin Mile where Heavy Metal heads the field under Ryan Moore. He isn’t ideally drawn in stall 9, but possesses really good gate speed, tactical early pace and he will look to take them all the way. If he manages to get over from stall 9 and adopt his customary front-running position he will take a lot of catching and at 9/4 is fair value to do so.
An each way saver on Second Summer at 12/1 is also recommended, as he shaped really well last time and the drop back to 8f here, with a strong early pace will see him coming home very strongly.
For anyone looking to have some bets on the rest of the card, here are our main calls: Baccarat in the 15:05 is an each way gamble at 12/1 and 11/2 without Blue Point is appealing, though he comes with a health warning as he can lose ground at the start which would pretty much end his chance.
Lancaster Bomber runs for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore in the 16:35 and looks a solid each way play at 8/1. He is an extremely tough sort, who usually runs his race and in a heat where many of the principles have questions to answer he can blast his way to the winning post.
Cloth Of Stars (in the 17:10) had a second place finish in the Prix De L’Arc at Chantilly last October and looks strong, but he may have been slightly flattered and we’re not sure the rest of his form stands up to scrutiny so he should be vulnerable.
We think Rey De Oro for Japan is a much more solid betting proposition and although 5/2 is the lower end of his price, he really should run very well.
* All prices correct at time of posting.