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Dubai World Cup

Dubai World Cup: Smart Falcon in focus
by Handicappers / Globeform
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Japanese horses dominated the finish to last year's Dubai World Cup (G1), as Globeform's 18-1 selection Victoire Pisa beat Transcend.

The runner-up will be back this year, hoping to go one better, but his new travelling companion, Smart Falcon, may have a better chance. After all, this classy dirt track performer is coming off nine straight wins at home, where he beat Transcend by a length to lift the valuable JBC Classic (G1) in November.

Smart Falcon was 1/5 to win the JBC Classic, run over 2000 metres on dirt at Ohi racecourse and contested by 12 runners. A quick look at the odds in his last three races confirms what a following this horse has built up. They keep on backing him and he keeps on winning, but the fans are not making big profits, that's for sure, as he has gone off at 1/5, 1/100 (!) and 1/10 on his most recent starts. After beating Transcend in the JBC Classic, Smart Falcon went on to land the Tokyo Dashoten (G1) at the same course, but this race over 1600 metres, four weeks later. This time, his fans were sweating, however, as he won by just a nose from Wonder Acute (who was second to Transcend in a G1 on his previous outing), with Testa Matta 2 lengths behind in third place. Testa Matta won the February Stakes (G1) in Tokyo last month, when Wonder Acute finished third and Transcend seventh.

Smart Falcon's form has been given several boosts and he is undoubtedly a high class performer. Now aged seven, he opened his new campaign in the Kawasaki Kinen Stakes (Jap-G1) on January 25, and won again scoring easily by 4 lengths from Renforcer, a subsequent winner of the Diolite Kinen Stakes (Jap-G2). The Kawasaki Kinen was run over 2100 metres and the track was sloppy, so we know that Smart Falcon is both tough and has a fair bit of stamina.

It is rare for horses to win at the top level over distance spreads like 1600 and 2100 metres, and this alone is a reason to respect Smart Falcon. A natural front-runner, he seems to be at his best when given the message to kick for home as soon as he enters the stretch, as was the case when he won the JBC Classic.

A son of February Stakes (G1) winner Gold Allure (Sunday Silence), who was also a dirt specialist, Smart Falcon has gained 23 wins from 33 starts.

Globeform 119

Published: 2012-03-23 05:14:07

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