Jebel Hatta: Group One in all but name
by Handicappers (firstname.lastname@example.org) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2007-02-19 09:34:15 (First published: 2006-02-28 09:12:20 )
Nad Al Sheba 2 March: The best race on the day – by a mile – is the Derrinstown Stud Jebel Hatta (G2) on turf. The Dubai Duty Free (G1) prep has drawn an excellent field.
Valixir, who won the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) in England last year, reappears and carries the all blue Godolphin silks for the first time. He may deserve to be favourite but the ex-French runner has to give weight to some pretty sharp performers. Yard-Arm, Touch Of Land and Hazyview all have a good chance, as does Tyson, coming off two smooth wins at the Carnival and now stepping up in class. On bare ratings, it is also difficult to toss out Lundy’s Liability, switching to turf after two dull efforts on dirt.
DERRINSTOWN STUD JEBEL HATTA (G2)
Nad Al Sheba 2 March 2006 – 1777 metres / abt. 9 furlongs Turf
Top ranked horse on 100 with others ranked down in pounds (1 length = 2lb).
Horses presented with best Globeform, sire, GF achieved in latest run (date), rider.
100 – YARD-ARM (Western Winter) GF 118 / R Mullen
100 – LUNDY’S LIABILITY (Candy Stripes) GF 119 (on dirt Feb05) K Shea
..99 – VALIXIR (Trempolino) GF 123 / L Dettori
..98 – HAZYVIEW (Cape Cross) GF 116 / T Durcan
..97 – TOUCH OF LAND (Lando) GF 115 / C Lemaire
..97 – LAYMAN (Sunday Silence) GF 115+ / K McEvoy
..96 – TYSON (Silvino) GF 114 / W Marwing
..95 – SEIHALI (Alzao) GF 113 / J Murtagh
..93 – LATINO MAGIC (Lion Cavern) GF 111 / W Smith
..92 – CLINET (Docksider) GF 106 / E Ahern
..92 – LORD ADMIRAL (El Prado) GF 110 /
..92 – HATTAN (Halling) GF 110 /
Yard-Arm gained an easy win over Checkit when making his seasonal debut in the 2004 Al Fahidi Fort (G3). A top-class horse in South Africa, he did not have to be at his best to win that event, but he failed to build on the good start in the subsequent Maktoum Challenge III (G2), where he was fifth to Chiquitin. After that run, he was thrown in against the big boys in the Dubai World Cup (G1) – but the 10 furlongs test on dirt proved too much; Yard-Arm finished only night (or twelve), 21 lengths behind Roses in May. The gelded son of Western Winter has won five Group One races in South Africa, from 8 to 12 furlongs, and on his best form he is capable of winning this. Though how close to that form will he be this time? Hard to say, but probably not at his absolute best.
Lundy’s Liability has run two terrible races on dirt at this Carnival and he is hard to fancy. At he best, Lundy’s Liability was a G1 performer. The question must be; will he ever return to that kind of form?
He rejoined Mike de Kock’s stable this winter. He won the UAE Derby (G2) for them here in 2004, and his subsequent form in USA – where he was trained by Bobby Frankel – was even better. Lundy’s Liability is capable of Globeform 119. He ran to that mark when he beat the in-form Truly a Judge by 1 ˝ lengths in the 9-furlong San Antonio Handicap (G2) at Santa Anita last winter.
Valixir, whose dam, Vadlamixa, was a classy miler and also half-sister to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner Val Royal, developed into a top class miler last year (he ran over further as a 3yo). He won the 9.5-furlong Prix d’Ispahan (G1) at Longchamp before travelling to York for the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) – one of the most prestigious mile events in England. Valixir seemed up against it, as he was meeting Rakti, but he beat him fair and square, with Starcraft staying on for third place. The son of Trempolino improved to Globeform 123 in the process, but failed to reproduce the form when third in the Prix Jacques le Marois (G1), fifth in the Prix du Moulin (G1) back at Longchamp and only tenth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Godolphin purchased him after the race at Belmont Park and it is quite possible that they can have him fit for a win first time out. He must be the selection.
Hazyview was a tough and consistent performer in England, and he is closely matched with the French trained Touch Of Land, who was travelling strongly all the way when winning the Prix Dollar (G2) at Longchamp last October - but found the company too hot in the Champion Stakes (G1) at Newmarket two weeks later (behind David Junior, who was coming off a win over Hazyview in his prep). Touch Of Land came back to better form when fifth, beaten just 2 lengths, behind champion Vengeance Of Rain in the Hong Kong Cup (G1) in December. He is a well experienced traveller and very adaptable.
Layman is an interesting contender. He failed to progress after a strong looking win in the Sovereign Stakes (G3) in England last summer, where he beat Jack Sullivan, but the improvement may come this season. He was one of the better juveniles in France in 2004.
Tyson takes a step up in class, after two easy wins at the Carnival – the latest against Seihali. Tyson will need to find even better form to figure here but he is probably capable of doing so and no horse in in better form than him right now.
A: 1 VALIXIR
B: 4 LAYMAN, 7 TOUCH OF LAND, 8 TYSON
WIN: 1 Valixir
A: 1 with 4, 7, 8
A: 1 with 2, 4, 7, 8, 9 with 2, 4, 7, 8, 9
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