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Dubai City of Gold: An upset looks likely
by Geir Stabell ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-02-19 09:34:38 (First published: 2006-03-01 05:39:44 )

Nad Al Sheba 2 March: We simply have to go for a longshot in this race. The Dubai City of Gold has some high profile names, but they all seem very ‘opposable’ on this occasion.

Cherry Mix, arguably the most accomplished runner in the field, was anything but reliable last year. He won a weak Group One though, giving him a penalty in the City of Gold. Collier Hill was more consistent but his win in the Irish St Leger (G1) means that he will also have to give weight away. Then what about the Irish contender Alayan? He will be trying 1 ½ miles for the first time. Is he going to improve markedly on his tiring eighth to Linngari over 9 furlongs here last month?


Nad Al Sheba 2 March 2006 – 2400 metres / 1 ½ miles Turf

Top ranked horse on 100 with others ranked down in pounds (1 length = 1,5lb).
Horses presented with sire, best Globeform and rider.

100 – CHERRY MIX (Linamix) GF 115 (GF 123 in 2004) / L Dettori
100 – SIGHTS ON GOLD (Indian Ridge) GF 117 (Dec 2004) / K McEvoy
..97 – ALAYAN (Sri Pekan) GF 114 / M Kinane
..93 – CROSSPEACE (Cape Cross) GF 110 / K Darley
..92 – COLLIER HILL (Dr Devious) GF 115 / D McKeown
..92 – ORACLE WEST (Western Winter) GF 109 / K Shea
..91 – SHANTY STAR (Hector Protector) GF 108 / G Hind
..91 – FALSTAFF (Montjeu) GF 108 / W Marwing
..90 – CORRIOLANUS (Zamindar) GF 107 / R Moore
..88 – ENCINAS (Lomitas) GF 105+ / W Mongil


..85 – KERASHAN (Sinndar) GF 102

The three highest ranked horses are all a bit dubious in this race. Cherry Mix was mainly disappointing last year – and none of his 2005 performances came even close to his best run in 2004, when he was second in the ‘Arc’ at Longchamp. Sights On Gold is making his first start since World Cup night 2005, when he finished last in the Dubai Duty Free (G1), and Alayan was below his Irish form when making his seasonal debut here in February (he is also trying a new distance here).

Perhaps we should take a shot at one of the lesser known names. Crosspeace is interesting. This son of Cape Cross made a satisfactory UAE debut when finishing sixth in a handicap last month. He is trained by Mark Johnston, whose horses almost as a rule come on a lot for their first outing of the year in England. Crosspeace may move significantly forward here, and his best race in 2005 gives him a good each-way chance. He closed the season by beating Day Flight by 14 lengths in a Listed event over this distance at Doncaster last year. Day Flight was below his best on the day, but how badly can he have run? After all, Day Flight won three G3 races in England last year – and Crosspeace is up to winning one as well.

Sights on Gold makes his seasonal debut, and he has not been seen out for nearly a year. He ran just once in 2005, finishing last in the Dubai Duty Free (G1). He ran his best race to date when second to Phoenix Gold in the 2004 Hong Kong Vase (G1). On that piece of form, he holds an excellent chance – but it seems unlikely that he will run to that level this time.

Alayan gave up a bit too easily for our liking when eighth to Linngari in the Al Rashidiya (G3) – but it was his seasonal debut and Linngari gave the form a boost by winning next time out. John Oxx will have Alayan much fitter this time and stepping up to 1 ½ miles is interesting. The son of Sti Pekan ran consistently well in Ireland last year. He was a very good second to Fracas in the Derby Trial Stakes (G2) over 10 furlongs at Lopardstown in May. He was beaten just a nose. The winner was coming off a G3 win in England and went on to take fourth behind Motivator, Walk in The Park and Dubawi in the Derby (G1). Pretty solid form. Prior to the Derby Trial, he won the 2000 Guineas Trial (G3) over a mile (seasonal debut), and he ran just twice in the second half of the season; to win a Listed race and finish fourth to Touch of Land in the Prix Dollar (G2).

Collier Hill won a handicap off a lenient weight here last year – but do not judge him on that performance alone. He was also third in the Sheema Classicf (G1) and he kept on improving through the season in Europe, and ended up winning the Irish St. Leger (G1). Running on gamely in the 1 ¾-mile test, he beat The Whistling Teal (another outsider) by half a length with Vinnie Roe third and Yeats fourth. Collier Hill may not be quite as good over 1 ½ miles at Nad Al Sheba and his G1 penalty is a clear disadvantage. He is a game and genuine runner though, who can put up a good show.

Cherry Mix did manage a Group One win last season but his success over Salutino in the Gran Premio del Jockey Club (G1) at San Siro was not exactly ‘world class form’. It was a sub-standard G1. Cherry Mix had been beaten a long way in the ‘Arc’ on his previous start and he finished down the field again in the Hong Kong Vase (G1) at Sha Tin in December. He ran to GF 115 when winning in Italy, some way below his personal best.

The Linamix colt ran to Globeform 123 as he finished second in the 2004 Prix de l’Arc (G1), making significant improvement on the big day. He was coming off two straight wins for the Lagardere family and trainer Andre Fabre, but his second to Bago was much better form than he had shown previously or subsequently. Will he ever break the 120 barrier again?




9 Crosspeace

EW DOUBLE: Flashing Numbers (Al Bastikiya) & Crosspeace


A: 1 and 9 boxed / reversed
B: 2 and 9 boxed / reversed
B: 8 and 9 boxed / reversed


A: 9 with 1, 2, 7, 8 with 1, 2, 7, 8
A: 1, 2, 7, 8 with 9 with 1, 2, 7, 8
A: 1, 2, 7, 8 with 1, 2, 7, 8 with 9

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