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Dubai Duty Free: David Junior our choice
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-03-11 09:06:40 (First published: 2006-03-23 14:18:37 )

Nad Al Sheba Saturday: It will be a full field, it will have top class runners from all corners of the racing world, it will most likely be a ‘rough’ race where luck in running plays its part. And it will be the best ever edition of the Dubai Duty Free (G1).

Godolphin’s 5-yrar-old Valixir and the English trained 4-year-old David Junior top our ratings – as both produced Globeform 123 last season. Hard on their heels we find Japan’s Asakusa Den’en Hong Kong’s Bullish Luck and Australia’s Fields of Omagh. All can win, without creating as ‘shock’. As can the South African mare Irridescence.


Nad Al Sheba 25 March 2006 – 1777 m / abt. 9 furlongs Turf

Horses presented with best Globeform, sire and rider.
Globeform ratings are expressed in pounds (1 length = 2lb).

123 – DAVID JUNIOR (Pleasant Tap) J Spencer
123 – VALIXIR (Trempolino) L Dettori
116 – IRRIDESCENCE (Caesour) + m / W Marwing
120 – ASAKUSA DEN’EN (Singspiel) Y Take
120 – BULLISH LUCK (Royal Academy) C Soumillon
119 – FIELDS OF OMAGH (Rubiton) S King
118 – HAT TRICK (Sunday Silence) O Peslier
112 – PERFECT PROMISE (Caesour) m / K McEvoy
116 – HOST (Husonnet) J R Velazquez
115 – TOUCH OF LAND (Lando) C P Lemaire
115 – RUSSIAN PEARL (Soviet Star) F Coetzee
114 – LINNGARI (Indian Ridge) K Shea
114 – TYSON (Silvino) M Kinane
114 – WHILLY (Sri Pekan) F Martinez
113 – SEIHALI (Alzao) J Murtagh
112 – THE TIN MAN (Affirmed) + / V Espinoza (GF 119 in 2003)

David Junior was improving all the time last year and ended up with a fine win in in the Champion Stakes (G1) at Newmarket in October. He won the 1 ¼-mile event, run on a straight track, from Pride and Maraahel (who runs in the World Cup), with a bunch of other top class horses further behind. David Juinior improved to Globeform 123 in the process, taking a big step up. It was his fourth win of the year and he had previously won the Select Stakes (G3) at Goodwood (beating Hazyview). But for a 7-furlong win as a juvenile, David Junior’s been successful only over 10 furlongs (2000 metres). This drop in distance, and the fact that he runs here without a prep, is concerning. But David Junior has good tactical speed and his win at Goodwood (totally different to Newmarket, where he has won twice) showed that he is adaptable.

The son of Pleasant Tap ended his 3yo campaign very much a progressive horse – and there is a good chance of further improvement this year. To take a race like the Duty Free first time out is never easy but Brian Meehan’s colt does have a good chance.

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) – but he was below par at the end of 2005 and he disappointed badly on his first start here this year. Valixir appears to have lost interest. But if he can regain his best, he is in with a shot. Last year, 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).

Many can win this but the one that offers good value in the betting – and is also the one most likely to improve – is the South African mare Irredescence. She was visually impressive when running to Globeform 116+ to beat the French G3 winner Satwa Queen on her UAE debut. Satwa Queen was receiving weight but had no chance – and she was herself coming off a solid second to Clinet (who won again). The form is solid and, although Irredesecence is now stepping up against males (in what will be rough race), she must be respected. Her fillies’ allowance bringe her right up among the best on our ratings.

Touch Of Land looked as good as ever when beating Lord Admiral and Seihali in the Jebel Hatta (G2) but this will be more difficult to win. New names like Fileds of Omagh (battle hardened Australian coming off a big win), Asakusa Den’en and Hat Trick (among the best in Japan) and Bullish Luck (a game and tough Hong Kong horse) all have a bit more class.

The Tin Man had a lenient weight when winning the San Marcos (G2) at Santa Anita, and is now 4lbs worse off with Whilly (who was just a length behind in fourth). The Duty Free distance will also suit Whilly better, he was second last year, but they both seem up against it here.




2 WIN BETS & 2 EXACTAS: 3 and 15


A: 3, 15 with 3, 15 with All
B: 3, 15 with All with 3, 15

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