Mahab Al Shimaal Sprint preview
by Handicappers (email@example.com) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2009-03-12 17:32:26 (First published: 2009-02-28 14:19:15 )
Super Thursday: Big City Man has won twice at Nad Al Sheba this winter and he is clearly a smart sprinter, but the Mahab Al Shimaal (G3) represents his biggest test to date.
Godolphin field two against him; last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint runner-up Diabolical and the four-year-old Gayego, who was a Derby winner when racing in the US.
MAHAB AL SHIMAAL (G3)
Nad Al Sheba Thursday 5 Mar 2009
1200m / 6fur DIRT/ 3yo+ / $200,000
Top ranked horse on 100, with others ranked down in pounds
worse off according to GF ratings and weights (1 length = 3lb).
Horses presented with sire, best Globeform rating, last placings
(most recent first / 0 = worse than 9th) / trainer and jockey.
A “+” after the rating indicates improvement expected.
100 – DIABOLICAL (Artax) GF 116 / 2275 / S bin Suroor / L Dettori
..96 – BIG CITY MAN (Northern Afleet) GF 114+ / 1111 / J Barton / J Verenzuela
..97 – BARBECUE EDDIE (Stormy Atlantic) GF 113 / 9381 / D Watson / R Hills
..93 – GAYEGO (Gilded Time) GF 112+ / 1700 / S bin Suroor / T Durcan
..93 – HUNTING TOWER (Fort Wood) GF 109 / 2910 / M de Kock / J Murtagh
..93 – DIANA’S CHOICE (Windrush) GF 105 / 1131 / M de Kock / K Shea
..90 – SALAM DUBAI (Secret Savings) GF 106 / 7285 / A Selvaratnam / F Jara
..89 – CHANGE ALLEY (Eluisive Quality) GF 105 / 3714 / Ali Rashid Al Raihe
..88 – ARTIMINO (Medicean) GF 104 / 9990 / I Mohammed / D O’Donoghue
..84 – NEW FREEDOM (Burooj) GF 100 / 7607 / M Al Muhairi / W Smith
..83 – HALKIN (Chester House) GF 99 / 5380 / F Nass / E Ahern
..77 – SEA HUNTER (Lend A Hand) GF 93 / 4464 / A Al Raihe / A Ajtebi
..77 – REDDING COLLIERY (Mineshaft) GF 88+ / 3312 / H Brown / J Egan
…? – CROONER (Titus Livius) GF ? / 31F3 / A Al Raihe / T O’Shea
Diabolical was last seen when runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint over 6.5 furlongs on the downhill course at Santa Anita in October. Dettori committed a bit too soon in that race, and the Godolphin runner was caught close home by Desert Code, who has already won another valuable sprint in California this winter. It was a fine effort, confirming that he has retained all his ability. Diabolical, among the best dirt sprinters in North America two years ago, was competing well against the best turf sprinters in Europe last season. Versatile as he is, he ran a particularly encouraging race when second in the Diadem Stakes (G2) at Ascot, and he won last year’s Al Shimaal by 4 ½ lengths. If Diabolical runs like that again this week he will probably take the race back-to-back. Dettori rides.
Big City Man will be popular among the locals in this sprint and, although he will be taking on sharper opposition than ever before, he will again be a player. Sporting bandages on all four legs, the Jerry Barton trained sprinter was a clear favourite when going to post for the Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) in January. The US import had been a smooth winner of the Keeneland Trophy two weeks earlier, and he followed up with a gutsy win in the Al Shindagha. Although he has clearly hit form early in the year, Big City Man is a horse that we may not yet have seen the best of. Now a four-year-old, the colt was making only his sixth career start when winning the Al Shindagha, and he has lost just once.
He has to give weight to Diabolical, however, something that might not be so easy, while Godolphin’s newly aquired Gayego concedes weight all round.
Gayego is a four-year-old Godolphin bought from trainer Paulo Lobo last year, and there has been quite a lot of talk about this horse in Dubai this winter. He’s a nice horse but to say that he is top-class is not correct. Maybe he will be one day though. Gayego won the 6-furlong San Pedro Stakes (G3) on the old Cushion Track at Santa Anita in January last year, and went on to run second to Georgie Boy in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) over a mile in March. Stretching out to 9 furlongs, Gayego beat Z Fortune by three parts of a length in the Arkansas Derby (G2) – with Godolphin Mile contender Tres Borrachos third - before taking a real hammering both in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1). He returned to winning form in a decent 6.5-furlong allowance race on November 30 and this will be Gayego’s first run since.
Barbecue Eddie ran no sort of race on his UAE debut – well behind Big City Man – but his best form in North America last year gives him a chance and it is much too early to dismiss this sprinter. When on song, Barbecue Eddie is a very speedy horse and this straight track should suit him.
A: 4 DIABOLICAL
B: 6 BIG CITY MAN, 7 GAYEGO
C: 3 BARBECUE EDDIE
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