UAE Derby: Secret Number to remain unbeaten?
by Handicappers (email@example.com) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2013-03-29 07:01:25 (First published: 2013-03-23 11:10:06 )
Secret Number, winner of both his starts and easily the best in the key prep for this classic, deserves to go off favourite in the UAE Derby (G2) on World Cup night.
One of four Godolphin runners, he is set to meet the recent El Camino Real Derby winner Dice Flavour, European Group One winner Law Enforcement and the local Oaks heroine Shuruq. Throw Aiden O'Brien's Listed winner Lines Of Battle and the Japanese raider Keiai Leone into the mix and you have a pretty fascinating contest.
UAE DERBY (G2)
Meydan 30 March 2013 / 1900 metres Tapeta
Contenders presented with best Globeform rating, trainer, jockey
115 - HE'S HAD ENOUGH / Doug O'Neill / Mario Gutierrez
106p - SHURUQ / Saeed bin Suroor / Paul Hanagan
110p - DICE FLAVOR / Patrick Gallagher / Jose Valdivia Jr
106p - SECRET NUMBER / Saeed bin Suroor / Silvestre de Sousa
...? - KEIAI LEONE / Katsuichi Nishiura / Hideaki Miyuki
104 - LINES OF BATTLE / Aidan O'Brien / Ryan Moore
103 - LAW ENFORCEMENT / Richard Hannon / Richard Hughes
103 - SNOWBOARDER / Mahmood Al Zarooni / William Buick
..99? - EMOTIF / Mike de Kock / Patrick Cosgrave
102 - ZAHEE / Mike de Kock / Christophe Soumillon
101p - NOW SPUN / Mahmood Al Zarooni / Mickael Barzalona
..98 - ELLEVAL / David Marnane / Fergal Lynch
He's Had Enough: GF 115 in November 2012, well below in three starts since
Emotif and Shuruq: 2kg (4.4lbs) sex weight allowance.
Add 4.4lbs to her rating for direct comparison with the males
DICE FLAVOR makes a lot of appeal in this Derby. The Patrick Gallagher trainee created a most favourable impression when winning at Golden Gate Fileds last time out, when showing both guts and acceleration, and he may just be a notch above the local hopes. HE'S HAD ENOUGH, who was so good against Shanghai Bobby in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) last autumn but has been so disappointing this year, is the top rated based on that run at Santa Anita. Should Doug O'Neill's runner be back to his best, well, then it is probably game over – but He's Had Enough has been so dull in his two starts this winter (and also in the CashCall Futurity lasst Decemebr) and he is hard to fancy.
Dice Flavor has totally the opposite profile, as he is on an upward curve. This is a little known US based colt who is improving with every run. You can safely say that he is 'getting good at the right time', as he is coming off an eye catching win in the El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields in February. The San Fransisco venue has a Tapeta track and it clearly suited Dice Flavor really well. He was right out the back early on, trailing the leaders by at least ten lengths as they went down the back stretch, then picked up in fine style to advance. He was well in touch at the top of the home stretch, and accelerated – while negotiating his way cleverly between horses – to pass them all for an easy 3 ¾-length win. He did not beat any stars that day, but Dice Flavor had a useful bunch, headed by Nina's Dragon, behind him and he was different class. He returned 9-1 for this win. It was interesting to see some big bets going in on his number early on in the betting, when at one stage he was as low as 7-2. His win was not a suprise to everyone!
A son of Scat Daddy, Dice Flavor was foaled as late as on May 31, and he will almost certainly continue his improvement. He will also relish this distance, and must have an excellent chance of winning the UAE Derby.
English bookmakers offer as big as 12-1 and it looks the best value bet on the entire card.
SECRET NUMBER is almost certainly the best of those seen at Meydan this season. Making his first start of the year, and only his second overall, this colt ran really well when winning the main prep for the Derby, the Al Bastakiyia (LR), run over the same over 1900 metres as the $2 million classic here at Meydan three weeks prior to World Cup night. He will face an even bigger task in the Derby of course, but Secret Number should improve for his seasonal debut, when he gained vital experience.
Secret Number outstayed Zahee and Snowboarder in the Al Bastakiyia, where he was a little bit keen at the midway stage of the race but otherwise ran much like a seasoned horse. But for missing the start and losing ground from the outset, this attractive son of Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Raven's Pass did just about everything right. Jockey Kieren Fallon guided him smoothly ahead on the outside of the field (he started from the outside gate and was forced rather wide on the first turn) and Secret Number dropped nicely a couple of paths in when they were rounding the home turn. He travelled well enough, though under driving, just a few lengths behind the leaders at this point, and his relentless gallop in the home straight made him a 2-length winner over Zahee. It was his superior stamina that won him the race. Another Godolphin runner, Snowboarder, was 1 ¾ lengths further adrift in third. Snowboarder and Zahee had filled second and third, in the that order, behind Soft Falling Rain in the UAE 2,000 Guineas.
It seems clear that Secret Number already is on a par with Soft Falling Rain. If so, he probably is a serious racehorse in the making. One big plus point; he possesses more stamina than Soft Falling Rain.
Which is a bit against his pedigree actually, as Secret Number's sire was a miler in Europe and his two high class half-brothers, Dubai Destination and Librettist, were also milers. Dubai Destination, who cost $1,5 million as a yearling, is best remembered for his win in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot ten years ago, while Librettist completed what has traditionally been a very difficult double when winning the Prix Jacques le Marois (G1) and Prix du Moulin (G1) in France in 2006. The dam of these stars, Mysterial (Alleged), is a half-sister to Japanese top sprinter Agnes World, who won the July Cup (G1) at in Newmarket in England and the Prix de l'Abbaye (G1) at Longchamp in France.
Five days prior to his win on Super Saturday, Secret Number was entered for the 2,000 Guineas (G1) in England, and he also holds an entry for the Epsom Derby (G1).
SHURUQ, an easy 4-length winner in the UAE Oaks, where she beat the previous Guineas weinner Lovely Pass with ease, is also interesting. One of two fillies in the race, she stays well and her Globeform ratings gives her a good chance.
NOW SPUN, like Secret Number and Shuruq representing Godolphin, looked open to improvement when winning the Meydan Classic on turf. He also looked very much like a horse who would appreciate a test of stamina. On the downside; he beat very little that day, but the lack of competition was hardly his fault.
LINES OF BATTLE comes from the same stable as last year's winner, Daddy Long Legs. He is not bringing similar achievements on his cv but this Ballydoyle contender is hard to dismiss nevertheless. A son of War Front out of a half-sister to Dynaformer, he won a Listed race over 7 furlongs on Polytrack in Ireland last year (beating the more experienced Tennessee Wildcat 2 ½ lengths) before running seventh to stable companion George Vancouver in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita.
LAW ENFORCEMENT won a weak Group One in Italy on his last start in 2012, after having won a handicap in England. A rare Richard Hannon runner at this meeting, he needs to improve again to figure but bear in mind how good this trainer is with early season stakes runners.
A: 5 DICE FLAVOR
B: 7 SECRET NUMBER
C: 3 NOW SPUN, 9 SHURUQ
EACH-WAY: 5 Dice Flavour (12-1 bookmakers)
2 EXACTAS: 5 and 7 reversed / boxed
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