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Golden Shaheen: Last year's winner in tough spot
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2013-03-29 06:49:01 (First published: 2013-03-24 06:17:56 )


With speed merchants like Mental, Emcee and Reynaldothewizard set to test last year's winner Krypton Factor the 6-furlong Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) will be some race.


Meydan 30 March 2013 / 1200 metres / 6 furlongs Tapeta / turn

Contenders presented with best Globeform rating, trainer, jockey

122? - REYNALDOTHEWIZARD / Satish Seemar / Richard Mullen
120 - MENTAL / Mahmood Al Zarooni / Mickael Barzelona
119 - KRYPTON FACTOR / Fawzi Nass / Kieren Fallon
119 - TRINNIBERG / Shivananda Parbhoo / Willie Martinez
119 - GORDON LORD BYRON / Tom Hogan / William Buick
113p - PRIVATE ZONE / Doug O'Neill / Martin Pedroza
115 - FREDERICK ENGELS / John Moore / W C Marwing
114 - KAVANAGH / Mike de Kock / Christophe Soumillon
113 - TAMAATHUL / Ali R. Al Raihe / Paul Hanagan
...? - TAISEI LEGEND / Yoshito Yahagi / Ryan Moore
109 - BALMONT MAST / Edward Lynam / Johnny Murtagh
108 - REPLY / Aidan O'Brien / Joseph O'Brien
105 - UNITED COLOR / Dhuba Selvaratnam / Jimmy Fortune


, who landed the valuable Patinack Farm Classic (G1) at Flemington in Australia for Sheikh Mohammed last year, made a perfect start to his UAE career when winning the Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) in a sharp 1:10.59 at Meydan in February. Mental is now racing in the all blue colours of Godolphin. Believe it or not, but this big outfit has yet to win the championship sprint. Mental could be the one to break that duck. That he was one of the best sprinters in Australia last year, was underlined in the Patinack Farm. His runner-up, Sea Siren, had beaten Mental into second in the Manikato Stakes (G1) two weeks earlier, and also captured two Group One sprints earlier in the year.

Mental's first run at Meydan suggests that there is more to come. He was an impressive off-the-pace winner of the Al Shindagha, where he made recovering from a slow start look easy and beat KAVANAGH by a length. Last year's Golden Shaheen winner Krypton Factor finished third. Mental was giving weight to his rivals. How can they hope to beat him at level weights in the big race? Kavanagh gave Mental's form a boost by winning next time out, taking a strong handicap under a high weight, and Mental must be the local favourite for the Golden Shaheen.

REYNALDOTHEWIZARD, a US bred son of Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Speightstown, used to be a nice sort of horse – up to Super Saturday that is. He was amongst the winners on that crucial prep day. Not just that, he recorded the biggest winning margin on the day, while running in the shortest contest; the Mahab Al Shimaal (G2) over 1200 metres. His performance was top notch. So why is this Golden Shaheen contender 10-1 with the bookmakers? They seem to believe it was a fluke but what if he runs like that again. He would be pretty hard to beat. His winning time was 1.3 seconds slower than that recorder by Mental over the same trip three weeks earlier, however, so his GF 122 should be taken with a pinch of salt. Hence the «?» attacked to this rating.

Having won a smaller race over the same trip in January, Reynaldothewizard improved considerably to win by 4 lengths from last year's Golden Shaheen winner Krypton Factor. Reynaldothewizard had been given a seven-week break from his previous start, «to freshen him up», as rider Richard Mullen said after the easy win, and he looked fresh all right, scooting away early in the straight and giving the race favourite no chance of catching up. A similar performance must give this Satish Seemar trained gelding a good chance in the Golden Shaheen.

Reynaldothewizard, who began his racing career with Eoin Harty in the USA, was sold for $775,000 at auction in Florida five years ago. He is son of the US champion sprinter Speightstown and is half brother to Godolphin's high class filly Seventh Street, who won the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park and Go For Wand Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.

TRINNIBERG, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), looks just the right sort for the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1). He has blistring early speed and carries it well. But this track is not quick, like Santa Anita, it is rather demanding.

Trinniberg stepped up to the plate when facing the best older speed merchants at the Breeders' Cup. Santa Anita's dirt track was favouring speed on the day, with few horses managing to make an impact by coming from behind, and he took full advantage of that bias. Ridden by Willie Martinez, Trinniberg broke sharply from post nine, moved forward with some purpose and was soon able to tack over to the inside. He was racing in first or second throughout the 6-furlong race and took a clear lead a furlong out to run out a game winner, three parts of a length in front of The Lumber Guy. This was not a vintage renewal of the Breeders' Cup Sprint, but Trinniberg is a solid runner and he could well improve this year.

KRYPTON FACTOR's two most recent starts offer little hope of a repear of last year's success, but he has the ability and may finish in the top three. He won this event last year, when he caught Rocket Man, winner of the race in 2011. Krypton Factor shipped on to Singapore after his big win, but could manage only sixth in the Krisflyer Sprint (G1). A month later he stepped out on the famous Royal Ascot lawn, and went for an even tougher task; against Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1). He ran a good race to finish fifth. Krypton Factor enjoyed a break after his trip to England and he returned to the races, in the Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) in February. Sent off favourite, Krypton Factor was anonymous in the first half of the contest, but came with a late run to get up for third behind Mental. Then came Super Saturday, when he was expected to win but was easily beaten by Reynaldothewizard.

GORDON LORD BYRON, an Irish challenger who has shown his best form over 1400 metres on heavy turf, was soon noted as a fast improving handicapper through the best part of last year. Then, when we went into the early autumn weeks, he left the handicapping ranks for good. After winning a Listed race at York in late August, Gordon Lord Byron went for the Betfred Sprint Cup (G1) at Haydock Park the following month, and ran a cracking good race to take second, beaten only ¾ length by Society Rock. Bated Breath and Dandy Boy finished third and fourth and it was clear that Gordon Lord Byron belonged in the top flight. He next went for the Prix de la Foret (G1) on 'Arc' day at Longchamp. It was a bit of a challenge on testing ground. William Buick, who had ridden him at York was back in the saddle and the pair ran out winners, passing the winning post 1 ½ length in front of the confirmed mudlark Penitent.

Trainer Tom Hogan gave him a two-month break after his success in Paris, which was his seventh from 24 runs, and then put him on a plane to Hong Kong. Gordon Lord Byron was having a crack at yet another big pot, in the Hong Kong Mile (G1) at Sha Tin. Ann 11-1 chance in a field on 12 runners, he ran well again, but had to see three locally trained horses hit the line before he did; the strong favourite Ambitious Dragon, Glorious Days and Packing OK. That he can run so well over a mile, yet seems best over six and seven furlongs, is a great asset. He prepped with a bloodless win agaisnt two rivals at Dundalk three weeks prior to World Cup night.

PRIVATE ZONE has it all to do on bare ratings, but he may well be an improving runner and should not be ruled out. Having finished second in four big races on the trot in the US, he may – on paper – seem like 'professional loser' but this son of Macho Uno is very game and genuine. He runs hard all the way to the line and does not give up when headed. His heart was certainly in it when he lost by three parts of a length to Jimmy Creed in the 7-furlong Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita in December, and again when Sahara Sky proved a length to good in the Palos Verdes (G2) over 6 furlongs at the same venue in January. Private Zone was giving the winner two pounds that day and Sahara Sky advertised the form by winning the San Carlos (G2) on his next start (where he had subsequent Tom Fool (G3) winner Comma to the Top back in third). Private Zone's form is not really top class, not by American sprinting standards anyway, but it is working out well and, with just 16 starts in the book, one gets the feeling he has more to offer. He began his career with Douglas Rogerio in Panama, where he won the Paredes y Espinos Stakes (G1) over 6 furlongs over a sloppy track. He has yet to win in North America.

FREDERICK ENGELS, an ex-English runner with a Royal Ascot win at two, represents Hong Kong. He is coming off two solid runs, having run second to Al Quoz contender Eagle Regiment in the Centenary Sprint (G1) and second to Lucky Nine in the Chairman's Sprint Prize (G1), at Sha Tin.




12 Exactas:

A: 5 and 10 boxed / reversed
B: 5, 10 with 3, 12
C: 3, 12 with 5, 10
D: 3 and 12 boxed / reversed

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