Al Quoz Sprint: Shea Shea the logical favourite
by Geir Stabell (email@example.com) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2013-03-29 07:00:20 (First published: 2013-03-27 07:09:05 )
Shea Shea, the South African sprinter who was quite impressive on Super Saturday, is the logical favourite for the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) on Saturday.
Globeform ratings do not argue with that but our figures point at one of the longshots in the betting as a likely danger.
THE AL QUOZ SPRINT (G1)
Meydan 30 March 2013 / 1000 metres Turf
Runners presented with best Globeform rating, trainer, jockey
121 - SHEA SHEA / Mike de Kock / Christophe Soumillon
119 - SPIRIT QUARTZ / Robert Cowell / Jamie Spencer
116p - VARSITY / Christophe Clement / Joe Bravo
118 - SOLE POWER / Edward Lynam / Johnny Murtagh
115 - EAGLE REGIMENT / Ka Leung Man / Olivier Doleuze
115 - GREAT ATTACK / Wesley Ward / Joel Rosario
...?p - MR BIG / Michael Freedman / Zac Purton
114 - DUX SCHOLAR / Seth Benzel / Khamzat Ulubaev
112 - MONSIEUR JOE / Robert Cowell / William Buick
111 - STARSPANGLEDBANNER / Aidan O'Brien / Joseph O'Brien
110 - JOY AND FUN / Derek Cruz / Tye Angland
110 - MEDICEAN MAN / Jeremy Gask / Harry Bentley
110 - INVINCIBLE ASH / Michael Halford / Richard Hughes
107 - RUSSIAN ROCK / M Al Muhairi / Wayne Smith
107 - RUSSIAN SOUL / Michael Halford / Shane Foley
105 - GANAS / Ernst Oertel / Tadhg O'Shea
This race is a case of 'if favourite fails, anything can win'
SHEA SHEA is the clear favourite. He needed the race and was facing a stiff task at the weights when unplaced on his UAE debut. Like som many of Mike de Kock's runners, he moved forward by lengths second time out, and was an authoritative winner from SOLE POWER on Super Saturday. Shea Shea came with a smooth run from off the pace and won as he pleased by 2 ½ lengths. A repeat performance would make him very hard to beat.
SPIRIT QUARTZ produced his best form when second, beaten just a neck by Ortensia, in last year's Nunthorpe Sprint (G1) at York in England, and he may also have needed the outing when fifth to Shea Shea three weeks ago. Beaten 4 lengths, he looks to be up against it with the favourite but Spirit Quartz may still be the best alternative for exacta players.
VARSITY, as big as 20-1 with the bookmakers, is the value play, however. This fast turf sprinter from the US has won his last two starts in good style, and he was strong throughout when kaing all in the 5-furlong Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint (G3) in early February (when GREAT ATTACK ran on for third). Varsity is improving and he returned Globeform 116p at Gulfstream Park. A straight course should suit him, as he has good speed and carries it well, and 20-1 is almost an insult. Well drawn between Shea She and Spirit Quartz, he is an obvious each-way bet.
Betting a horse at 6-4 in a race like this makes little appeal to me, so I will go with a sporting selection; taking a shot at a US win for Christophe Clement and the Firestones.
STARSPANGLEDBANNER's best old form would make him a winner of this race and, while GF 111 was the best he achieved last year, remember how horses with his profile sometimes fire bigtime after layoffs.
A: 6 VARSITY
B: 7 SHEA SHEA
C: 5 SPIRIT QUARTZ, 13 GREAT ATTACK, 15 SOLE POWER
EACH-WAY: 6 VARISTY (20-1 bookamakers)
2 Exactas: 6 and 7 boxed / reversed
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