2018 Dubai World Cup study guide: Carnival retrospective

March 23rd, 2018


With the release of the likely fields for the March 31 Dubai World Cup extravaganza, the serious homework can begin ahead of Monday’s final declarations.

Part of that process is revisiting the key races from the Carnival, spanning the January 11 opener until the Super Saturday preps on March 10. Which local contenders were making hay during the season, and which are ready for the stiffer challenges of World Cup night?

That answer partly depends upon the individual, partly upon the depth of competition in the World Cup night event itself. Locals have fared much better in the Godolphin Mile (G2), for instance, having won the last nine in a row (and 14 overall), compared to the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1), won a measly three times (in 20 years) by horses sighted at the Carnival. We’ll delve more into those trends next week. (And here is the historical study guide.)

My Brisnet.com post-game analysis of each Carnival card, including replays of every race, can be helpful to get a gauge on the locals – and on the few internationals who prepped locally.

If you’d like to glance at the Carnival recaps in chronological order to sense how the season developed, here are the links:

January 11: Heavy Metal drowns out Thunder Snow in Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1

January 18: Comicas gets last laugh in Dubawi; Winter Lightning strikes in trial

January 25: Promising Run, Gold Town highlight four-win night for Godolphin

February 1: Benbatl states Dubai Turf case in Al Rashidiya

February 8: Thunder Snow, sister act Winter Lightning star in bin Suroor treble at Meydan

February 15: Gold Town sets UAE Derby standard in Guineas rout

February 17: Promising Run holds on in Balanchine; Heavy Metal much the best in Firebreak

February 22: Ertijaal outpoints Blue in Meydan Sprint; Janoobi tops strong results for South Africa in Zabeel

March 1: Rayya’s revenge in UAE Oaks; Rare Rhythm outpaces Vazirabad in Nad al Sheba Trophy

March 10: Dubai Super Saturday: Inside speed rules on dirt, Godolphin sweeps turf preps

If you’d prefer to focus on individual horses of interest, these links to the Brisnet “tags” filter stories referencing that particular horse. They’re grouped by their reported World Cup night target for easier reference.

There’s obviously a lot of story repetition among horses in the same race, or those who competed on the same Carnival card, but this might be a more convenient tool than hunting for all their race dates. And it includes all applicable stories prior to the Carnival too.

WORLD CUP: Furia Cruzada, North America, Thunder Snow

DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC: Best Solution, Hawkbill

DUBAI TURF: Benbatl, Blair House, Championship, Janoobi, Leshlaa, Promising Run

DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN: Jordan Sport, Muarrab, My Catch, Reynaldothewizard

UAE DERBY: Gold Town, Rayya, Yulong Warrior

AL QUOZ SPRINT: Baccarat, Blue Point, Ertijaal, Faatinah, Hit the Bid, Jungle Cat

DUBAI GOLD CUP: Al Sahem, Frontiersman, Gold Star, Janszoon, Los Barbados, Natural Scenery, Prince of Arran, Rare Rhythm, Red Galileo, Sheikhzayedroad, Vazirabad

GODOLPHIN MILE: Heavy Metal, Kimbear, Musawaat, Raven’s Corner, Second Summer, Secret Ambition

The next component of the World Cup study guide will consider the historical trends of each World Cup race, in hopes of sifting through the contenders.