Dubai Preview: Naval Power looks to show Classic potential

January 26th, 2023

Stakes racing continues to flow at Meydan on Friday. The eight-race program includes three black-type races: the Dubai Sprint (Listed) on turf, the Firebreak (G3) on dirt, and the Jumeirah Classic (Listed) on turf.

Below are some spot plays to consider.

Race 2, 9:35 a.m. ET: Dubai Sprint (Listed), 1,200 meters (about 6 furlongs), turf, 3-year-olds and up

Dubai Sprint Selections

  • #1 Man of Promise
  • #2 Nahaarr
  • #15 Nationwide

Dubai Sprint Wagers

  • $20 win: #1 Man of Promise
  • $10 exacta: 1 with 2
  • $2 exacta: 1 with 2, 15

#1 Man of Promise, one of the best-performed sprinters in Dubai last season, aims to win this for a second consecutive year. Last year, he went on to win the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (G3) and finish third in the rich Al Quoz Sprint (G1) on World Cup night, and he began his 2023 campaign with a second-place finish to Lazuli over a less suitable five furlongs.

Though he gives some weight away, Man of Promise looks better than his opponents here and should come away with a victory. His toughest opponent looks to be 2020 Ayr Gold Cup winner #2 Nahaarr, who returns after running just once in the last year and a half. #15 Nationwide could be one for odds.

Race 6, 11:55 a.m. ET: Firebreak Stakes (G3), 1,600 meters (about one mile), dirt, 3-year-old and up

Firebreak Stakes Selections

  • #5 Law of Peace
  • #1 Discovery Island
  • #3 Everfast

Firebreak Stakes Wagers

  • $10 win/$30 show: #5 Law of Peace
  • $1 trifecta: 1, 5 with 1, 3, 5 with 1, 3, 5

Not the strongest field of dirt milers here. Backing up from the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 (G2) Jan. 6 are runner-up #1 Discovery Island and #3 Everfast, the latter best known as the runner-up to War of Will in the 2019 Preakness (G1). They should both be in a position to go bold races once more.

The one that could undo them both is #5 Law of Peace. He’s having his first start this campaign but was good enough to beat Discovery Island over this trip at Meydan Feb. 25 last year. If he’s ready to go, the late-runner can rally past his rivals here.

Race 7, 12:30 p.m. ET: Jumeirah Classic (Listed), 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles), dirt, 3-year-olds

Jumeirah Classic Selections

  • #6 Naval Power
  • #8 One Nation
  • #4 Highbank
  • #1 Long Kiss

Jumeirah Classic Wagers

  • $30 win: #6 Naval Power
  • $2 trifecta: 6 with 1, 4, 8 with 1, 4, 8

#6 Naval Power was one of the best juveniles in the Charlie Appleby yard last season, winning his first four and starting third-favorite in the Dewhurst (G1). Unfortunately, he bled in that race and thus failed to give his true running.

The Teofilo colt is well in the market for the Derby (G1) at Epsom in June, and if he’s going to be any sort of factor there, Godolphin will want to see him win this.

Fellow Godolphin runners #4 Highbank and #8 One Nation look to be contenders for exotics, as does the former Uruguay-trained #1 Long Kiss, a winner here Jan. 6.