Dubai Preview: Spot plays for Jan. 13, 2023

January 12th, 2023

Dubai’s carnival continues to heat up at Meydan on Friday. Headlining the seven-race card is the Al Rashidiya (G2), but there are two conditions races that should also be appealing betting races.

Here are some spot plays to look at.

Race 4, 10:45 a.m. ET: Ipi Tombe Stakes, 1,400 meters, turf, 3-year-old and up fillies and mares

Named after an outstanding and well-traveled Zimbabwean filly, this race has drawn a suitably international field, with horses from Scandinavia, Spain, and New Zealand joining the usual suspects from Britain.

2021 Natalma (G1) winner #9 Wild Beauty resumes after a limited three-year-old campaign; she won the Fred Darling (G3) over today’s distance before two Group 1 failures over longer trips. If she’s back to her best, she’ll be a tough opponent.

Godolphin also has 2021 UAE 1,000 Guineas winner #3 Soft Whisper, twice a winner at Listed level last year, while the best of the internationals could be #4 Carolina Reaper, a Group 3 winner in New Zealand now based in Dubai.

Wild Beauty could be at false odds so I’m taking Soft Whisper as my main bet, with the others in exactas.

Race 5, 11:20 a.m. ET: Al Rashidiya (G2), 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles), turf, 3-year-olds and up

Four runners carry the Godolphin colors here, and all have solid chances. Saeed bin Suroor saddles #1 Dubai Future and #5 Passion And Glory, first and second in the Bahrain International Trophy (G3) Nov. 18, while Charlie Appleby has #8 Valiant Prince, a four-length winner of the Ganton S. Jun. 10, and #10 Ottoman Fleet, triumphant by 5 1/2 lengths in the James Seymour S. Oct. 29.

Their leading challengers are #6 San Donato, winner of the National Day Cup at Abu Dhabi Dec. 4, and #11 Zagrey, last seen winning the Listed Grand Prix du Nord at Chantilly Oct. 30.

Ottoman Fleet looks like a horse going places, but the odds may be short, and he could want another furlong to be at his best, so I’m going to support Valiant Prince.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #8 Valiant Prince
  • $1 trifecta: 8, 10 with 1, 8, 10 with 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11

Race 6, 11:55 a.m. ET: Thunder Snow Challenge, 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles), dirt, 3-year-olds and up

Another very international event, featuring two runners from Korea, #4 Haengbok Wangja and #5 King of the Match, whose form is hard to line up. Several contenders took part in the Entisar S. Dec. 23, including #11 Bendoog (second that day), #3 First Constitution (third), #1 Ajuste Fiscal (fourth), and #2 Atletico El Culano (sixth). Given the set weight conditions, one could expect Bendoog and First Constitution to be prominent again.

Veterans #7 Military Law and #8 Salute the Soldier look the best of the others.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #3 First Constitution