Dubai Preview: Switzerland can neutralize opponents

January 5th, 2023

Graded stakes racing begins at Meydan this week, and TwinSpires gives you the opportunity to bet on all races on Friday.

The seven-race card features three graded stakes races for Thoroughbreds, all of which lead toward Dubai World Cup day on March 25. Here are some spot plays for the features.

Race 3, 10:10 a.m. ET: Dubawi S. (G3), 1,200 meters (about six furlongs), dirt

Last year’s Golden Shaheen (G1) winner #11 Switzerland returns to racing. He’s now a nine-year-old, but he has a good record fresh and hasn’t shown any evidence of regressing yet. Recent Al Garhoud Sprint winner #1 Mouheeb and another returner, #9 Mubakker, look the best of the others.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #11 Switzerland
  • $5 exacta: 11 with 1, 9

Race 5, 11:20 a.m. ET: Al Maktoum Challenge R1 (G2), 1,600 meters (about one mile), dirt

I’m firmly in the camp of #5 Desert Wisdom. He was one of the best dirt milers in Dubai last season, and beat all but Japanese raider Bathrat Leon in the Godolphin Mile (G2) on Dubai World Cup night. He runs well fresh and is a great chance at level weights here.

His toughest opponent may be #1 Algiers. Winner of the Jebel Ali Mile (G3) last year, he ended 2022 with a close second to the highly-regarded Missed The Cut in the Churchill S. at Lingfield. He will be better again when stepped up beyond a mile, but he looks a good chance here.

Of the seasoned runners, #13 Prince Eiji makes the most appeal following his victory at Meydan Dec. 1. #6 Discovery Island showed enough last season to suggest he’s capable of figuring in the finish, while the first two in this last year, #9 Golden Goal and #14 Secret Ambition, also have claims.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #5 Desert Wisdom
  • $1 trifecta: 1, 5 with 1, 5, 13 with 1, 5, 6, 9, 13, 14

Race 6, 11:55 a.m. ET: Al Fahidi Fort S. (G2), 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs), turf

If he’s at his best, this race looks made for #11 Noble Truth. Group 1-placed at two, he failed on dirt in the Saudi Derby but came back to win the King Charles II S. at Newmarket and the Jersey (G3) at Royal Ascot. On the Dubai turf he looks to be very hard to beat.

Last year’s Jebel Hatta (G1) winner #3 Alfareeq looks the biggest danger, and he’s entitled to improve from his second-place finish in the National Day Cup at Abu Dhabi Dec. 4. Also keep an eye on #2 Al Suhail, twice placed behind the high-class Kinross in Europe last season.

  • $20 win: #11 Noble Truth
  • $4 exacta: 11 with 2, 3