The 2016 Dubai World Cup is set to be even bigger than last year with phenomenal money up for grabs and easier quarantine rules making it easier to send horses abroad. The Dubai race season has become an integral part of the fixture calendar for trainers across the world and with increased marketing, it’s continuously growing.
With most of the season ahead of us, we can’t bring you Dubai World Cup tips just yet, but what we can do is give you this excellent guide to get you ready with some extremely useful tips for the season ahead before the big day. Our Dubai World Cup tips will make sure you can be profitable next March and take advantage of all the value such a betting proposition presents.
It’s perhaps no surprise that there’s no betting available for the Dubai World Cup 2016 at this point of the season. However, we run through some important Dubai World Cup tips and betting hints that will help you stay ahead of the crowd, even at this early part of the season.
This 2016 Dubai World Cup will be held on the 26th of March 2016. The Dubai World Cup is home to the world’s richest flat race, worth over a whopping $10 million USD which was won by Prince Bishop in 2015.
The day starts at 16:00 local time (12:00 UK) and features a nine race card with a truly international line up. Horses came from the UK, Ireland, France, America, South Africa, Argentina, Australia and so many more nations in 2015 with much the same expected in 2016. This creates an extremely unique atmosphere with racing of this kind unseen anywhere else in the world.
Given the obvious constraints of Dubai weather, the racing starts late in the afternoon with the finale, the Dubai World Cup held as the last race in darkness. The floodlit arena in Dubai is a real spectacle as the horses thunder up the home straight, all with the chance to land $10 million for their connections.
Tickets for the World Cup come in all shapes and sizes given Meydan is one of the finest and most expansive racecourses in the world.
Tickets range from your most basic viewing option in the Apron Views at 450 AED to a massive 3,750 AED in the first class lounge. That’s between £82 and £683 from your cheapest to most expensive options with a host of other choices in between. If you’re looking for a special weekend of racing in Dubai, the 2016 World Cup could be the event for you.
Dubai does have a very different feel to racecourses in the UK given that there is strictly no betting anywhere on the racecourse. Dubai enforces its strict anti-gambling policy so if you’re looking to have a bet whilst you watch the races, make sure you get your bets on before you get to Dubai or get your friend to put them on in a country where it’s allowed.
Godolphin Perform Very Well at Meydan
It’s perhaps no surprise to many punters that the Godolphin operation do extremely well in their backyard as it were. Since the year 2000, Godolphin have owned the winner of the Dubai World Cup six years, a little under 50% strike rate. Saeed bin Suroor, one of two current trainers for Godolphin has trained the winner seven times including the 2014 winner African Story who set the course record at Meydan.
In 2015, the surface on which the Dubai World Cup is held changed from Tapeta (sand) to Dirt. This was a direct response to American trainers who were critical of the Tapeta surface and whose horses generally race on and prefer dirt tracks.
This was an interesting move and one that should be taken into consideration by punters. Dirt is a very unique surface and some horses simply don’t go on it, finding a horse that will handle surface is half of the battle. This makes course or surface form incredibly important and it’s no surprise that the first four in the 2015 renewal all had either course form or form on a dirt surface.
Age is No Barrier
Prince Bishop won at a rather lofty 14/1 in the 2015 Dubai World Cup it’s interesting to question whether punters are overlooking the older horses.
From its inception in 1996 to 2009, there had only been two occasions where the winner had been aged over 5 (6 on both occasions). The majority of winners were relatively unexposed four and five year olds with plenty of scope. In the past six renewals, three of the six winners have been aged 7 or over.
It’s interesting to monitor these statistics to assess whether this is merely a statistical anomaly or a sign of a changing trend. Winners of the Dubai World Cup have been far more experienced in recent years with more emphasis on battle hardened types with extensive surface experience.
Know the Conditions
It’s a rather simple point, but it’s important to check which surface your race is on. Although the Dubai World Cup is held on the dirt track, not all races are with last year hosting five dirt races and four turf races. It’s a small but rather important fact you should check.
Dubai World Cup Race Positioning & Draw Bias
This is more important for dirt races than turf, but the impact of kickback can be quite severe on some horses. If a horse breaks slow from an inside gate, they are going to get trapped in behind if they can’t make up the lost ground and will have to sit and suffer. This can see some horses sulk badly and leave jockeys with no option other than to hold the horses wide outside, forgiving huge amounts of ground as a result.
Dubai More Than a World Cup
The Dubai race season is often overlooked by many punters throughout the winter given it’s not publicised in the UK media other than the odd tweet or result.
It can be little surprise therefore that many bettors miss out on key and essential Dubai World Cup tips and hints throughout the season. You wouldn’t bet on Cheltenham without watching previous races throughout the season so you shouldn’t do it for Dubai.
Of course, it’s not said that you need to be a Dubai expert to have a profitable Dubai World Cup. However, the reward is that when the big day comes along, you can spot the real value in the fields. Only three of the nine winners at the 2015 renewal had come from the UK & Ireland (Brown Panther, Sole Power and Prince Bishop) and even the latter had raced far more outside of the UK than he had inside it.
This gives a real bias amongst UK punters to horses with which they know and are accustomed to. This skews the betting market by making familiar horses shorter in price than they really should be. As a result, there’s a big value angle into races should you have the requisite knowledge of Meydan form lines and how certain trainers and jockeys have been performing.
The Dubai World Cup meeting hosts eight supporting races to the main finale, the ninth and richest flat race in the world, the Dubai World Cup. Four races are held on turf and five on dirt with six group ones, two group twos and one group one for Arabian horses. This is a mouth-watering meeting of globe trotters battling out some of the biggest prizes in flat racing.
Dubai Kahayla Classic (Arabian Group One) (Dirt)
Godolphin Mile (Group Two) (Dirt)
Dubai World Cup (Group One) (Dirt)
Dubai Golden Shaheen (Group One) (Dirt)
Dubai World Cup (Group One) (Dirt)
Al Quoz Sprint (Group One) (Turf)
Dubai Turf (Group One) (Turf)
Dubai Sheema Classic (Group One) (Turf)
Dubai Gold Cup (Group Two) (Turf)
Dubai is targeted by specific trainer’s year in, year out and it can often prove valuable to follow such trainers. One name that often springs to mind in Dubai is Mike De Kock. In 2015, he sent a double figure squad of horses to Dubai and had one of the most impressive winners of the week – Mubtaahij who ran out an eight length winner of the UAE Derby. In the preceding race, the Dubai Gold Cup, he saddled the 20/1 second Star Empire – both ridden by Christophe Soumillon. De Kock, who primarily trains in South Africa, often has his horses in peak fitness for the Dubai World Cup meeting with his horses generally suited to the fast-paced surfaces and hot climate.
American trainers are often worth noting in the big sprints with strong powerful types in their yards. In the Al Quoz sprint, Wesley Ward saddled Green Mask who finished a close up third behind two very strong favourites. The trainer of Acapulco and Undrafted, Ward usually excels with his sprinters and the Dubai conditions suit his horses perfectly. Another American trainer to strike gold in 2015 was Bob Baffert, the trainer of legendary American Pharoah (spelt incorrectly, but correctly for naming purposes). He landed the Golden Shaheen in 2015, a six furlong dirt race with Secret Circle under regular pilot Victor Espinoza and is another name to watch out for on the day.
The French are not to be underestimated at Dubai following two group one victories in 2015. Alain de Royer-Dupre took the Dubai Sheema Classic with Dolniya, who outpointed the much more favoured Flintshire. Both horses went on to have an exciting season throughout 2015 both in the UK and abroad and this proved a crucial piece of form. Even more worthy of a mention is Solow, Freddie Head’s amazing grey gelding. He was very impressive in the Dubai Turf group one, beating The Grey Gatsby, a subsequent second to Golden Horn. The masterful French trainer used the Dubai meeting as a springboard for an incredible season landing a whole host of grade ones and remaining unbeaten.
UK trainers have been relatively quiet in Dubai in the past few years with Saeed Bin Suroor leading the way. The sadly ill-fated Brown Panther was a most impressive winner of the Dubai Gold Cup for Tom Dascombe but that was the only victory other than Prince Bishop for the UK raiders. UK trainers perhaps overlook the Dubai spoils in favour of the UK race pattern across the summer, but there’s a general feeling that this is changing and more UK trainers and now turning their attentions to Dubai.
The closer we get to the Dubai World Cup 2016, we'll bring you the very best risk free bets for all the action from the United Arab Emirates. Until then make sure to check out all the best horse racing free bets throughout the year here.
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