Horses trained in Japan have been dominant in big races the past couple of years and they look to keep it rolling by sending out eight of the 15 runners in Saturday’s $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1).
There has only been one Japan trained runner to win the Dubai World Cup, trainer Katsuhiko Sumii saddling Victoire Pisa in his victory in 2011.
Standing in Japan’s way for a second victory in the world’s second richest race is the Bob Baffert trained Country Grammar, the defending champion and 2-1 morning line favorite.
Country Grammar rallied for second in his last outing, the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) behind the Japan based Panthalassa (7-1), who took the field gate to wire.
Baffert has won the Dubai World Cup four times. Saeed bin Suroor leads all trainers with nine victories in the race.
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The Dubai World Cup card gets underway at 7:30am ET and includes five G1 races for thoroughbreds. In addition, Road to the Kentucky Derby points will be up for grabs in the $1 million UAE Derby (G2).
Let’s head out to Meydan for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Meydan Racecourse Race 9 The Dubai World Cup (G1) Post 12:35 ET
3 Cafe Pharoah 15-1
8 Jun Light Bolt 20-1
4 Country Grammar 2-1
15 Vela Azul 10-1
13 T O Keynes 12-1
This guy is one of eight Japan starters this year and is going to be a decent price. Last out the six-year-old son of American Pharoah got a good trip in the Saudi Cup (G1) and rallied to finish third behind the gate to wire winner. He is a two time G1 winner on dirt at a mile, but has shown he can go farther. It looks as if the pace should be solid and while this surface has been kind to speed in previous years, the surface seems to be playing fair this year during the Carnival.
Jun Light Bolt
He beat Crown Pride two back in winning the Campions Cup (G1) at Chukyo back in December. Off a 2 ½ month break he checked in a non threatening seventh in the Saudi Cup with Moore aboard. Note Moore is back to give this guy another ride here which is encouraging. Among the Japan team he is going to get overlooked in the betting. The extra ground here should suit him.
The defending champ drew a tough post and is going to be a light price. The Baffert trainee did come with a good late run and was getting to the gate to wire winner late. He gets extra ground here and is the logical one to beat but can’t get too excited about backing him against eight Japan runners at a short price.