Talking Horses: T O Keynes can scupper Dettori in Dubai World Cup
The second significant stopping-off point on Frankie Dettori’s global farewell tour is the Dubai World Cup card at Meydan on Saturday evening, when he will attempt to follow up last year’s success in the feature event aboard Bob Baffert’s Country Grammer.
Dettori and Country Grammer finished second behind Panthalassa in the $20m (£16.4m) Saudi Cup last month and he has already landed £8.25m in just three rides aboard the six-year-old, which means Country Grammer will overtake Enable as the highest earner of Dettori’s career if he lands the spoils on Saturday.
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He stayed on well over nine furlongs last time out and will be suited by a return to the World Cup’s 10-furlong trip but he has a wide draw in stall 14 to overcome and faces a competitive and international field of opponents, including Algiers, from Simon and Ed Crisford’s Newmarket stable, and no fewer than eight contenders from Japan.
Crisford, who was Godolphin’s racing manager when Dettori landed his first World Cup on Dubai Millennium in 2000, has flourished as a trainer since 2015 and Algiers, relatively lightly raced for a six-year-old, has been impressive in two wins on the Meydan dirt earlier in the year.
He is just one stall inside Country Grammer, however, and at the likely odds, T O Keynes (4.35) could prove to be the pick of the Japanese contenders and give Oisin Murphy his first big-race success since returning from a 14-month suspension.
Daisuke Takayanagi’s six-year-old was half a length behind Ushba Tesoro, who is also in Saturday’s field, at Kawasaki in February but did not get much luck in running there and Murphy can be trusted to make the most of his excellent draw in stall six.
Newbury 1.30: Pearly Island showed a decent turn of foot to win with something to spare last time and can shrug off a 6lb rise in the weights.
Kelso 1.50: Course-and-distance winner The Navigator is back below his last winning mark and has the added assistance of useful conditional Patrick Wadge taking off another 5lb.
Newbury 2.05: If his jumping holds up as well as it did at Haydock last time, Super Six should be able to follow up his 15-length success off a 9lb higher mark.
Kelso 2.25: A decent opening for Jet Legs, who remains relatively unexposed at staying trips.
Newbury 2.40: Aubis Walk was 23 lengths clear of the runner-up last time despite still showing clear signs of inexperience, so an opening mark of 116 could well prove to be generous.
Kelso 3.00: All nine runners go to post with a chance, but Jane Du Berlais could have the most scope for progress on her handicap debut.
Meydan 3.10: Lord North and Frankie Dettori go for a third consecutive success in the Dubai Turf but Serifos is a tough new opponent and could have a narrow edge over John Gosden’s runner.
Bangor 1.23 Si Elegant 1.58 Broomfields Cave 2.33 Blueberry Wine 3.08 Tamganyika 3.43 Fostersisland 4.18 Methodtothemadness 4.53 Kings Justice
Newbury 1.30 Pearly Island 2.05 Super Six 2.40 Aubis Walk (nap) 3.15 Love Is Golden 3.50 Norman Fletcher 4.25 Le Ligerien 5.00 Ruthless Article
Lingfield 1.45 Sausalito 2.20 Umberto 2.55 Erosion Risk 3.30 Badri 4.05 Democracy Dilemma 4.40 Los Camachos 5.15 El Hombre
Kelso 1.50 The Navigator 2.25 Jet Legs (nb) 3.00 Jane Du Berlais 3.35 Doyen Breed 4.10 Caithness 4.45 Bollingerandkrug 5.20 Coniston George
Wolverhampton 5.30 Annalee Lass 6.00 Goldkit 6.30 Exquisitely 7.00 Joyful Act 7.30 Muscika 8.00 Lion Ring 8.30 Come On John
Kelso 3.35: Doyen Breed took a step back in the right direction at this track last time and will appreciate the return to an extended trip.
Meydan 4.00: Equinox took both Autumn Tenno Sho and the Arima Kinen, two of Japan’s top Group One events, last year and could prove to be more than a match for Rebel’s Romance, Charlie’s Appleby’s Breeders’ Cup Turf winner, if he can replicate that form on his first trip overseas.