Dubai: The Dubai Sheema Classic has had some superb horses winning it over time and the 2014 vintage looks a top one again with some brilliant horses competing. No yards has ever really dominated this, but Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Surour is the most successful as he is the only trainer to have won the race twice.
Bin Surour will be looking for his third win in the race with Excellent Result, who has done little wrong this season and arrives here looking for a hat-trick after winning the Dubai City of Gold on his last start. He looks a progressive sort and is sure to put up a strong challenge.
Many people will have Magician on their competition forms as the likely winner and this could be a sharp selection. This son of Galileo has superb form coming here after winning the Breeders Cup Turf on his last run. He represents the mighty Aiden O’Brien team who won this race last year and trainers son Joseph takes the ride.
Mike De Kock is represented by Mars, who raced in Europe for Aiden O’Brien before changing ownership for the winter campaign. He is a high class horse who is difficult to win with but he is outrageously talented. Teaming up with the dual British Champion Jockey Richard Hughes could just be the making of him as their preferred styles of running may just click.
Cristophe Soumillon is often in the Mike de Kock team but here the likeable jockey is partnering with the 2012 Sheema Classic winner Cirrus Des Aigles. The gelding is still in training and going strong and he will certainly be a player. His draw in stall 15 is against him as he will have to run the longest route but ignore him at you peril. His trainer Corinne Barande Barbe just said if he is the best horse he can easily win from there.
Gentildonna was expected to win this race last year and she arrived with such great confidence. The race just did not provide her with the bit of luck you needed to win so she is back for another crack at this contest. In the meantime, she has become the first horse to win a Japan Cup twice and has partnered with Ryan Moore and she is sure to be a real threat and one to keep an eye on.
Another horse from Japan is Denim and Ruby and this horse was just beaten by Gentildonna in her prep race by a nose. With a preferable draw to her conqueror that day she may well reverse that form and it would be no surprise if that form is good enough to see her win.
With many globetrotting stars such as Dunaden and Mount Athos, the race is deep in quality and although there are many who hold real claims for this. Dominant from Hong Kong is another class performer who could go very close this year.
In conclusion, Gentildonna was just touched off in this last year and now has a difficult draw to contend with so Magician is preferred with the progressive Excellent Result also expected to progress again and be in the mix.