The Dubai World Cup Carnival is now well underway and we are continuing to see some stunning racing at Meydan racecourse, as all roads lead to the World Cup night in just a few weeks.
This week again saw a number of eye-catching performances, with jockey William Buick and trainer Charlie Appleby again stealing the show, and the duo will again be expected to see some great success on World Cup night. So, with this being the case, here we cover three horses to follow from this week’s carnival races.
Where better to start than with Star Safari, who was well backed into 5-2 joint favoritism Feb. 11 at Meydan and duly obliged. This saw lots of punters getting involved with the card, with sites listed at Arabianbetting.com, which also covers the ultimate guide to betting in the Middle East and, of course, at this special venue. Ridden by Buick, Star Safari was reserved near the middle of the 16-horse field and was then asked to accelerate with about three furlongs remaining. The Sea The Stars gelding then picked up well to progress through the field and take the lead with about 100 yards remaining before holding off the strong, late finish from Away He Goes. This is a racehorse clearly thriving and he could have a lot of improvement left in him, so Star Safari appears to be a horse to follow moving forward.
The next horse to mention is yet another winner coming from Buick and Appleby. Secret Protector was heavily backed on the day as the 4-11 favorite for the Meydan Trophy Sponsored by Emirates Holidays. He entered the race having won his previous start impressively, so he was expected to be well supported by bettors in his first start at Meydan. Secret Protector tracked the leaders for much of the race before taking command in the final quarter-mile. It was then all too easy for the War Front colt as Buick guided him clear to pull away from the field and win by 5 ½ lengths. It was an eye-catching performance and Secret Protector appeared to do it very easily, so he should improve greatly for the run considering it was his first start of the season. It was yet another classy winner for these connections and Secret Protector is another worth following moving forward.
The final horse to make the list is yet another winner from the Buick and Appleby combination. Zakouski was beaten at 5-2 odds in his previous race but was made the odds-on favorite to bounce back and win the Al Rashidiya Stakes Feb. 11 at Meydan. Reserved in mid-division under Buick in the seven-horse field, the Shamardal gelding made smooth progress from just under three furlongs out. Zakouski then rallied to lead with about a furlong remaining and finished willingly to hold off both runner-up Court House and third-place finisher Lord Glitters. The latter was flying at the finish but the race clearly did not play to his strengths. The Al Rashidiya was an impressive victory for Zakouski, and he clearly is another horse to watch moving forward and looks poised to win more races at the track.