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Dubai World Cup Odds
Best odds bold; Place: Bet365, SkyBet, Betfair: 1/4 odds 1,2,3; Others: 1/5 1,2,3.
Dubai World Cup betting favourites on back foot
Gambling may be illegal in the United Arab Emirates but that does not prevent colossal amounts of money being wagered and won on Dubai World Cup betting across the globe.
Since 1996 the contest dreamt up by the man with the deepest pockets in horse racing, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has taken place at the end of March each year in Dubai. It is a Group One flat race which is run over approximately ten furlongs, now on an all weather Tapeta synthetic surface.
The Dubai World Cup provides the biggest prize fund of the horse racing year on the planet with US$10 million up for grabs. It attracts the best of the best horses from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the betting interest that follows them.
Hong Kong based punters alone bet over HK$100 million (nearly £9 million) in 2011 breaking previous records for betting volumes on the Dubai World Cup card. Phumelela, the South African based betting operation, also experienced unprecedented volumes taking nearly £4 million into its tote system housed in Johannesburg.
The Dubai World Cup has more often than not delivered great betting returns for legions of punters and put dents in the bank balances of bookmakers worldwide. There are not that many races in which the favourite has delivered for four years in a row.
The legendary Curlin started the 2008 Dubai World Cup as the heavily backed 4/11 favourite and romped home beating host Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Asiatic Boy by nearly eight lengths. The Eoin Harty trained Well Armed, a 66/1 outsider, was just behind in third with Gloria De Campeao finishing in eighth place.
2007 was a better year for the Maktoums and another great year for the majority of punters when 5/4 favourite Invasor, owned by Hamdan al Maktoum triumphed beating the John Kimmel trained Premium Tap by nearly two lengths.
Electrocutionist’s Dubai World Cup victory in 2006 was yet another triumph for punters betting on the favourite. Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori, Electrocutionist started at 5/4 and won by a length and a half beating Brass Hat who was disqualified. Electrocutionist was owned by Godolphin, aka Sheikh Mohammed.
In 2005 Roses In May was another favourite in the Dubai World Cup betting that came in for punters at 11/8. Pleasantly Perfect in 2004 spoiled what could have been a longer record for victorious front runners. He was nudged into the second favourite position as was the victor in 2003, Moon Ballad. Moon Ballad, owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed Bin Suroor started the second favourite at 11/4 under Frankie Dettori. He won by five lengths beating Todd Pletcher’s Harlan’s Holiday. The 11/8 favourite, another Maktoum horse, Nayef, trained by Marcus Tregoning, came third.
In 2002 it was a similar story. Street Cry, owned and bred by Sheikh Mohammed and trained by Bin Suroor, started as the second favourite at 9/2. He won by over four lengths. The 2/5 hot favourite Sakhee, also trained by Bin Suroor and owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum came third.
The Bob Baffert trained Captain Steve, victor of the 2001 Dubai World Cup was another winning favourite, albeit joint favourite in the betting at 7/4 with Bin Suroor’s Best of the Bests who finished eighth. In 2000 Dubai Millennium started the hot favourite and not only won in style but posted the fastest time ever for the race on the Nad Al Sheba dirt track.
Until 2010 the Dubai World Cup was run on the dirt at Nad Al Sheba, just ten minutes or so from the centre of Dubai. The race is now held on a Tapeta all weather surface at the track now called Meydan Racecourse which was rebuilt on the same site as Nad Al Sheba. The lavish new racecourse and surrounding complex accounted for over US$2 billion of the Sheikh’s money.
The results since 2010 have been slightly less predictable than in previous years. In both 2010 and 2011 the pace during the race was slow and the performance of the favourites possibly disappointing for this reason.
In 2010 many of the experts claimed that Gloria De Campeao, a 16/1 Brazilian bred outsider in the Dubai World Cup betting trained by Pascal Bary in Chantilly, France, had managed to steal the race from the front. Yes, he took the lead in the early stages and won by the smallest of margins in a blanket finish but it is worth remembering that he was a creditable second to Well Armed in 2009, beating many more highly rated rivals.
It was Bary’s instructions that helped Gloria De Campeao win the race in 2010. He told his Brazilian jockey, Tiago Pereira, to take the lead as he believed his horse would perform best if sent to the front and was tough enough to keep on.
It was an historic victory. It was the first time a horse that was not owned by American connections or a member of the Maktoum family had made it to the number one spot. The Mike de Kock trained Lizard’s Desire, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum was second by a nose. Godolphin’s Allybar trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni was third by a short head. The 100/30 favourite in the Dubai World Cup betting that year, Gitano Hernando, trained by Marco Botti could only manage sixth place under Kieren Fallon. The most fancied British trained horse, Sir Henry Cecil’s Twice Over, was tenth, just a head behind Brian Meehan’s Crowded House.
The 2011 Dubai World Cup result was another that surprised the betting market. The Japanese trained Transcend, winner of the Japan Cup and 40/1 outsider, was bustled into the lead from a fairly wide draw under Shinji Fujita but then well and truly anchored to slow the pace right down. Fujita was almost successful in emulating Tiago Pereira’s tactics but Mirco Demuro, Italian champion jockey, was quick to respond to the situation. He had settled the Katsuhiko Sumii trained Victoire Pisa, a 12/1 shot, in last place but soon realised that there was no future in staying off the ‘pace’ when there wasn’t any.
Whilst there was bustling and bumping in the pack close to the rail Demuro simply pulled his horse wide to overtake the field effortlessly and was racing alongside the leader by four furlongs from home. It was a wise and winning move. Anyone coming from behind would now have to go round a two strong Japanese road block. Demuro gained the advantage in the final furlong and Victoire Pisa stayed on gamely to triumph over a gallant Transcend by half a length. Sir Henry Cecil’s Twice Over started the 2/1 favourite but finished a very disappointing ninth.
In 2012 once again it was the race’s creator who won, but this time with a relatively unfancied Monterosso (20/1) from another of his runners Capponi (11/1). Winning jockey Mickael Barzalona got big reward for his decision to join Godolphin full time. He stood up in the saddle and celebrated fully a furlong out. The stewards in the Arab state are more forgiving than may have been the case in the UK. Certainly one day this will be the French teenager’s undoing. The favourite, ex-Aussie champ So You Think (5/4) was major disappointment in fourth for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
After a couple of interesting results gained from clever riding in slowly run races, the game is probably up for shock results. It can only be a question of time before favourites dominate again and Dubai World Cup betting leaves the majority of punters in profit.