Japan have an excellent record in the Dubai Turf having won it three times in the past four years, and they look to have a strong hand to continue that dominance in today’s renewal.
Two of those winners re-oppose this year and both have had their issues since their respective successes.
2016 winner Real Steel has had injury woes whilst last year’s winner Vivlos – who we tipped at 25/1 that day – has lost her form somewhat since and encounters quicker ground this year, which may not help her cause.
Both are better horses than the favourite Benbatl, if British form is anything to go by, and this looks another excellent betting heat with British bookies who are laying some fruity prices on the non-European raiders.
With such a big field for this Group One and a hot pace all but guaranteed, I’m not at all keen on hold-up horses like Vivlos as it’s asking an awful lot to surrender a head start to horses proven at this level.
I expect the class horses who race prominently to hold their positions and CROCOSMIA looks to have a lot in her favour as a prominent-racing Group One winner from Japan.
She’s not got an ideal draw in stall 11 and will need to grab a premium seat at the front in the early stages, but she is a specialist at the trip and goes well on fast ground.
The 22/1 best price looks very big compared with the favourite, given Crocosmia has achieved more, and she looks a good bet.
The other one I like is second-favourite Neorealism, also of Japan, as he too is a Group One winner and likes to get one with it from the front.
He’ll be difficult to peg back if given the run of the race, but I’m a bit put off by the price at 5/1, which is very short in a race this competitive.
Of the Brits I respect Monarch’s Glen the most, but he’s a little short.
1pt win Crocosmia @22/1, 16:35 Meydan, Saturday