John DaSilva looks at the Golden Shaheen


One of the most contentious races on the Dubai World Cup undercard is the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen. The race is run on the dirt course at 6 furlongs. With the scratch of Shillong, a field of eight well head to the gate.

Since there is no betting in Dubai, the morning line odds is based on what wagering will be here in the United States. The defending TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint and Eclipse Award winning sprinter Roy H has been installed the 4-5 favorite. The Peter Miller trainee has won all three starts since Kent Desormeaux took over the riding assignment. Roy H comes into this race with an easy victory in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes against three other opponents. While it was a prep, did he get enough out of that race to prepare him for this spot. He isn’t a need to lead type and his stalking running style could come in very handy in this race today.

The defending champion of the race is the champion New York bred Mind Your Biscuits. The Chad Summers trainee has been installed as the 4-1 third choice. He drew the rail and should be flying in the stretch drive. Mind Your Biscuits comes into this race off a second by a head finish in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park at 7 furlongs on February 9. While some may worry that he is not doing well because he is coming into this race off a losing performance, we have to remember that last year he finished second by neck to Unified in his final prep prior to winning the Golden Shaheen.


The foreign horse that  probably has the best chance to finish in the money in this race is the remarkable twelve-year-old Reynaldothewizard. The winner of the 2013 Golden Shaheen, Reynaldothewizard is coming into this race off a third place finish in the Group 3 Al Shindagha  Sprint. Since rules in Dubai dictate that horses cannot race after the age of twelve, this will be the final time we see Reynaldothewizard in the Golden Shaheen. While everything would have to break right for him to get the victory, he definitely has enough of a closing kick to finish in the money at a juicy price in the exotics.

The foreign horse that most people think has a shot to win the race is Jordan Sport. He tried to dirt for the first time at this distance in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal and wired the field . While he might be a good speed horse, chances are he doesn’t have the early speed of a horse like X Y Jet and I expect him to fade in the stretch and finish off the board.

The main speed of the race is X Y Jet. The 5-2 second choice on the morning line, The Jorge Navarro trainee actually ran in this race in 2016, where he was hard used throughout and finished second by neck. After coming off a thirteen month layoff, X Y Jet is wired the field as the favorite in his three starts prior to this race. The rest of the world probably has not seen early speed the caliber of X Y Jet in his previous experience in Dubai definitely helps in here.

The US-based horses are the class of the race here. Mind Your Biscuits might be compromised by the rail and the lack of quality pace to go with X Y Jet. So if that is the case, the question is who has the better opportunity to win here. Having experienced one trip from United States to Dubai and racing very well is a huge advantage for X Y Jet. He is the main speed of the race and his jockey Emisael Jaramillo is a very good veteran jockey from Venezuela that is one of the top jockeys at Gulfstream Park. While Roy H has shipped well to win a race like the Grade 2 True North at Belmont Park, it is a different ballgame shipping halfway around the world. Peter Miller did ship two horses to run on the World Cup undercard last year, finishing fourth with St. Joe Bay in the Golden Shaheen and fifth in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint with Richard’s Boy.

Handicapping the race I predict that the US-based horses will be first second and third. Top choice will be X Y Jet, with Roy H second and Mind Your Biscuits third. Reynaldothewizard is my fourth choice but I would use him underneath in the second and third spots in hopes he can get up and give us an overlay exotic payoff.

Follow John DaSilva on Twitter at @JohnDaSilva

PHOTO of Mind Your Biscuits by @Rblifeisgood

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