Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein – Preview
The second Group 2 on Saturday’s card and it’s a fascinating contest. Made even more interesting by the fact that Saeed Bin Suroor has opted to run the highly progressive colt Real World in this instead of the Prix Dollar.
A little bit of history is likely to be made too, albeit in different forms. If The Revenant is successful, he will be the first horse to win this race three times. If Godolphin win with either Real World or Victor Ludorum then they’ll be the winning most owner in this contest outright with five victories.
The Revenant has won the previous two renewals of this race and aims to make it three straight successes. On his best form, he’s a certified Group 1 performer and will be difficult to beat. However, he’s clearly got his issues and we’ve only seen him on a racecourse now four times in the last two years.
Now six years of age, it could be that father time is starting to catch up with him and the question is; will he be at his best? The forecast rain will be welcome news for his connections. Softer underfoot conditions will suit him better than the good ground he faced in April and May when defeated at short prices.
If The Revenant is on top form and runs to his best, it’ll take an exceptional performance to beat him. The trouble is this looks a deep renewal. Early indications suggest bookmakers are divided on him: he’s as short as 6/5 and as big as 2/1.
Real World has been a revelation since returning from Dubai this year. He started his career by bolting up in a maiden in October last year at Chelmsford before running four solid – but not spectacular – races on dirt in Meydan.
He pulverised the opposition his first start on turf at Royal Asoct in the Royal Hunt Cup. Arguably drawn on the wrong side too it was one of the most impressive handicap destructions you’re likely to see. He has subsequently taken the step up to Listed and then Group 3 company in his stride, looking for all the world that he has the potential to ply his trade in Group 1s.
It’s interesting that connections opt for this race as opposed to the Prix Dollar as this looks a stronger contest. Perhaps they are worried about the ground potentially given he’s yet to encounter a soft surface.
Despite winning last year’s Poule d’Essai des Poulains there is a slight feeling that Victor Ludorum hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. That’s not to discredit him and there is probably too much expectation for every Group 1 horse to produce something sensational every time. There is conversely the argument that last year’s Poulains was very weak. Indeed, from that Poulains race – Victor Ludorum aside – only Ecrivain has managed to win a group race since.
Nevertheless, his run behind Baaeed in the Prix du Boulin was a solid Group 1 effort and on all known form he is entitled to be going close in this. There is just a feeling that Godolphin have stronger credentials with Real World.
Dilawar is a fascinating contender. He is a gelded son of Sheema Classic winner Dolniya. Kickstarting his career in June this year with a debut success over 12f at Compiegne he has dropped back in trip on every start since. Most recently, he hosed up in his first foray in to group company in a Group 3 at Deauville over a mile.
He cantered all over the opposition that day and looks a potential Group 1 horse in the making. The most unexposed horse in the line-up, he fits in to the could be anything bracket.
Running to a fair level through his two-year-old career, Rodaballo has taken his form to a new level this campaign. His two victories at Madrid in April and June are hard to weigh up but he beat a solid yardstick in Jin Jin on his most recent outing at Baden Baden at the beginning of September. He does shoulder a penalty for that Group 2 success which makes life difficult for him. Rodaballo is, nonetheless, an interesting contender and a tough one to judge. He adds another interesting angle to this contest.
Best Of The Rest
Couersamba sprung a surprise when winning the Pouliches in May. Her two subsequent runs haven’t been as good and she is penalised for that success. She takes on the colts and geldings for the first time in Group company and this should be too much for her. I was hoping that Novemba would run in the Foret as I think 7f on soft ground would be ideal for her. This too arguably looks as strong, if not stronger, than the Foret. If she doesn’t prove tractable it’s difficult to see her lasting home and beating some of these over a mile.
Century Dream, Ecrivain, Stormy Antarctic, National Service and Mythico are capable group performers on their day but I struggle to make a solid case for any of them given the calibre of some of the market principles.
This could almost be a Group 1 race. If the real The Revenant turns up then he is the one they all have to beat. I think there are some questions marks hanging over him and, at the prices, I’m happy to look elsewhere. Victor Ludorum is solid, particularly at this level, but I think at least one or two will get the better of him. At 4/1+ I think Real World is the value and my idea of the most likely winner. I think there is also more to come from Dilawar and I’ll side with potential over proven form on this occasion. Real World and Dilawar could be the two to focus on and maybe those two in exotics.