Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes Preview 15052024 sport preview

Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes Preview 15/05/2024

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Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes Preview 15/05/2024
  • Al Musmak
  • Ancient Wisdom
  • Caviar Heights
  • Summary Verdict

Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes Preview 15/05/2024

Al Musmak

Runner-up in the Royal Lodge Stakes when last seen in September of last year, Al Musmak makes his three-year-old debut on the back of a very solid and very promising two-year-old campaign.  Having won an Ascot Novice on debut, he returned to that track two weeks later and finished second to subsequent 2000 Guineas runner-up Rosallion in a listed race which turned out to be one of the best two-year-old races run in the UK in the whole of the 2023 season.  Indeed he finished one place in front of the favourite for the Dante in Ancient Wisdom, who experienced the only defeat of his career to date in that Ascot race.  Al Musmak then went on to win the listed Ascendant Stakes at Haydock in September before signing off his juvenile campaign with a second place finish in the afore-mentioned Royal Lodge Stakes where he split the subsequent 2000 Guineas fourth Ghostwriter and this season’s Dee Stakes winner Capulet.  The original plan was to run Al Musmak in the 2000 Guineas however he missed that engagement and he comes here instead.  Based on last season’s efforts, he is firmly in the mix.

Ancient Wisdom

Ancient Wisdom comes into this race as a strong favourite and he too also makes his three-year-old debut following a very lucrative juvenile campaign that was finished off with a Group 1 success in the Futurity Stakes at Doncaster.  He won four of his five races as a two-year-old and his form has been franked handsomely across all of these races.  The likes of Ambiente Friendly, Dallas Star, Never So Brave et al have all come out as three-year-olds and won good races on the back of finishing behind Ancient Wisdom last season.  He is currently trading around the 7/1 mark for the Epsom Derby and his pedigree suggests that he will enjoy the step up to middle distances this season.  Although winning on a sound surface on debut, the son of Dubawi showed a distinct ability to handle soft ground on his final two starts and he was impressive in both of these races.  And so perhaps some cut in the ground will be of benefit to Ancient Wisdom this season though whether it is crucial to him only time will tell.  Although he has a reversal with Al Musmak to overcome, he comes into this race as a worthy favourite.

Caviar Heights

As opposed to both Al Musmak and Ancient Wisdom, Caviar Heights has raced as a three-year-old and he has clearly shown that he has trained on well from his juvenile days.  He didn’t set the world alight in his two-year-old campaign when trained by Andrew Balding however since moving to Karl Burke the son of Sea The Stars appears to be developing well and both of his appearances this season have proved to be very promising.  He was beaten just under four lengths into third place by Jayarebe in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket on his reappearance in a race that produced a very strong speed figure and that also featured a fourth placed horse in Ambiente Friendly who has since gone on to win the Lingfield Derby Trial in impressive fashion.  Caviar Heights then came out two weeks later and this time he was an impressive winner of the listed Newmarket Stakes winning by four lengths with a further eleven lengths back to the third horse Whip Cracker who had previously finished in front of Caviar Heights in the Feilden Stakes.  The time of this race was also strong and all of this suggests that Karl Burke has a very credible and improving candidate on his hands.  Caviar Heights sets the current three-year-old standard in this race and if running to a similar level as that of his first two runs this season, he has every right to be in the shake-up.

Having assessed the top three horses in the betting in some detail, it is fair to say that the rest of the seven strong field bring promise to the race however each and every one of them will have to step up on what they have achieved so far.  This is of course possible and the likes of God’s Window and Cambridge come from top yards that possess a wealth of talent.  However whether they are at the top of the pecking order in those stables is questionable.  Perhaps the most interesting runner from this posse is the William Haggas trained Economics.  As a twice raced Newbury maiden winner, he needs to take a huge leap forward to feature here though one suspects that his shrewd trainer wouldn’t be running him if he didn’t think that was possible.

Summary Verdict

In a race that looks likely to be dominated by the top end of the market, Ancient Wisdom has to be the percentage call and also the selection.  This has been the target for the start of his campaign this season and he comes here with the best credentials.  That said, Al Musmak does hold a verdict over him and he rates an obvious danger.  Of the rest, it will be fascinating to see how Economics performs given his profile.


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