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2010 Dubai World Cup Preview and Betting Guide

Ladies and gentlemen, here we go: the biggest purse on the planet is going to be decided in the 5:45 at Meydan Racecourse- the legendary Dubai World Cup, which is set for its first run on a synthetic surface.

There's been plenty of movement in the betting markets over the past 24 hours with the big story being Gitano Hernando (Hernando) moving into position as co-favourite with a 5/1 price tag with most major bookmakers. 2009 Breeders Cup-placed Twice Over (Observatory) shares the spot at the top of the heap.

America's most highly-rated representative is Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat) who is just behind these two, having traded as the ante-post favourite for a while, and he's priced at 13/2. That puts him just behind Vision D'Etat (Chichicastenago), who took the 2010 Hong Kong Cup at 6/1 against Collection- he also came 10th in the Arc De Triomphe at a 14/1 price.

Red Desire (Manhattan Cafe) has been an early tip for quite some time, and he's holding steady at around 15/2. Mikio Matsunaga's classy 4 year-old has Meydan experience, which is more than you can say for most of the favourites here. He also bested last year's runner-up Gloria De Campeao (Impression) when he took round 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

He's never finished outside the top 3 and boasts a record of 2-3-1 from 6 lifetime starts. He's in-form and well-priced and showed class over the surface. He's a force to be reckoned with against higher-profile opposition.

Crowded House (Rainbow Quest) has been a there-or-thereabouts type during his previous two races, finishing second to Allybar and Alexandros- good references, but he looks a better option for a place than a victory against this type of opposition. Funfact: he ran sixth to Sea the Stars in the Epsom Derby.

Richard's Kid (Lemon Drop Kid) is out of Bob Baffert's system and he looks a quality runner on the American synthetics, which I think bodes well for a reference on the Tapeta. He's fresh off a score in the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita in early February.

He finished third to Gitano Hernandez in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes last October and beat the highly-rated Einstein in the Pacific Classic that is also run on synthetic. Basically, if you're backing Richard's Kid you're saying that beating America's West Coast opposition is enough of a reference to win the Dubai World Cup. I think he's got a shot, but needs too much to go his way. He trades as high as 16/1.

Allybar (King's Best) is a solid Godolphin runner who boasts a victory over the talented Previs early in the Meydan meet. He took the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 and then bested Crowded House in his next race, but lost to Red Desire in Round 3 of the Al Maktoum. Godolphin winning this would be a fairly reasonable outcome and he's a decent spoiler, all things considered. He's certainly not a favourite, but I think he's a good bet at 14/1, and I would back him as low as 10/1.

Glorida De Campeao (Impression) is a classy runner with solid Dubai experience, but may find himself a bit overmatched here against some quality global all-stars. He's carrying a solid price at 16/1 and has put in great performances, finishing second in last year's Dubai World Cup. That was on dirt and this is on synthetic though, and there are simply better horses in the run-in here. He's a decent shout for a place, but needs a lot to line up for a 16/1 victory.

Mastery (Sulamani) is an interesting Godolphin-owned charge who's been a bit of a globe-trotter. His last outing was a 3rd place finish in the 2009 Breeders Cup Marathon, but I'm not sure whether this race makes a great deal of sense for him. He'll have plenty of gas in the tank, but I have a feeling that Godolphin may have him out there aimed at 3rd place. You'll find him as high as 20/1.

Lizard's Desire (Lizard Island) is another Mike De Kock entry and he has taken two races at Meydan this year, before finishing fifth to Red Desire in the Al Maktoum round 3. He's lightly-raced and has shown great form in the past, but is a bit iffy against first-class opposition. Needs a lot to go his way and trades at 25/1 all the way up to 33/1.

Mr Brock (Fort Wood) is another decent outside bet for a place, especially considering that his price trades as high as 40/1. He's one to look at if you're not impressed with anyone in the top 5, but looks to be a bit outmatched here. You'll find him at 33/1.

Furthest Land (Smart Strike) took the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile and you need to respect a victory on that stage, especially one run on a synthetic surface similar to the one at Meydan. He's been a bit inconsistent throughout his career, and hasn't shown much form this season, running 75 so far; classy, but not really up to this level. He trades around 40/1.

Amor De Pobre is a Middle East-based runner who is listed as high as 66/1. He's a bit mysterious- his previous runs all came in high-level races in Chile and he is taking a big step up here. He's run 3213 in his outings this season and could be a solid bet for a place or a rewarding bottom end of a forecast.

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