A small but quality field lines up in 2019. Half the field is quoted at single-figure odds, which should make for an exciting affair on March 30th. And now we'll take a closer look at this year's 2019 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail.
2019 DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC BETTING PREVIEWOLD PERSIAN is a winner of seven from 12 career starts and he comes into this race having won the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold earlier in March. He also registered four victories during an excellent 2018 campaign – most notably landing the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and narrowly beating subsequent Melbourne Cup-winning stablemate Cross Counter in the Great Voltigeur at York.
REY DE ORO is a lightly-raced Japanese raider who although now five has scope for improvement off just five career starts. He stamped herself as a genuine star with her win in the Tenno Sho in October last year and he was only narrowly denied by Blast Onepiece in the Arima Kinen last time out at Nakayama in December.
MAGIC WAND contested six Group One races in a row, running second on four occasions. He was an impressive winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and was last seen filling the runner-up spot in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in America.
SUAVE RICHARD finished runner up behind the second favourite Rey De Oro in the 2017 Japan Cup and then last year finished third in the same race. He also earned his first Grade 1 in last spring’s Osaka Hai (G1) and resumed with a solid fourth in the Nakayama Kinen (G2) that should put him spot-on for new rider Joao Moreira.
CHEVAL GRAND, another Japanese contender, is only a three-time winner from 21 starts but he hasn't been running against anything less than the best opposition. He finished 3rd in the Arima Kinen lat Nakayma last time out and beat home Rey De Oro in the process.
RACING HISTORY has been a smart runner in defeat in his last four outings this season with them all coming at the Meydan racetrack and two of them over C&D. Last time out he was narrowly beaten by Old Persian in the Dubai City of Gold. Prior to that, he finished runner up to another stablemate in Spotify.
DESERT ENCOUNTER finished 9th in this race last year but has since come on winning over this distance in a Group 1 in Canada which is his best form to take into the race. Although sure to come on for the run, these waters are a lot deeper, and he appears bound for a minor award at best.
HUNTING HORN is the second string for the Aidan O'Brien yard and could be best employed as a tactical aide.