Not Listenen’tome in the Golden Shaheen
The Dubai Golden Shaheen over 6 furlong on dirt used to be easy pickings for the American sprinters, that used to be head and shoulder above the rest of the world in the dirt sprint here. The once dominant American sprinters have recorded just one win in the last six years, when Bob Bafferts Breeders Cup Sprint winner, Secret Circle took the 2015 edition.
Home field advantage for the Dubai based runners have seen them take three of the last six races with Krypton Factor, Reynaldothewizard and last year Muarrab. Muarrab just got the better of the American sprinter, X Y Jet in the last strides at 6/1, he takes his place again this year, and will probably go off at a similar price. He has taken in the same group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal prep race this year, last year he was an impressive 5 length winner but this year had to settle for sixth behind Morawij, and is winless since his win in last year’s Golden Shaheen.
There are several Americans in the field, but it’s the third place finisher in last year’s Breeders Cup, Mind Your Biscuits that stands out clear, and is put in as the ante-post favourite for this race. He really struggled to go the early pace in the Breeders Cup Sprint and is probably better over a furlong further but he is a strong contender.
The one horse that really does stand out in the field at the prices, is the Australian import to the Hong Kong stable of John Moore, Not Listenin’tome. He is one of Hong Kong’s highest rated sprinters, rated just a pound below Aerovelocity, Lucky Bubbles and Peniaphobia, but is put up at 20/1 with Bet Victor. John Moore won the 2014 edition of the Golden Shaheen with another Australian, Sterling City who made the switch from turf to dirt and on results his contender this year looks stronger.
The Golden Shaheen is his confirmed target, having run in the Al Quoz sprint on turf last year over 5 furlongs. After a recent barrier trial on the Sha Tin dirt track, Zac Purton was quick to try to secure the ride in this year’s race, but Tommy Berry had beat him to it, in his first race on dirt. Though he has never raced on dirt he trains on the surface so it shouldn’t be an issue on race day.
While it’s hard to gauge with accuracy how good the form compares in different countries there are several Hong Kong runners that have competed at Meydan that do bring the form together.
For the last couple of years Super Jockey has competed in the Golden Shaheen, and was beaten just a neck by Secret Circle in 2015, and last year finished a lacklustre fifth, beaten just over 6 lengths behind Muarrab. Super Jockey would be a level or two below Not Listenen’tome and has always finished behind Not Listenen’tome in his native Hong Kong.
This year, the ex-Roger Charlton Dundonnell, who now resides in Hong Kong has performed with credit at Meydan, having been beaten by Morawij in the Golden Shaheen prep by only a length and a half, in to third. Just last November Dundonnell finished ninth behind Not Listenen’tome in the group 2 Jockey Club Sprint at Sha Tin, beaten over 5 lengths.
The Jockey Club Sprint win for Not Listenen’tome was an impressive performance, where he travelled easily before being asked to take the race with Lucky Bubbles, Areovelocity, Able Friend, Amazing Kids filling the runner-up spots.
With the bookies pricing Dundonnell at 16/1 and the clearly superior Not Listenen’tome at 20/1, he really stands out. If he takes to the surface as well as his fellow Hong Kong raiders, then he would be the one to beat on form.