Race Preview - 2021 Balanchine Stakes

Racing and Sports preview of the 2021 Balanchine Stakes.

ALTHIQA winning the Cape Verdi Presented By Longines
ALTHIQA winning the Cape Verdi Presented By Longines Picture: Dubai Racing Club


As it typically is, the Balanchine is largely a rematch of the Cape Verdi which in 2021 was won in dominant fashion by the Charlie Appleby-trained Althiqa.

Althiqa had posted a series of useful efforts in the UK in 2020 but looked a much more complete product in her 2021 debut in the Cape Verdi, putting seven of her nine Blanchine rivals to the sword in an impressive display. 

On face value it's a case of how do they beat her? Late splits only put an exclamation point on her performance and do nothing to raise concerns about an extra 300m. 

Althiqa was sent out a 4/1 second elect there and William Buick opted to ride the 2/1 favourite Summer Romance who, not for the first time in her career, threw up a disappointing run. 

Buick jumps ship now and leaves Summer Romance to James Doyle, who has linked up with her for two of her three wins, and the betting jumps ship as well, making Althiqa a clear favourite only a shade better than even money with Summer Romance around 5/1. 

Click here for free form, speed maps and ratings for Meydan tonight 

This may be the place to find our angle. Summer Romance's two big ratings have come second up and her Group Three win at Epsom last season came second up off a very plain run when resuming. If she can follow that pattern here, and post the sort of peak that she is capable of, she can take plenty of catching with her ability to race handy a positive. Althiqa settled at the tail resuing, and got a strong gallop to run at, but that might not be assured this time and barrier one could leave the favourite with a tricky path to negotiate.  

Summer Romance looks a worthy gamble on a card that lacks real betting appeal away from the Balanchine. 

D'Bai tried his hand over a mile for the first time since 2017 in the Zabeel Mile and having finished quickly over 1400m last time that doesn't look likely to pull him up. He has all his cards face up but he is very reliable at a good level and this looks a very weak Group Two. 

Epic Hero won well at the carnival last year and has competitive rating and Bedouin's Story zipped home impressively to score when resuming but it all looks priced up about right in early betting. 

The Meydan Sprint sees a collection of evenly matched sprinters with interweaving formlines. 

Waady beat Equilateral in this race last year. Equilateral was beaten by Lazuli at Newbury in 2020 but the tables turned in the lead up and did beat A'Ali home at the Curragh.... and round and round we go. 

The lead up returned a particularly plain looking time and perhaps A'Ali appeals most given the scratchiness of that form but at 2/1 it's easy enough to let him go around unbacked. 

Recommended bets: Back Summer Romance in the Balanchine.


Racing and Sports