The Sheema Classic headlines the turf action from the Meydan on 2021 Dubai World Cup night with horses from the UK, Ireland, France and the USA joining the locals in what promising to be a terrific betting heat.
The local form is represented by Walton Street who won the key lead up, the Dubai City Of Gold. He did that well and seems sure to give a good account of himself once again but that form looks a meaningful notch below those stepping off the plane and single-figure quotes are probably flattering.
10/1 or so may also flatter Channel Maker. He has some form to lean on but American turf form is one big question mark and he got handled by True Self last time. Pass.
It really shakes out as three big chances from three distant parts of the world - Chrono Genesis, Mogul and Mishriff.
Mishriff beat real American form on the dirt in Riyadh and that is certainly admirable but it may not mean a lot back on the grass where a couple of wins over The Summit look a long way short of the French form Mogul showed winning the Grand Prix De Paris in fast time.
Mogul has been disappointing as often as he has been impressive - Channel Maker beat him home at the Breeders - but he was back on song with the right run in Hong Kong last time and there's a good chance that he is a better horse in 2021.
That he has been east is interesting. Mogul beat Exultant and he beat him well, but it was no better than what Glory Vase and Lucky Lilac handed out to him 12 months prior. And we can look at the clock. The Japanese scoot around Sha Tin faster as a rule. And, as another rule, the ones that do so are not the absolute cream of the crop in Japan. In Chrono Genesis we have some cream. She won both the Takarazuka and the Arima Kinen in 2021. Real races.
Japanese form travels and the chance to back some real Japanese form, against Saudi Dirt form and a hit-and-misser from Ireland, appeals. Chrono Genesis looks a strong favourite's chance.
The other big turf contest on the card is the Dubai Turf over 1800m where it is easy to land on Al Suhail taking a big step forward off a rusty return behind Lord Glitters in the Jebel Hatta.
He was a touch keen, ridden as though he needed the run, before moving into the race with purpose only to blow out late on. Fitness seems a reasonable explanation for that. Appleby's strike rate goes from 23% first up to 27% second up, so there is another clue there.
Lord Glitters is in the zone and Lord North was good enough to win a Prince Of Wales last season, so there is established form ahead of what Al Suhail brings to the table, but he has run a couple of slick times reserved for a potential top liner and has looked the part in doing so. This is a bar that he looks well up to clearing.
Back Chrono Genesis in the Sheema Classic.
Back Al Suhail in the Dubai Turf.