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Meet the Contenders: UAE Derby 2023

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meet a running horse 2023 UAE Derby (G2) Meydan in Dubai is over 1,900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles). For each horse, we list strengths, weaknesses and potential ratings. Stars from 1 to 5 represent the chance to excel in the Emirates Derby.

Pros: The Saudi Derby (G3) fourth was bred in Southern Hemisphere time and is a few months older than his UAE Derby rivals.

Cons: His peak weight is projected to be 131 pounds, 10 pounds more than the other contestants.

#2 oh my god

Majors: Killavullan (G3) and Patton S. The winner arrived in hot form with three-time UAE Derby winner coach Aidan O’Brien.

Cons: He never runs on dirt, though his pedigree offers the potential to succeed on the surface.

#4 continue

Pro: Win Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun on the road to the Kentucky Derby in Japan and finish third in the Saudi Derby (G3) to kick off 2023.

Cons: He’s stepping up for tougher competition.

#6 Hard Heir

Pros: Defeated the venerable Hopeful (G1) in the 2,000m in Japan last December.

Cons: His signature win came on turf, though he also went 1-1 on dirt.

#7 Go, soldier go

Pros: Won Al Bastakiya three weeks ago on this track and distance.

Cons: He improved significantly in class.

#8 strong to son

Pros: Heads out of Hyacinth on Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, which has produced UAE Derby winner Lani (2016) and Crown Pride (2022).

Cons: He finished fifth in the bluebell race, beaten by UAE derby rival Perier by 5 1/4 lengths.

#9 Rakhlesh

The Pros: Beat Go Soldier Go by 4 1/2 to win a conditional match at the Maidan with two restarts.

Cons: Failed when finishing sixth behind Go Soldier Go in Al Bastakiya.

#10 Mr Raj

Pros: Didn’t miss a three-game winning streak in four games, three of which were at the Maidan.

Cons: Lost by a head to Go Soldier Go in Al Bastakiya and face tougher competition on Saturday.

#11 Perrier

PRO: 2023 kicks off with Hyacinth’s easy win on Japan’s road to the Kentucky Derby.

Cons: Finished third behind Derma Sotogake in Zen-Nispon Nisai Yushun last December.

#12 tall boy

Pros: Showed an affinity for the Maidan when he broke his Virgo at the Emirates Two Thousand Guineas (G3).

Cons: Won 4-0 in the US last year.

#13 Worcester

Pros: Thoroughbred foal gets a nice third at Santa Anita’s Robert Lewis (G3) On the way to the Kentucky Derby.

Cons: He has yet to make the championship lap in three fights.

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