Dawn can prove worth the wait
Man On The Spot previews the latest action from the Dubai Carnival which takes place at Meydan on Thursday.
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1515 Al Naboodah Commercial Group Trophy Handicap (Turf)
Light Heavy burst on to the scene in Ireland last spring and completed a hat-trick in the Derby Trial at Leopardstown. He didn't fulfil that promise though he ran in the best races and will be better for his run behind The Apache here three weeks ago when So Beautiful, who already had a run under his belt, was just behind. Starboard won three times for John Gosden culminating in a Group 3 at Longchamp in September.
He wouldn't want the ground to dry out while Salon Soldier weakened quickly on his debut here last month though that will have done him the world of good. The 2011 Hardwicke Stakes winner AWAIT THE DAWN was never in the hunt after a slow start here two weeks ago but Mike De Kock will have him ready for this and he's given the nod over Mikhail Glinka, who loves it around here and made a satisfactory return after a long absence when third to Trade Storm over a trip short of his best last week.
15.50 Al Naboodah Travel & Tourism Agencies Trophy Handicap (AWT)
SPECIFIC GRAVITY tries Tapeta for the first time after a couple of fair runs on Turf and providing he acts on the surface he looks well enough handicapped to take this. Con Artist was having just his second start in Dubai when a close second to stablemate Kassiano, who has since won again, last month and looks certain to give a good account.
Not A Given wasn't beaten far in fifth and the former USA-based colt should be cherry-ripe after two runs here. Treble Jig is a star at Jebel Ali though doesn't do so well around here but Zain Shamardal is back in his correct grade after taking on more than he could cope with in a Grade 2 a fortnight ago.
1625 Balanchine Sponsored By Al Naboodah Construction Group (Fillies' Group 2) (Turf)
IGUGU has run a dozen races in South Africa and won all but two. Her victories include four at Grade 1 level and she's obviously a high-class mare who can make a winning reappearance. Her six rivals here include three from the Godolphin camp and Sajjhaa, who won the trial for this, the Cape Verdi, in convincing style despite having to race wide, looks the best of them.
Twice runner-up in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York, she's a class-act who looks certain to be involved in the finish. Dark Orchid and Spellwork were both well beaten in the Cape Verdi though the latter wasn't right according to her rider. Lily's Angel arrived here in good form and has continued to thrive, landing a handicap in good style at the opening Carnival fixture last month. She looks better than the other Irish-trained entry Colliding Worlds while Prussian, though a useful handicapper for Mark Johnston, has a lot more to do this time.
1700 SMKA Trophy Handicap (AWT)
My Freedom was a decent enough handicapper in the UK and made a promising start in Dubai behind Nawwaar three weeks ago. Famous Warrior won a minor race here in November but has been well beaten since stepping up in class. Ariete Arrollador has yet to find his form but was in very good heart here a year ago and would be a threat if anywhere near his best.
SANDAGIYR is another who hasn't looked quite at his best but his overall form around here bears the closest inspection and he'll take some beating from what looks a lenient mark. Santefisio is steadily finding his feet around here and though never in the hunt in a Group 3 last week he was nearest at the finish and looks ready to strike soon. Maritimer and Muraweg are others to consider in an open contest.
1735 Al Fahidi Fort Sponsored By Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (Turf)
MUSIR, who won the UAE Derby here in 2010 and the Al Rashidiya a year ago, has his first start since an aborted attempt at stud but is back on the track and, as he has always gone well after a break in the past, he looks the one to be on. He had stablemate Master Of Hounds behind in that race a year ago while another Mike De Kock inmate, Mushreq, was well beaten when attempting Group 2 company a fortnight ago.
Mandaean had Don't Call Me over a length behind when they occupied the first two places in a handicap last month with subsequent Tapeta winner Iguazu Falls behind though that form doesn't look quite strong enough. Le Drakkar created a shock when beating Tamaathul over 7f but his earlier form suggested he was up to the task and he may not be far away this time.
18.10 Al Naboodah Construction Group Trophy Handicap (Turf)
Many of these ran in the race won by Medicean Man over the track and trip three weeks ago. RUSSIAN SOUL finished runner-up just ahead of Bear Behind with Inxile a close fourth and Beat Baby, Pabusar, Stonefield Flyer and the very disappointing Temple Meads behind. The latter can do much better but it's the runner-up, who wasn't as well drawn as the winner, who can come out on top again despite the fact that he has to be produced right on the line. Invincible Ash, a stablemate of the selection, found his form around this time a year ago and with a couple of races under his belt and his rider claiming a healthy 7lb, he could snatch a place at a fair price.
- All times GMT.