Wedding day at Meydan
Man On The Spot's race-by-race guide to Thursday's meeting at Meydan.
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1430 Meydan Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Handicap
Godolphin began the Carnival last week with three winners and have four entries here. Cat O'Mountain has run four times at Kempton and won them all, including two over this distance. SAXO JACK won a Premier handicap for Ger Lyons at Dundalk and was attempting to concede today's rival Haafaguinea 5lb when beaten two lengths into fourth behind him on soft ground at Newbury. He didn't get the clearest of runs and can reverse form with the winner and take this. Sadeek's Song makes up the Godolphin quartet but he hasn't been out for a year. Neither Burano nor Mutin got involved in their respective races last week but are much better than that while both recent track winner Ralston Road and Brian Meehan's Great Hall ran in the St Leger. Energia Davros caught the eye on his reappearance at Lingfield last month after a long break and should be ready to do himself justice.
1505 Meydan UAE 1000 Guineas Trial Sponsored By Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire
The two southern hemisphere-bred fillies have plenty to do conceding weight to some very promising types, though Magrooma ran in a Greyville Group 1 last time. Charlie Appleby's Autumn Lily makes her debut on an artificial surface and her three victories came on fast ground including when conceding lumps of weight all round in a Newbury nursery. Her stablemate WEDDING RING had a brilliant first campaign culminating in victories in major fillies' auction races at Newmarket, on both occasions having Oxsana just behind. She can continue her upward curve by taking this, though the latter just failed to land a Listed contest in heavy ground at Newbury and should adapt to this surface.
1540 Meydan UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Sponsored By Dubai Duty Free And Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
Mike De Kock's two entries look useful, especially Full Combat who is on the short-list in a tricky race. EMIRATES FLYER ran a brilliant race in the lucrative Two-Year-Old Trohy at Redcar, just failing to concede 9lb to Ventura Mist. He looks the type to do very well here this campaign and can make a successful start. Godolphin also have Safety Check, three times a winner at Newmarket, and Figure Of Speech entered though the latter became disappointing after easily winning a Newmarket maiden then running well in Group company. Nezar looked progressive until flopping in soft ground at Newmarket and should do better while My Catch landed a Group 3 at Deauville with Make It Reel three lengths behind before finishing last in the Gimcrack. Dolce N Karama has a high rating thanks to a surprise fourth place in the Racing Post Trophy where he was a 200/1 chance.
1615 Meydan Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup Handicap
Godolphin's stable jockeys ride the long-time absentee Energiser and the Listed winner Tha'ir but Kieren Fallon will be delighted to have picked up a possible winning mount on CODE OF HONOR and few ride the track as well as the former champion. The four-year-old appeared to get better as last season progressed and produced a superb effort when just failing to catch Educate in the Cambridgeshire. Star Empire has won three races in South Africa and two on this track though this looks too short as his latest success came over 1m6f. Dabadiyan completed a hat-trick in Ireland before just failing to concede 5lb to Afonso De Sousa at Dundalk but it's a surprise to see Aussie Reigns on Turf after he produced his best ever run to land a Listed event on Polytrack at Kempton in November. So Beautiful didn't manage a victory at last year's Carnival but ran well in some tough races and should be respected while Sahawar was placed in Listed company in France before finishing down the field in the Arc. Sheikhzayedroad didn't stay the trip in the Ebor but had previously been placed at Group level and David Simcock will have him straight for this.
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REYNALDOTHEWIZARD produced a brilliant performance to land the Group 1 Golden Shaheen on World Cup night in March by a neck from Balmont Mast with Krypton Factor about a length away in third, United Color close behind in fifth and Kavanagh well in touch in sixth. The winner needed his opening run last year but had scored first time out the previous two seasons so should be ready. The progressive Rafeej has the benefit of a previous run and hails from a yard that can do little wrong at present while Russian Soul was in good form here last year and had a fine campaign in Ireland in the summer culminating in a Group 3 victory at the Curragh when Farmleigh House, Balmont Mast and Hitchens were close behind.
NINE REALMS had the useful Famous Poet just behind when landing a handicap at Ascot off a mark of 93 so appears to have got in lightly at just 3lb higher and can see off some better-fancied rivals in a tough race to call. Lehaaf is a bit of an unknown having won twice in South Africa last summer, though Mike De Kock will have him spot-on, while Godolphin's Validus won twice from three starts on Polytrack in the UK and has scope to do better as he's quite lightly raced. Regulation is a very tough handicapper who showed his liking for Polytrack at Dundalk last time while Counterglow has some smart form on this track, though he hasn't been seen for a year. Derbaas is a regular winner around here and has dropped to his lowest rating for some time so shouldn't be dismissed despite a big weight.