Reynaldo is a wizard bet
Every race at Meydan on Super Saturday is a designated trial for World Cup night and Man On The Spot previews the action.
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Every race on Super Saturday is a designated trial for World Cup night in three weeks' time. Secret Number won this event a year ago before finishing third in the UAE Derby and his trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor, will be hoping EMIRATES FLYER can take this before heading for the main event. The winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial over 7f, he had no answer to the classy Australian Group 1 winner Long John in the real thing but had Asmar and Full Combat behind and there's nothing of the winner's calibre in this. He's No Saint definitely improved from his Irish form to make a winning debut here on Turf over 7f where he had Najm Suhail and Eye In The Sky behind. He could improve again but will probably need to if he's to see off the selection. Chord Chart was six lengths behind the selection in the Guineas Trial though looks as though this longer trip will suit.
SHEA SHEA won this last year from his old adversary Sole Power before going on to land the Al Quoz Sprint. The latter reversed the form in the King's Stand Stakes under a brilliant Johnny Murtagh ride and the pair will be at the forefront of the betting on World Cup night. Mike De Kock had already got a run into his charge last year but this time he arrives after an absence, as does Sole Power, though he's the best sprinter in the race and can make a successful comeback. Catcall was headed right on the line by Maarek in the Abbaye though that was on soft ground. He had a nice prep run a couple of weeks ago so will strip fitter than his main rivals though the quick ground is a concern. Alsaaeqah and Beat Baby were separated by a short-head in a handicap in January and should go well again, though that form doesn't match that of the three principals.
REYNALDOTHEWIZARD won this a year ago before completing a brilliant hat-trick in the Golden Shaheen where he had Balmont Mast, Krypton Factor, Tamaathul and United Color following him home. There's no real reason why he shouldn't be as good this time around and can take this as his prep run should be ignored as he got no sort of run. Soft Falling Rain was a champion sprinter in South Africa but Mike De Kock campaigned him over further both here and in the UK last year where amongst his victories were the UAE 2000 Guineas and the Godolphin Mile. It's a surprise to see him dropping back in trip but his trainer must believe he has the necessary speed. Russian Soul was in fine form here a year ago without quite managing a victory but he gradually improved during the summer and has returned in excellent form, having been narrowly beaten by United Color on his reappearance before landing a Group 3 last month.
This should go to Joey Ramsden's VARIETY CLUB, who made his debut here last month carrying a big reputation after his numerous Group 1 victories in South Africa and didn't disappoint those who supported him into a short-priced favourite. Despite an eight-month break, he made all for a very convincing victory and the Godolphin Mile now beckons. Haatheq, runner-up in the big one last year, chased him home and returned to something like his best though it wasn't good enough nor was it for Empire Storm and Capital Attraction, who occupied the minor positions. Eastern Rules has been in superb form over 7f and has no problems with a mile having won twice over the trip at Dundalk while Gold City has improved with every run here and could snatch a place at a fair price.
Meandre was conceding Empoli 7lb weight-for-age when beating him a neck in the Group 1 Prix Von Europa at Cologne in September and both have gone well here recently. But the former appeared to be beaten fair and square by Songcraft, though he was conceding 7lb and races off levels here. The latter's trainer is also represented by Excellent Result, who has been in fine form. His latest success came over 1m6f so Kieren Fallon, who is substituting for the suspended Silvestre De Sousa, will ensure a strong gallop. Battle Of Marengo, a close fourth in the Derby for Aidan O'Brien, has transferred to UAE champion trainer Ernst Oertel but finished tailed off last on his debut on Tapeta last month. He'll leave that form well behind now acclimatised while Mujaarib will be approaching his best and showed when staying on strongly over 1m2f last time that this is his trip. PENGLAI PAVILION has more scope than many of these and won a Listed contest for Andre Fabre in September. He was entered for the Arc and though only fifth behind Treve he caught the eye with a cracking effort, finishing very strongly after being badly impeded. He's handed the vote to make a winning start here.
AFRICAN STORY won over a mile on this card last year before taking his place in the World Cup, where he ran very well to finish fifth. He couldn't peg back his stablemate Prince Bishop, who was given a superb ride by Kieren Fallon, when both returned to action a month ago and there's no guarantee he'll do so again. The pair can dominate with the vote just going to William Buick's mount. The globe-trotting Joshua Tree is having his first start since the Japan Cup and, though previously landing the Canadian International, he's better over further and was well beaten on his only start on Tapeta. After an easy opening victory here in January, where he was gaining his fifth all-weather victory in as many starts, Cat O'Mountain never really got going when beaten a long way behind Elleval last month but a wide draw didn't help and he's better than that.
Saeed Bin Suroor won this last year with Sajjhaa, who went on to land the Dubai Duty Free. The stable is represented this time by Quick Wit, who doesn't look quite in that sort of class. But Godolphin also have the ex-French Vancouverite entered and Andre Fabre trained him to four victories last summer, all at 1m2f, before he found an extra quarter-mile too far at Longchamp. Trade Storm looked certain to appreciate an extra furlong when staying on behind Mshawish in a Group 2 here last week while L'Amour De Ma Vie won the Balanchine in fine style and with her mares' allowance has to be on the short-list. VERCINGETORIX, unbeaten in four starts in South Africa including a Group 1, was reportedly below his best before making his debut in a handicap last month but still had plenty in hand in beating Code Of Honor. This is a step up in grade but there's plenty more to come and he can continue his winning run. His stablemate Mushreq was a bit disappointing over a mile here last time but is better suited by today's trip.