Richard Mann's previews Thursday's action from the Dubai Carnival with a couple of runners making plenty of appeal.
Australian speedster Faatinah is building himself a decent Carnival record and should be able to win again when lining up in the EGA Billets Trophy (14.30) at Meydan on Thursday.
The six-year-old was far from disgraced in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night last year having landed a decent pot here earlier in that campaign but connections appear to have made the decision that five furlongs is more his bag nowadays and that certainly looked to be the case when he slammed the reopposing Hit The Bid two weeks ago.
Hit The Bid was sent off the heavily-backed 7/4 favourite on that occasion but despite displaying his usual zest and skipping into the lead approaching the furlong marker, he had no answer to Faatinah in the closing stages as the latter picked picked up strongly to win going away.
Given that Faatinah spent much of his early career campaigned at six furlongs, it was no surprise to see him prove too strong at the finish on that occasion but he clearly boasts the pace for this trip and expect him to track Hit The Bid once again before having too many guns when given the office with a furlong or so to run.
Hit The Bid does enjoy a 3lb pull in the weights with Faatinah for that two and a half length defeat but it is hard to see him reversing that form, similarly Orvar, who was fourth in that aforementioned contest.
Alfredo Arcano ran well here last time but that came over six furlongs while former James Fanshawe-inmate Mazzini will need a personal best on his Carnival debut.
The feature race on the card is the Group Two Al Rashidiya with recent Singspiel Stakes hero Dream Castle bidding to confirm form with Racing History (second), Bay Of Poets (fifth), Deauville (11th) and Arod (16th).
With Godolphin also represented by First Contact and Leshlaa, this certainly has a competitive look to it and I'm happy to swerve it from a betting point of view and keep my powder dry for Dubhe who rates a fascinating contender in the concluding EGA Al Taweelah Trophy at 17.25.
Charlie Appleby's son of Dubawi looked a horse with a bright future when taking a Sandown maiden in fine style back in August 2017 and his sole start of the last summer, back at Sandown in April, saw him brush aside Communique in the manner of a very smart performer.
That four-length success reads particularly well now given that Communique, running off 84 on that occasion, has now risen through the ranks to boast an official rating of 109 following a campaign that yielded five victories, one at Listed level.
While an intended trip to Royal Ascot for Dubhe never materialised, nor another run in the whole 2018, it is no surprise, given his connections, that he was put away following a gelding operation with a Carnival campaign in mind.
A mark of 99 - 9lb higher than when slamming Communique - certainly gives him some leg room and although the application of a first-time tongue-tie and first-time cheekpieces does does jump off the page somewhat, the numbers would suggest that this is something that should be viewed as a positive.
In fact, Appleby is currently operating at a very healthy 23 per cent strike-rate when his runners sport first-time cheekpieces while only twice before has he combined first time pieces with a first-time tongue-tie.
Such statistics could be very significant, almost as much as Appleby's 23 per cent strike-rate with horses returning from a 200-300 day absence.
Despite Dubhe being off the track for 272 days now, it is hard to argue he won't be ready to do himself justice here, especially as he held a preliminary entry for a 10 furlong contest here last week.
With the Appleby stable really beginning to click into gear in the last couple of weeks, the exciting Dubhe looks worth a bet with the excellent Brett Doyle taking over in the saddle.
James Doyle, who would usually ride the stable's first string in the absence of William Buick, finds riding at 8-9 a real struggle so don't be at all alarmed to see him get the leg up on Spotify - carrying 9-5 - instead.
The market is headed by another royal-blue runner in Bin Battuta but he is up 4lb for winning a muddling race last time and though the second has already been out to frank that form, I remain unconvinced that he has the same scope for improvement as Dubhe.
Preview posted at 1630 GMT on 23/01/2019
GET THE FULL PICTURE: Don't miss out on FREE video replays and our fantastic My Stable tracker. Log in now and become a Sporting Life Insider.