Meydan’s second Carnival meeting features six handicaps, a maiden and the Listed Dubawi Stakes over six furlongs on dirt. There are three Group 1 winners in the field of seven for the feature, including the favourite, Muarrab who is sure to improve on his second last time out. He can throw in the odd bad run, however, and did so in this race last year, so it’s worth taking him on with Desert Force.
Impressive in two wins over seven furlongs, Doug Watson’s charge is naturally fast away from the gates and if he does so again he could be hard to catch under Pat Dobbs. The same trainer and jockey team up with Bee Jersey in the opening mile maiden. The Jersey Town colt looked to have things sewn up on his debut, only to tire close home and finish third, behind Godolphin’s Capezzano and the re-opposing Fawree. The latter, trained by Mike de Kock, has his issues with the stalls, but will appreciate the step up in trip here and is the tentative pick in a race which could well provide pointers for the UAE Classics later down the line.
De Kock could enjoy a good night in the handicap division, too, and his Argentinian recruit Tahanee has been the subject of good reports at home. Four from four on turf, she is in new territory here, but can go well, as can Secret Brief, the only runner on the card for Charlie Appleby, who is just 2lb higher than when running well under similar conditions last season. Stall 15 won’t make things any easier, however.
Sticking with the De Kock team, his Sanshaawes is approaching the veteran stage, but ran a blinder last week in Listed company. He drops back to a handicap here, and can go well again in the concluding ten furlong turf event. Basateen, one from two in the UAE, was only beaten six lengths in the Group I Dubai Turf in March and is also respected, having conditions seemingly in his favour.
The Satish Seemar yard have been in good form recently, and their North America can continue his progression in the mile dirt handicap, a race in which there are two raiders from South Korea. Power Blade, competitive in international company in September, looks the pick of the pair. Seemar can also have a say in the third race, a weak turf handicap for locally-based horses, in which it might be worth chancing his ex-Godolphin inmate Town’s History, who has been progressing well on the dirt and will appreciate a return to the green stuff.
Meydan also races on Saturday this week, where First Start, making just that in the opening maiden, is fancied to make a winning debut. Later on, the six furlong handicap looks tailor-made for Lytham St Annes, who returns to Meydan after shaping well on his dirt debut at Jebel Ali last time out.