The second night of racing this season at Meydan offers a competitive card of six races sponsored by Al Basti Equiworld, led off with a purebred Arabians event and headlined by the fourth race, an open conditions event that’s drawn a field of 11.
In the opener for Arabians, we tip #5 NASEEM AL REEF, reunited on Friday with Gerald Avranche for trainer Eric Lemartinel. That last win at Abu Dhabi was in a race for amateur riders, and you have to like seeing the horse still run well. Under the experienced hands of Avranche, the winning ways could continue. We are most interested to see how #10 NOOR EINY gets on in her first start on Tapeta. She was a good thing at Abu Dhabi on debut last season and was off since before a second two weeks ago.
Race 2 – #12 GARBAH was just claimed at the line by Kingdom Beauty, who comes back the third race, and is our selection there. But now, Garbah will be asked to get over an extra 200 metres, and that promises to be troubling to us. #14 BIG ZEE is the top pick in this race after showing life at the end of that same race, finishing third, and covering 4 metres of extra ground compared to Kingdom Beauty, and 5 metres more than Garbah. That extra ground coverage equates to about two lengths. With the step up to 1,400, and the partnership with the stable’s top jockey, Royston Ffrench, Big Zee seems the value play.
Race 3 – As we said above, #12 KINGDOM BEAUTY is the play even though he is ten pounds off the top tri-rated contenders here. There is plenty of speed to attack in the spot and we have seen he is in form, and can rally into a fast pace when asked to do so given his win a fortnight back. If that pace collapses, he could come scoop the prize again.
Race 4 – #9 ROYATTY has two wins and a fourth from three starts on all-weather surfaces, and that non-placing was a fourth beaten 2.5 lengths in a salty Carnival contest last season that saw Emirates Champion best Halicarnassus. This field is on relatively level weights save a kilo for the 3-year-olds, but doesn’t have a great deal of pace, which could be the only major issue compromising Royatty.
Race 5 – Remove top rated #1 AQMAAR from the equation and the other 13 runners are separated by five pounds in the ratings – such is racing at Meydan. #14 STAR SURPRISE will likely draw plenty of attention from pick six players, but is probable for another wide trip, drawn out in 13. He lost significant ground last race as well, and we aren’t accustomed to backing those types of expected trips. #15 PRIME SPIRIT, our pick, makes his first local start, has a handy rail draw that should invite Yohann Bourgois to save ground, and loves all-weather surfaces. One of those all-weather wins came in 2009 against Right One, who has gone on to be a handy American runner for Christophe Clement and is Grade 1 placed on turf.
Race 6 – We peg #11 SKYCRUISER a potential repeat winner at Meydan this season after a strong win opening night. This race, his third off the shelf, could even be stronger than the first, which will be needed against better rated company.
2011-2012 Meydan season-to-date: 6 selections – 2 wins, 0 seconds, 0 thirds
2011-2012 UAE season-to-date: 30 selections – 8 wins, 7 seconds, 5 thirds (22% first, 56% top three)
|Meydan – November 25|
|1||5||Naseem Al Reef|
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