Race 1 – Ford Explorer Maiden – 1,900 meters – Tapeta
Is this really the time for #12 CHICAGO MAY? 0-for-16 lifetime, this filly ran well last time in what seemed like a step down considering she was running in 0-100 rated events in France. Stephane Chevalier has put some quality on the track this season, getting a win two weeks back with Lando Junior. I really don’t understand why #5 TREACHERY debuted on the turf last winter at Abu Dhabi considering the connections. Still, the second behind Radegund Abbey last time was a solid performance and he is a likely contender who is also probable to set the pace. #1 FIERINESS gets the apprentice allowance with Harry Bentley, who has ridden well in his first season in the UAE. This will be the first time in his stunted career where he goes to the race twice in the same month – potential.
1st – #12 CHICAGO MAY, 2nd – #5 TREACHERY, 3rd – #1 FIERINESS
Race 2 – Ford Taurus Handicap – 1,200 meters – Tapeta
#8 INDIAN SKIPPER and his connections sat by last week and must have smiled as Reynaldothewizard churned out an incredibly impressive effort last week, his second win of the campaign. Indian Skipper was second and caught by that foe in his first local effort and it is more than enough to pick him on top in this spot. #2 GREEN BERET was third that day and came back with an improved effort second up. He was hampered at the start last time and it may have actually helped him settle, but he is saddled with significant impost from that last effort. A race is likely needed for #4 HE’SMINENOTYOURS, who had two decent efforts with fast times in the US last year.
1st – #8 INDIAN SKIPPER, 2nd – #2 GREEN BERET, 3rd – #4 HE’SMINENOTYOURS
Race 3 – Ford Mustang Conditions – 1,400 meters – Tapeta
We tipped #5 MAATH GOOL on his debut when fourth, passed on him when he won, and are slightly apprehensive of tipping him again. But still, he has shown an affinity for the surface, looked great winning last time, was franked with a winner from last week, and has a successful recency edge others don’t. These are serious connections and the breeding is impeccable to think he could do it again. #8 PARVAAZ has an all-weather win at Kempton and was likely in need of the break. Well intended here for top local connections and there is no reason to think he could be ok off the three month break. Let’s give #3 DHERGHAAM a shot to improve given his past form and that last race having been his first in six months.
1st – #5 MAATH GOOL, 2nd – #8 PARVAAZ, 3rd – #3 DHERGHAAM
Race 4 – Ford Edge Handicap – 1,600 meters – Tapeta
#12 FOR ONCE ran on well last time when making his first start over the Tapeta and has a weight advantage over some others. He is only 2-for-22 in his life, but 15 of 22 in the top three, and William Buick’s presence remains enticing. #6 DAN CHILLINGWORTH had a quality run last time, his second up off a 9-month lapse. With some slight improvement, the son of Indian Ridge could be right there. #1 NO STRINGS stands to come on for that last run after being 2 for 4 on the all-weather back in Ireland from 2008.
1st – #12 FOR ONCE, 2nd – #6 DAN CHILLINGWORTH, 3rd – #1 NO STRINGS
Race 5 – Al Tayer Motors Conditions – 1,200 meters – Tapeta
#2 FORCE FREEZE did something last season that doesn’t often happen – winning first up for Doug Watson. Barbecue Eddie did it as well, even adding to the surprise. That success in winning first up gave me the impression it is just something he enjoys. While that 112 rating leaves us to wonder if the stable wants to have him more prepared for the Carnival, he could just pop and go, never looking back. Lessons learned about understanding intent are key here, and we’ll pass. #8 ALO PURA is the selection. The mare won first up toting 59.5 and drops down to 54 in this higher company. Those might just be enough positives to back her in this spot. #4 MONTPELLIER enjoys the Meydan Tapeta, but take firm notice that #7 YIRGA draws the stable’s top jockey in Royston Ffrench. That makes us like the latter colt more than the former.
1st – #8 ALO PURA, 2nd – #7 YIRGA, 3rd – #2 FORCE FREEZE
Race 6 – Ford Fusion Handicap – 2,200 meters – Tapeta
#2 SWINGING SIXTIES seems spot on to improve off that near miss last time. The added distance should not be trouble given success over 2,000 in the past. This is his second off the shelf, a winning move for him at Jebel Ali last year. #4 TEQUILLA HEIGHTS ran a good one in his first start and might have been over racing a bit. Still, he stayed on for second and is logical to hang around for a piece again. Godolphin’s high hopes for #7 JOSE ADAN may have passed, but is it wrong to just have a feeling that this guy just runs a big one here?
1st – #2 SWINGING SIXTIES, 2nd – #4 TEQUILLA HEIGHTS, 3rd – #7 JOSE ADAN
Meydan stats season-to-date: 24 selections (7 first, 4 second, 2 third – 30% win, 54% top three)
UAE statistics season-to-date: 92 selections (23 first, 17 second, 8 third – 25% win, 52% top three)