Race 1 – Meydan Godolphin Parks Handicap – 1,600 meters, Tapeta
#1 QUITE A SHOW was an overwhelming favorite last week at Sharjah but he missed the break and was never involved. He gives it a go on the Tapeta this week and should come on for the run. Unfortunately, it seems Tadhg O’Shea likely had a choice of mount here and he lands on #2 ROYAL CLASS, beaten more than eight lengths by #4 KNIFE, who has done little wrong since getting off the Abu Dhabi turf. A competitive, but short field gets us going on Thursday, and given the improvement of Doug Watson’s Fantastique MHF last week at Sharjah, I’m siding with his top rated colt. #7 RAFED ran on well from the rear to almost catch #5 AF AMTHAAL on opening night and while the added distance will help him, the class rise could be trouble.
1st – #1 QUITE A SHOW, 2nd – #7 RAFED, 3rd – #4 KNIFE
Race 2 – Meydan IMAX Maiden – 1,600 meters, Tapeta
#14 ENERGIA CENTRAL ran a topper last time to fall just short in her local debut and gets another weight break here. She ran the best race in the field and could get a better shot to land the top prize. We were high on #6 KING’S CONGRESS last week in his Sharjah debut and he wheels back in five days to give the Tapeta a try. That debut wasn’t awful and he showed enough there to think he could grab a slice with the fresh experience. #3 WEST EMIRATES has been repeatedly close in the UK with five placings from as many all-weather starts. You have to love seeing Kieren Fallon riding the domestic season and make you think there is a chance here.
1st – #14 ENERGIA CENTRAL, 2nd – #3 WEST EMIRATES, 3rd – #6 KING’S CONGRESS
Race 3 – Meydan City Corporation Conditions – 2,000 meters, Tapeta
If you need any proof that the domestic racing season in the Emirates is on the dramatic upswing, look at this event. While it seems possible that any of eight could land the prize in this 11-horse field, I’m landing on the most logical choice in #8 ROCHDALE. That performance first up was too easy and too impressive to overlook, especially with the field on level weights here. #3 HOPES AND FEARS ran his best race in the UAE last time and it gave the impression that Musabah Al Muhairi figured out whatever was his previous issue. I think he could move forward.
1st – #8 ROCHDALE, 2nd – #3 HOPES AND FEARS, 3rd – #4 KAL BARG
Race 4 – Meydan Freezone Handicap – 1,400 meters, Tapeta
#1 CANWINN is saddled with top impost but that last run was spot on, especially as Rochefort came back to win at Jebel Ali last week. He is only 1-for-20 lifetime, but second off the shelf could be the spot here. #9 BLITZED has been best on the all-weather surfaces but this distance seems a bit short of his best run and the 3-year-old doesn’t get a great deal of a weight break with some similar rivals carrying the same. While it has the making of a local prep run, he should be respected. #6 EMIRATES SPORTS returns from a long break but has a win from his only all-weather start. With connections that pop from almost any type of runner, I would be none to surprised to see a big one from this son of King’s Best.
1st – #1 CANWINN, 2nd – #6 EMIRATES SPORTS, 3rd – #9 BLITZED
Race 5 – Meydan Hotel Conditions – 1,600 meters, Tapeta
#12 PRINCE SHAUN has settled into the most comfortable race he could find after hitting Carnival beast Leahurst before Desert Party in the Mahab Al Shimaal. The only question is how much work he’s had in preparation for this event, a bit longer than his more recent efforts. If there was a time for him – this is it. #2 AAMAAQ ran a cracker last time and gets a step to some better company where he has been hit and miss in recent years. #14 ENERGIA COLONIAL gets a wide draw for his local debut but the barn hasn’t been off much this season. A logical chance.
1st – #12 PRINCE SHAUN, 2nd – #2 AAMAAQ, 3rd – #14 ENERGIA COLONIAL
Race 6 – Meydan Grandstand Events Handicap – 1,200 meters, Tapeta
#10 GREEN BERET had a solid run for his first start in 15 months when third behind Reynaldothewizard here on opening night. From a wide draw, he had his nose in front in the stretch before being gunned down by that opponent. It was a solid enough effort off the bench to think he can improve enough to win for the powerful domestic connections. #3 ALO PURA is 16 of 17 in the top three lifetime but hasn’t seen the winner’s enclosure with as much frequency. He should have every chance off the shelf. #1 SO WILL I gets the top weight here and stands as good a chance as any with the veteran Willie Supple aboard.
1st – #10 GREEN BERET, 2nd – #3 ALO PURA, 3rd – #1 SO WILL I
Meydan selections season-to-date: 6 selections – 1 first, 1 second, 1 third
UAE selections season-to-date: 43 selections – 11 wins, 8 seconds, 3 thirds (26% win, 51% top three)