Below is our truncated analysis for Saturday’s card at Meydan
Race 1 – Al Basti Equiworld Baileys Cup Maiden – 2,000 metres – All-weather
We are still keen to ride the band wagon with #13 COOL WIND, well, our own wagon so to speak. She has had chances in the past and the setups might not always be the best. She’s back in against maiden company and this race stands to have a solid early tempo for her to run-on.
1st – #13 COOL WIND, 2nd – #16 QUEEN OF ALBA, 3rd – #1 ALBAYAN
Race 2 – Al Basti Equiworld Foran Cup Handicap – 1,400 metres – All-weather
#2 DUBAI ICONIC was sent to get a good position early, overcoming a wide draw last time, and now gets a tidier spot in gate seven. The trip should be better this time, although co-top-weight is a concern. #1 AL RAZI is somewhat questionable over the 1,400 trip as opposed to his consecutive successes at 1,200.
1st – #2 DUBAI ICONIC, 2nd – #1 AL RAZI, 3rd – #5 MAATH GOOL
Race 3 – Al Basti Equiworld Bluefrog Trophy Handicap – 1,200 metres – turf
#10 NAWWAAR and #3 LES TROYENS reoppose here and certainly seem the likeliest chances, with Nawwaar loving what he was doing and Les Troyens chasing. Now both are asked to do it over a sprint distance, where the edge goes to Godolphin.
1st – #3 LES TROYENS, 2nd – #4 MURAWEG, 3rd – #10 NAWWAAR
Race 4 – Al Basti Equiworld Hartog Cup Handicap – 1,600 metres – All-weather
This is a headscratching affair that could go in many directions. We side with #1 COUNT PARIS whose running style of late suggests the setup over the mile is just fine, even if he had a dull run two back. #17 KINGDOM BEAUTY does interest, drawing into the field. She covered extra ground last time which makes her competitive and that breeding suggests the mile is no trouble. Drawn wide, however, it will take an enterprising ride from Daragh O’Donoghue to work out the best trip. It’s a strange race with the weights and the 3-year-old entrants, and there is no overwhelming opinion in any direction.
1st – #1 COUNT PARIS, 2nd – #17 KINGDOM BEAUTY, 3rd – #5 MARK TO MARKET
Race 5 – Al Basti Equiworld Al Basti Cup Handicap – 2,000 metres – turf
We have to think this race is run more true than when Nawwaar went on the front end. #2 SPECIFIC GRAVITY should improve for that run. He’s planted wide again, but the trip is more to his liking. #1 ROCKS OFF gets back on his preferred surface and while up in the weights, he seems well suited.
1st – #2 SPECIFIC GRAVITY, 2nd – #1 ROCKS OFF, 3rd – #7 FLAG OFFICER
Race 6 – Al Basti Equiworld Hygain Trophy Handicap – 2,200 metres – All-weather
Certainly another tough one here, but #4 LAYALI DUBAI covered all sorts of extra ground last time and had numerous bad bumps along the way that surely helped factor into her margin of defeat. If you can forgive a horrendous trip, he stands to improve significantly in this spot. He covered 23 metres more than rail-riding winner Rebel Song, while the horse that tracked with her, and caused much of the trouble, Ukrainian, went on to finish a close third. Layali Dubai could lay over the field with a better trip.
1st – #4 LAYALI DUBAI, 2nd – #13 STORM BELT, 3rd – #10 INTHAR
’12-’13 UAE season-to-date: 222 selections – 57 first, 33 second, 31 third
25% winners, 54% top pick in top three