Below is our analysis for Saturday’s local meeting at Meydan. Once again, as this meeting occurred during a week with a Carnival meeting, our analysis is understandably truncated.
Race 1 – Longines Master Collection Moon Phases Maiden – 1,400 metres – All-weather
Certainly #11 BRAVO RAGAZZO learned much in two starts on grass in the UK, where he showed early tempo. There isn’t a ton of that in this race, although #10 THAT’S PLENTY shows early hoof. The courses were rated heavy in Bravo Ragazzo’s first two races, and the quicker going should be to his liking. #6 RACE TO DUBAI is well drawn for Meydan and likely to show some pace here. He’s wildly inconsistent to put on top, however.
1st – #11 BRAVO RAGAZZO, 2nd – #10 THAT’S PLENTY, 3rd – #6 RACE TO DUBAI
Race 2 – Longines Dolce Vita Handicap (Rated 60-80 NH 4YO+ & SH 3YO, Rated 80-95 NH 3YO) – 1,200 metres – All-weather
#5 KEYAADI has good form with that run behind Royal Empire at Lingfield as that one went on to win on opening night of the Carnival, then run a dandy second on Thursday. #14 MUTAYASER is back on the Tapeta and does get some weight consideration – he’s done his best running on the surface. If #15 KINGDOM BEAUTY gets in, there is reason to consider this mare.
#1 AL RAZI is saddled with highweight, but gets the apprentice allowance to get some give on that. #9 DARWIN AWARD is the first local starter outside of the Dubai World Cup for Ben Leon’s Besilu Stable, which campaigns Royal Delta. He didn’t beat a ton in his maiden win and we’re interested to see how he goes. #13 DESERT OF DREAMS went wildly wrong in the UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial, but if he recaptures any of his previous form, he could be involved again.
1st – #5 KEYAADI, 2nd – #14 MUTAYASER, 3rd – #1 AL RAZI
Race 3 – Longines Column Wheel Chronograph Handicap (Rated 60-80) – 2,200 metres – All weather
We’re trying to find who is going to lead this field early, and can’t figure it out with any clarity. We are going to go off the reservation and pick #9 ON WAR, with the smartest guy in the room, Richard Mullen. Draw a line through his grass races and he becomes 1-2-1 from eight starts. He’s gone forward before and turned the tables, but being well drawn and normally away from the barrier in good order (he wasn’t last time, an aberration), and he’s as good a chance as any.
#4 BLUE TIGER’S EYE had a dream run last year, and #1 EARL OF CARRICK has been a totally changed horse this season, while #6 MARK TO MARKET may like a stretch-out as he gets up there in years. Earl of Carrick could just relish a longer stretch, but there just isn’t a strong feeling, and we are taking a blind shot with On War being lone speed.
1st – #9 ON WAR, 2nd – #6 MARK TO MARKET, 3rd – #1 EARL OF CARRICK
Race 4 – Longines Conquest Handicap (Rated 70-90) – 1,900 metres – All-weather
This looks a tale of three horses – all for Godolphin – #1 LAST FIGHTER, #2 LAYALI DUBAI, and #3 MAWHUB, who all seem to love what they’ve been doing of late. A topweight win over the surface gets Last Fighter the edge. Perhaps #5 PROFONDO ROSSO or #9 KARMA CHAMELEON can get a slice, but it screams Godolphin trifecta. Last Fighter’s 23.70 final 400-metres split last time is enough to get us thinking he is best here, especially as he traveled 10 metres more than second home Jamhoori.
1st – #1 LAST FIGHTER, 2nd – #3 MAWHUB, 3rd – #2 LAYALI DUBAI
Race 5 – Longines Saint Imier Handicap (Rated 85-99) – 1,600 metres – Turf
#7 FLAG OFFICER needed that last race and seemingly proved fit. On his best, he towers over the competition, there should be no question of that. Considering that he did what he needed to last time, a slight improvement gets him home first. #3 SANTEFISIO got a local gallop in last time over a trip much shorter than what he needed. #6 LES TROYENS finally showed what he is capable of last time.
1st – #7 FLAG OFFICER, 2nd – #3 SANTEFISIO, 3rd – #6 LES TROYENS
Race 6 – Longines Prima Luna Handicap (Rated 80-95) – 1,400 metres – All-weather
#6 SAND STAMP and #13 DUBAI ICONIC have been chased here in the past, and think both should be strongly considered. Dubai Iconic was saddled with another wide draw as he was last time and ran on well, even if he hit the lead too soon. He covered 10 metres more than winner Busker, and is probably going to plot that course again, but perhaps with some more measured progress. The weight break helps him, getting in at 54 kilograms. Frankly, we think Mullen, knowing what happened last time, might do slightly more to improve the trip of his mount.
#8 INNOCUOUS is worth considering as he seems to be rounding back into form, even if he just finally broke through locally last time. We’re also fond of #10 CURZON LINE after getting the local leg-stretcher.
1st – #13 DUBAI ICONIC, 2nd – #6 SAND STAMP, 3rd – #10 CURZON LINE
’12-’13 UAE season-to-date: 185 selections – 45 first, 30 second, 27 third (24% win, 55% top 3)