Below is the analysis for Saturday’s non-Carnival meeting at Meydan.
Given this being a Carnival race week, some of the analysis will be truncated for this non-Carnival meeting at Meydan
Race 1: AED 50,000 Swaidan Trading, Rubber Division Trophy Maiden – 1,900 metres – All-weather
#6 RACE TO DUBAI surely has the looks of the likeliest winner off his most recent second at Meydan, but this horse is winless in 12 starts and has rarely made moves that seem like winning ones, just plodding on at the finish. The mover, however, is #11 COOL WIND, a mare who has shown she can at least put in a legitimate run. Had it not been for Hadba last March, she’d have been a winner over the 1,900 metres of the 2,000-metre race. Very well drawn that day, she just stayed to the rail and ran on – blessed with another inside draw, this one is the pick.
1st – #11 COOL WIND, 2nd – #6 RACE TO DUBAI, 3rd – #5 PETTY OFFICER
Race 2: AED 65,000 Swaidan Trading, Peugeot Division Trophy Handicap (Rated 60-80 / 3YO NH 80-95) – 1,600 metres – All-weather
Once again, #1 BLUE SEA looks like a the best chance, but if you don’t respect the win over Race to Dubai that much, he doesn’t really ring true here. #11 DOUBLE BASS was definitely in the second tier when racing in the US, and there isn’t much to saw more than the basic form on #3 LAST FIGHTER, who is a cut below with a low rating. How those two Godolphin runners go here is any guess. The pace generally seems even and while #13 MARK TO MARKET hasn’t done much lately, he should be in the mix if he can race a bit closer. Pat Dobbs landing here is worth noting for the barn. #12 FINAL RECOVERY doesn’t seem without hope if he claims any of his form behind #8 FURNACE.
1st – #13 MARK TO MARKET, 2nd – #1 BLUE SEA, 3rd – #12 FINAL RECOVERY
Race 3: AED 75,000 Swaidan Trading, Heavy Equipment Division Trophy Handicap (Rated 75-90 / 3YO NH 90-100) – 1,400 metres – All-weather
#3 SAND STAMP has run incredibly well without winning in two races this season, well enough to win in this spot, and it makes him an easy selection. #2 FOREVERTHEOPTIMIST improved enough in his fourth start in Dubai to land a race in similar company last time, and is one of the top weights with Sand Stamp. Truly, Sand Stamp’s losing efforts seems slightly better than the winning effort from Forevertheoptimist last time.
1st – #3 SAND STAMP, 2nd – #2 FOREVERTHEOPTIMIST, 3rd – #6 CURZON LINE
Race 4: AED 90,000 Al Naboodah Construction Group Trophy Handicap (Rated 85-99) – 1,200 metres – Turf
If this race was on the all-weather, we’d definitely land with #7 SANTEFISIO, but it isn’t, and we don’t. He’s more than competent on the grass, but Santefisio’s performances on the surface at Kempton have been solid, he just isn’t rated enough to get in some of the Carnival races right now. #2 ROYAL RIDGE is the selection for the Mike de Kock yard. We’ll have a better idea if all of the yard is a bit underdone to get the season going after Thursday, and could potentially change this pick as a result. #1 AHTOUG seems to have this trip hit him right where he wants it, just missing by a neck at the Shergar Cup meeting.
1st – #2 ROYAL RIDGE, 2nd – #1 AHTOUG, 3rd – #7 SANTEFISIO
Race 5: AED 75,000 Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group Handicap (Rated 70-90) – 1,900 metres – All-weather
#4 HADBA was a winner over this trip breaking from gate 14, so 11 shouldn’t be that much of a hassle. She needed that race last time and should come on for it in good stead. #9 INTHAR hasn’t run poorly, with his three starts over all-weather having been his only races where he ran first or second. As #15 MAWHUB is likely to go forward, especially from the rail, the pace will be in favour of the first two mentioned.
1st – #4 HADBA, 2nd – #9 INTHAR, 3rd – #14 ALMUFTARRIS
Race 6: AED 90,000 Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group Trophy Handicap (Rated 85-99) – 2,000 metres – Turf
#13 JAWHAR is well-handicapped for this local debut and seemed to have taken advantage of the leg-stretcher at Abu Dhabi last time. The distance is right, among other things. #7 NASEEM ALYASMEEN ran very well in the Al Rashidiya Trial, better than one would likely have expected, and should improve for it. #2 ALKIMOS is an effort in what could have been.
1st – #13 JAWHAR, 2nd – #7 NASEEM ALYASMEEN, 3rd – #2 ALKIMOS
’12-’13 UAE season-to-date: 150 selections – 39 1st, 24 2nd, 20 3rd (26% win, 55% top 3)