The third day of the local racing season at Meydan is upon us, and a very competitive six race card looms. Several 1-2 finishers from earlier this season meet again, providing some interesting analysis for the meeting. Good luck and enjoy.
Race 1 – AED 145,000 Longines Conquest Classic – Mazrat Al Ruwayah Prep (for purebred Arabians) – 1,600 metres – dirt
#4 SHATEH is lone speed in this field on a track that has been playing kindly to those who race forward. Unfortunately for the rest of the bunch, no one really has all that much interest in being an attendant to the pace. #1 BIGG N RICH can show some speed as can #6 TAKAAMUL, but Shateh should be alone on the front-end for a yard that has flourished within these bigger races for purebred Arabians.
#2 CALLATERAL broke his maiden on dirt at Sharjah in a big way, now gets back on that surface. Tadhg O’Shea will likely need to keep him closer to the pace to have a chance of running down the top pick.
1st – #4 SHATEH, 2nd – #2 CALLATERAL, 3rd – #1 BIGG N RICH
Race 2 – AED 100,000 Longines Prima Luna Maiden – 1,900 metres – dirt
#14 SILVER GALAXY is incredibly well-bred, and as mentioned when he debuted two weeks ago, a half to Group 1 winning sprinter G Force. He ran credibly when behind State Law and Year of Glory in his debut effort, and was really the only horse running on from the end of that affair. A slight improvement puts him in the winner’s enclosure. He will probably go a bit closer in this 1,900-metre event.
#10 TADMIR is incredibly well bred for the dirt and was more than respectably when second behind a big winner in Respect Me at Al Ain. He could be rounding into form in his second season in the UAE.
#7 MUHAMEE ran a big one when still a maiden at Jebel Ali last year, first off the shelf. Any replication of that effort puts him in the mix. That’s 100% dirt pedigree that makes him competitive here.
1st – #14 SILVER GALAXY, 2nd – #10 TADMIR, 3rd – #7 MUHAMEE
Race 3 – AED 160,000 Longines Conquest Classic Gents Conditions (Rated 80+) – 1,600 metres – dirt
There will probably be loads of support for #4 SHAISHEE, and it’s understandable given the dominance of his run on opening night. The problem? The form hasn’t really worked out all that well behind. Last placer Ostaad came back to win after blowing the start, but no one else that has returned showed too much.
#6 ENNOBLED FRIEND was probably too far back last time to make any impression, but didn’t completely disgrace himself in the end, and that was a tougher race. He’s a curious pick here to go second off the freshening, an angle that saw him win last season when he raced closer to the pace. Almost assuredly, he won’t land on the lead, but plenty of others in here want to be close to the front.
#5 ZAIN SHAMARDAL shocked at the Carnival last year and has plenty of back dirt form to make him a legitimate chance here, but he might need to race into shape.
1st – #6 ENNOBLED FRIEND, 2nd – #4 SHAISHEE, 3rd – #5 ZAIN SHAMARDAL
Race 4 – AED 140,000 Longines Master Collection Handicap (Rated 85-100) – 1,200 metres – dirt
#8 THE TAJ and #1 GENIUS STEP are back at it. They raced off level weights last week and now, The Taj gets 1.5 kilos from Genius Step. There was little wrong with what either of them did, and both are eligible to improve a bit. From that race, third placer Not A Given came back to run a decent second last week, while Spin Cycle won eight days later at Jebel Ali, defeating #2 NAJM SUHAIL. These two fight it out again.
#7 SAND STAMP is as game as they come and almost always around at the finish, so we give him a chance to test his sand mettle in his first try on the dirt.
1st – #8 THE TAJ, 2nd – #1 GENIUS STEP, 3rd – #7 SAND STAMP
Race 5 – AED 140,000 Longines Saint Imier Handicap (Rated 85-100) – 2,000 metres – dirt
Just like the previous contest, we get a rematch of #4 TAHAAMAH and #5 HENRY CLAY. Drawn on the inside, and in a race with less speed than he faced last time, Henry Clay is our pick to get it done. Last time, there were too many horses interested in messing about up front and Pat Dobbs settled the son of Dubawi off the pace, a mistake as it turned out. With less pressure from this bunch, he will go forward and try to make all, or at least contest the mix, with Tahaamah.
It’s also worth noting that Henry Clay covered 14 metres more than Tahaamah last time out, with some role reversal expected as Tahaamah has drawn gate eight.
#3 SEFRI is bred to run all day on the dirt, and could be a sneaky chance for Erwan Charpy’s outfit. He faced tougher company last year, as several in this field have, and is also likely to benefit from a season of acclimation to the UAE.
1st – #5 HENRY CLAY, 2nd – #4 TAHAAMAH, 3rd – #3 SEFRI
Race 6 – AED 160,000 Longines Dolce Vita Handicap (Rated 65-80) – 1,600 metres – dirt
#1 COLOUR GUARD is well drawn, should establish a handy early position, and gets class relief. A credible run in his second start on dirt, and second start of the season, was enough to think he could move forward third off the freshening. A winner in China in April, he gets our on-top tip.
This is a more difficult spot for #2 CROSS GRAIN, mostly having to deal with being marooned in gate 15, his first time against winners, and with a load of horses who want to do the same thing – settle in midpack. He could bolt home again, and sure enough, this makes it four consecutive races where we’ve picked against a horse who looks for a repeat. It could happen four times, but we go value hunting, and pick against Cross Grain with a few things not in his favour.
#8 KAHRUMAN was strong first up then missed the kick at Jebel Ali and has a chance to right the ship with a better break. A stalking spot from a midfield draw should fit the son of Mr. Greeley.
1st – #1 COLOUR GUARD, 2nd – #2 CROSS GRAIN, 3rd – #8 KAHRUMAN
|December 4 – Meydan Selections|
|Pat Cummings||Mackenzie Kirker-Head|
|4||8||The Taj||4||1||Genius Step|
|6||1||Colour Guard||6||2||Cross Grain|
|Record: 78 races – 15-16-11 (19.2% win, 55.1% top 3)||Record: 76 races – 16-7-10 (21.1% win, 43.4% top 3)|