As if there aint enough going on here in the UK with the horse racing we have the small matter of Super Saturday this Saturday 7th March out in Dubai at the Carnival. Over at Meydan we have six Group races, two of the Group One’s, plus a Listed heat. The meeting sits nicely for a lunchtime, early afternoon punt here in the UK. There are one or two short ones that are hard to get away from so I leave it to you dear reader if you punt them as singles or chuck in a few multiples.
First up at midday we have the Listed 1m1½f Al Bastakiya Sponsored By emirates.com on the Dirt track. Probably the most open race of the day several have chances. I am prepared to take a chance there is further improvement in recent winner, and won I tipped last year to win at Kempton, Ya Hayati. The colt was impressive winning the Meydan Trophy last month and is certainly bred to be above average, by Dubawi our of Grade One winner Wedding Toast. At 9-2 he is worth an investment. Dubai Love and Laser Show are obvious dangers.
At 12.35 it’s the Group Three 6f Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored By Emirates Skywards again on the Dirt. Bochart has been having a good Carnival, winning a couple of track and trip Handicaps as he liked leading pretty much every yard. If he is in the same mood, he will be hard to peg back. At 2-1 he is a solid fancy.
It is the Group Three 6f Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint Sponsored By Arabian Adventures on the Turf track at 1.10. Space Blues makes his seasonal reappearance and if anywhere near his best wins. He is one of my Dirty Dozen to follow this year and as I said on the page he signed off last season with placed efforts in the G 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot followed by G.1 Prix Jean Prat and G.1 Maurice de Gheest. He will be winning big races this season. He is 4-6 but banker material. Charlie Appleby said: ‘Space Blues has put up three very good Group performances over slightly further on his last three starts, including when second to Too Darn Hot in the Prix Jean Prat. He has some very good form in the book and we have been itching to try him over six furlongs. He has strengthened from three to four and looks to have got a bit quicker based on his homework. He really needs to be winning this to book his ticket for the G1 Al Quoz Sprint.’
We are back on the Dirt for the Group Three Burj Nahaar Sponsored By Emirates Holidays over a mile at 1.45. This looks to be between Kimbear and Secret Ambition. Kimbear came out on top, just, in the Al Maktoum Challenge R1 and though I can see it being close again, preference is for the Doug Watson trained six-year-old at rouf 4-1.
First of the big ones is the Group One 1m1f Jebel Hatta Sponsored By Emirates Airline on the Turf at 2.20. Godolphin hold all the aces here with Barney Roy, Dream Castle, Magi Lily and Spotify all rightly heading the market. It’s hard to ignore the chances of Barney Roy, he is 4-6 for a reason, and is fancied to get the job done. Appleby said recently 'He has a giant stride and can hopefully earn the right to run in the Dubai Turf. He can run up fairly light, so we don’t do a lot with him, in fact he had only had a couple of serious gallops prior to his reappearance. He will improve for that and should be hard to beat on Saturday.'
It’s back to the Dirt for the Group One 1m2f Al Maktoum Challenge R3 Sponsored By Emirates Airline at 2.55. Military Law was no match for Benbatl in round two but that is hardly a disgrace. Matterhorn was sent out here for the yard of Mark Johnston for a winter campaign. He put in a fair effort in the G.1 Firebreak Stakes over a trip probably on the short side for him. This trip surely more to his liking and that run will have blown away the cobwebs. At his best he wins this and I have a bit of the 15-8 about him doing so.
The lucky last at 3.30 is the Group Two 1m4f Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored By Emirates SkyCargo on Turf track. Defoe makes his seasonal reappearance having not been seen since July when he finished down the field in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Deliberately put away after that run for this campaign, the Sheema Classic being the World Cup night target, you would expect him to be ready to go and at Evens is the pick.