The Dubai World Cup Carnival passes the halfway point on Friday with the Group Two Singspiel Stakes, won in recent years by Benbatl and Dream Castle, the highlight of week five. I fancy five on the card and the bets are on overnight.
Best bets for the horse racing at Meydan – The Dubai Carnival
It looks a very competitive renewal of the Group Three UAE 2000 Guineas over the mile at 3.10 on the Dirt track; refreshingly the betting isn’t dominated by a Godolphin owned horse. Rawy won the ‘trial’ over seven furlongs three-weeks ago and has to be shortlisted off the back of that effort. The colt got the run of the race there leading every yard but I can't believe he will have it so easy up front today. Kiefer was third in the trial getting going all too late and not knocked about late when it was clear the winner had flown. The extra furlong here will surely help, a likely lively early pace should set the race up for a closer and the Uruguayan raider is the one most likely to pick them all off in the final furlong. Get on at, I think, a tasty 8-1 and expect to see him arrive on the scene late and fast. Bendoog is the one that could be anything as they say.
At 3.45 we are on the Turf track for the 7f Business Bay Challenge Presented By Race Of Possibilities Listed Stakes. An old favourite of mine D’Bai runs and despite having to give most of the field weight the eight-year-old has a great chance to my eyes. The old boy likes it out here and won the G.2 Zabeel Mile last year – I tipped him. I am on the gelding again here at the 6-4. The biggest concern is it is a big field so watch for Buick steering him through late; he probably won't win by far. Modern news, another I have backed several times, is feared most as there is likely more to come from him this season and several of the other Godolphin runners have obvious chances.
Rebels Romance run here three-weeks ago was too bad to be true, well beaten behind Dubai Icon, and he looks to get back to winning ways in the 1m2f Curlin Stakes Presented By Race Of Ambition Listed Stakes at 4.20 on the Dirt. Winner of the 1m1½f G.2 UAE Derby last season here it is hoped he was simply in need of the run and will bounce back to form in this. At his best he would surely win and I have the 100-30. Salute The Soldier put in a couple of very good efforts here last year and is the obvious danger.
At 4.55 we have the Singspiel Stakes Presented By Race Of UAE Innovates Group 2 Stakes on the Turf. I have tipped Zakouski a few times and he owes me nothing but did let me down last time when my bet in the G.3 Bahrain International Trophy. The Charlie Appleby trained gelding has course form here of 1,1,2,1 and that includes a victory in the G.2 Al Rashidiya over track and trip last year (tipped on here). He can win fresh, is the class act, and is a strong fancy for this at the overnight 3-1. Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website “Zakouski is dropping back to nine furlongs after running over a mile and a quarter in Bahrain, which should suit him better. He is a solid performer around Meydan and should be very competitive if he performs to his best." I tipped Royal Fleet three-weeks ago when he was second in the G.2 Al Rashidiya over track and trip. I said then as a lightly race four-year-old he may have more to come yet and that was a fair effort coming home strongly; he is rated the danger. Lord Glitters is the only horse to have beaten the selection at Meydan and as admirable a performer as he is he is hard to catch right.
Another that let me down three-weeks ago – a bad day at the office as they say – was Canvassed and he goes again in the lucky last the 6f Al Shindagha Sprint Presented By Sustainability Race Group 3 Stakes at 5.30 on the Dirt. Al Tariq arguably won the G.3 Dubawi Stakes over C&D three weeks ago in which Canvassed was fifth but the selection simply never got in the race and is surely better than he showed that day – it should be remembered he won over track and trip twice last Carnival and finished off the campaign with a third place in the G.1 Golden Shaheen on World Cup night. All being well the cobwebs have been blown away with that run and he can gain revenge here. I have the 6-1.