Best bets for the horse racing at Meydan Friday 26th January – The Dubai Carnival

It has been a very quiet week for me with the majority of the horse racing being lost to the weather; in fact I have had just one bet, a winner in the shape of Glittering Lights at Wolverhampton on Monday evening. Those quiet few days were very much the calm before the storm as there is plenty to enjoy over the next couple of days and I have a few for Friday to take us into a busy weekend of action.

Best bets for the horse racing at Meydan

Horses from ten different countries are on show at the fourth meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival Friday and we have two Listed races and a Group Three on the card.

Batwan puts his perfect Dubai record on the line when going for a third 6f turf win in the Listed Dubai Sprint at 2.35. He will be fancied as an each-way punt by a few but I noted Marine Henry, partner and assistant to trainer Nicolas Caullery saying on the Dubai Racing Club Press site “He settled in like a superstar and worked really well. He hasn’t raced since the beginning of October so he may need the race and it’s also stronger than the two he won here last year.” Trained by Charlie Appleby, Man Of Promise was third in the G.1 Al Quoz last year, also won this and the G.3 Nad Al Sheba Turf, and looks to me the one to be on having finished runner-up to Lazuli, I tipped the winner, in the Listed 5f Ertijaal Dubai Dash three weeks ago. That was his first run for nearly six-months so will have blown away the cobwebs and it was a great effort over the minimum trip which isn’t his ideal. “Man Of Promise has definitely come forward for his first start of the year and has a good draw in 14,” said Appleby. “Stepping back up to six furlongs [1200m] will play to his strengths and I feel he is the one they all have to beat.” I don’t like tipping odds-on but he looks a good thing at the 5-6.

At 3.45 we are on the Turf course for the 7f Jumeirah Fillies Classic which is a new race at the Carnival. Mawj will be short here having won the G.2 6f Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes last year, she finished her campaign coming third in the G.1 6f Cheveley Park Stakes. Saeed Bin Suroor wasn’t exactly gushing in his praise for her in interviews this week simply saying “She has been out in Dubai since November and has been working nicely. This will be her first appearance over seven furlongs and she is coming up against some nice fillies, but everything has gone well with her so far.” Dream Of Love will need to have improved over the winter but her third over a mile in the Listed Montrose Fillies' Stakes at HQ in October aint bad form; she didn’t quite see out the eight furlongs that day and James Doyle said afterwards she became unbalanced in the dip. I tipped her on debut when she won at HQ over seven and when beaten in the aforementioned Listed heat. By French Guineas & Derby winner Shamardal out of G.2 1m2f winner Secret Gesture she is a half-sister to three winners and I thought likely to be all about middle-distances this year. If William Buick makes this a real test they might be able to take Mawj out of her comfort zone and I am on the Godolphin second-string at 11-4.

If Naval Power doesn’t win the 1m1f Nad Al Sheba Turf at 5.30 I will be gobsmacked. He was fancied by many for the G.1 Dewhurst Stakes last October, myself included and I backed him, but having gone unbeaten on his four starts to that point he finished sixth; was reported to have bled during the race and he produced an unsatisfactory scope afterwards. I talked of him every race last year, was odds-on and unbackable more than one, and the colt is a three-year-old I will be keeping a close eye on this year. For me it is not out of the question that he becomes a Derby hope for Godolphin. It’s not unknown for the offspring of Teofilo to get middle distances and on the dam side, there is some stamina in the family, Dubawi is his grandsire being the sire of Emirates Rewards which has to be seen as a plus as well. Charlie Appleby told the Dubai Racing Club website “I have been pleased with his preparation but there will be improvement to come for the run. We are looking at potentially giving him one start in Dubai before looking at some of the Classic trials in the UK.” He is unbackable again at the price, generally 1-2 for this, but I have had a bit of the 27-1 each-way (random price) about him for the Derby!

Best bet for the horse racing at Wolverhampton

With a number of the team from Moulton Paddocks sunning themselves out in Dubai Charlie Appleby does have a handful due to run in the not quite so glamorous surroundings, with the greatest of respect to Wolverhampton, of Dunstall Park on Friday evening. Appleby actually had three entered for the 1m1½f talkSPORT Download The App Fillies' Novice Stakes at 6.15 and two will run. Luckily one that will go is Sapphire Seas as she is the one that really caught my eye in the entries having tipped her on debut when fourth over a mile here at Kempton earlier this month. Slowly away and green it did not go unnoticed that she made promising late headway when the penny dropped. By Frankel out of Listed winner Pure Diamond (Street Cry) she is a half-sister to Symbol Of Light who has won three of her four races to date for Charlie Appleby. I remain convinced she will prove above average and she can open her account here with Billy Loughnane taking off 5lb. I am on at Evens. Stablemate Mountain Song is intriguing as her dam Yodelling won her debut on the all-weather as well as her half-brother Echo Point; in fact all three of her half-siblings have been winners. None have exactly been world-beaters though and being by Sea The Stars she may be one to keep an eye out for when she tries further.

Be lucky