Fontwell and Kelso are abandoned here in the UK, but fear not they race again at Meydan in Dubai as the Carnival continues to the big Dubai World Cup night at the end of March. It is once again a decent card with a couple of Group races to get stuck into. As you would expect there is a cotchel of Godolphin runners and not surprisingly a few I have discussed at one time or another.
The opening Group Two is the Arab race and I am not getting involved there. The first thoroughbred race of the meeting and my first bet is at 3.05 in the 1m1f Meydan Trophy Sponsored By Getthat Stakes. Saeed bin Suroor trained First View notched a couple of wins on the Polytrack at Kempton as a two-year-old but has either gone backwards, or in my opinion, hated the Dirt track out here on his two runs thus far at the Carnival. He makes his turf debut and if he likes it, with the visor on for the first time, I think he can get back to winning ways at 4-1. Ya Hayati is feared from the Appleby yard as a potential improver off the back of his win at Kempton in October.
At 4.15 the 1m1f Group Two Balanchine Sponsored By Gulf News (Fillies & Mares) on the Turf track is the main event of the evening. Magic Lily is one I have tipped more than once in her lightly raced career and she was a winner for me earlier at the Carnival taking the G.2 Cape Verdi over a mile. The extra furlong today should hold no fears and with improvement for her run last month likely I see no reason the extra 3lb will hold her back. I fully expect the old Appleby/Buick combo to be in the winners enclosure again and I am on the chestnut mare at the 7-4 Coral went early.
At 5.25 we have the 1m Group Three Firebreak Stakes Sponsored By gn.com on the Dirt. It will be interesting to see how the Salem bin Ghadayer trained trio race here, they all like to lead. I think they could cut each other's throats vying for the lead. With that in mind I think you want one that can track the the likely early speed and swoop late. American born Dubai based trainer Doug Watson knows a thing or two about the game and it is his charge i fancy. Muntazah blew away the cobwebs with his first run of the season over C&D last month in the Al Maktoum Challenge R1 exactly as he did last season. The son of Dubawi then went on to be an impressive winner of this race 12 months ago before winning the G.3 Burj Nahaar and finally making the frame in the Godolphin Mile on World Cup night. The seven-year-old has the ability to track the leaders and that could prove to be vital given how this race is likely to be run. I fully expect him to take this again with connections plotting a similar course to last season. Get on at 11-4.