Best bets for the horse racing from Meydan the Dubai Carnival Thursday 16th January 2020

This Thursday sees meeting number three of the Dubai World Cup Carnival out at Meydan racecourse and it is a decent card again, as you would expect. We have a Listed heat and a Group Two to enjoy plus four good handicaps. I am having a go in five of the races and I think it is going to be a big afternoon for the boys in blue.

They get underway on the Turf track at 2.30 with the 6f Riveria 2 Handicap. Yattwee is very lightly raced bearing in mind he is now seven and it is interesting that Godolphin have persevered with the gelding. He won well over a mile back in August when last seen at Chelmsford City and at his best would be well in here off 100. Drop back to six is a bit of a puzzler but he likes to be prominent and I would expect to see Soumillon get them at it early here and prove too strong for this field. Get on at 11-1.

It’s the same distance but the Dirt track at 3.05 for the Al Furjan handicap. Charlie Appleby saddles Tribal Quest for the first time since July 2018. The gelding had two victories that year before being beaten favourite at Newmarket. Not seen since he should be fine on the dirt, by War Front out of Haka his pedigree is very Dirt based from the States and he won at Kempton on the Polytrack. This is his first run for 20 months but has won off the back of a break before and he is fancied to repay the faith team Godolphin have shown in keeping him in training. 13-2 is about.  

Team Godolphin appear to hold all the aces in the 1m2f Listed Zabeel Turf Sponsored By Riviera 1 at 3.40. Dream Castle, First Nation, Art Du Val all have chances but I fancy one of the others. I have tipped up Loxley a couple of times in the past and the 5yo Gelding trained by Charlie Appleby has a great chance to get back to winning ways here. Three little ducks next to his name show he has been running okay without getting his nose in front and at 7-2 is worth a punt to do so here.

We stay on the turf track at 4.15 for the mile Group Two Cape Verdi Sponsored By Creek Views for Fillies & Mares. Godolphin again look to have a strong hand. I have tipped Magic Lily more than once in her four-race career, didn’t look like she stayed the 1m2f at Lingfield in November, and back at a suitable distance, I think she has to be considered with improvement still very much on the cards. 4-1 is about and I have taken a bit of that. Beyond Reason is another I have talked of previously and is the choice of Buick so is naturally feared if getting back to her best.

The lucky last at 5.25 is a Mile on the Turf track the Aliyah Handicap. Another I have spoken of before runs this time in the shape of Saeed bin Suroor trained Royal Marine. I thought he was going to be very good and he won a couple for me as a two-year-old including a Group One in France, but he never really progressed at three. He was turned over at odds-on in the Guineas Trial out here last year and as the favourite for the Craven Stakes at HQ last spring. He then finished down the field in 2000 Guineas and in St James's Palace Stakes and Prix Jean Prat. The snips were reached for in the late summer of 2019 and he makes his four-year-old reappearance slightly lighter than before and the tongue strap is on for the first time, He is the top horse in the race if he puts his best foot forward and is worth an investment at 100-30 in the hope he does. 

Be lucky