Things really are starting to warm up out in Meydan at the Dubai Carnival as we make our way to the big crescendo and the big one and Dubai World Cup night Saturday 30th March. It is the eighth meeting on Thursday with a couple of Group Three’s and a Group Two.
The first race of interest for me is the Group Three Dubai Millennium Stakes Sponsored By Jaguar over 1m2f on the Turf at 3.40. Godolphin has won four of the last five renewals of this race and they aren’t messing about again this year with six of the eight runners! I have plumped for First Nation as the 5yo has been a decent handicapper for some time and advertised his wellbeing and liking for Dubai when winning a C&D handicap last month. He had to do it the hard way weaving a way through the field and looked to have plenty left in the tank passing the line. With the second and fifth both winning since the form of that win has been boosted and the gelding is the pick of William Buick. I am on at 7-4.
We are on to the Dirt and over 1m1f for the Group Three UAE Oaks Sponsored By Range Rover at 4.15. Silva was the surprise 33/1 winner of the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas over the mile 21 days ago by 9¾ lengths! I tipped Divine Image that day and her race was over before it began totally missing the break. She showed how good she is to finish second having to face tons of kickback going past the rest of the field by the big distance winner who had flown. That was only her second start so improvement is still likely and it is hoped she gets the start right as if she does she can gain revenge on Silva. I have 7-4.
It’s the Turf track for the Group Two Zabeel Mile Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors Group at 4.50. Wootoon makes her debut for the Charlie Appleby yard after leaving H-A. Pantall. William Buick interestingly has plumped for Mythical Magic the 4yo gelding last seen chasing home Triple G favourite D'bai in the G.2 Al Fahidi Fort over 7f last month. I think the extra furlong here should suit be in his favour. I have taken a bit of the 11-2 with Hills. Century Dream is an obvious danger on ratings. That said I am convinced he prefers to get his toe-in as 6 of his 7 wins have had the word ‘soft’ in the going description and arguably his career-best performance was when third in the G.1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last time on soft. He aint getting that out here.