Dubai World Cup Carnival Meydan Thursday 11th February
The first Thursday afternoon is the Arab race and the 3.05 looks a lottery so my first bet Thursday is a little later on the card. Secret Protector will be a warm order for the 3.40 the Meydan Trophy Conditions Stakes on the Turf over 1m1½f. A winner at the second attempt over 7f at Kempton on the Polytrack back in September this son of War Front is a brother to US 1m turf winner Eternal Peace being out of Eternal Bounty (Galileo) and everything looks in place for a big run. Get on at Evens. Stablemate Mystical Dawn, winner on debut at Newmarket, looks the danger but he may need further in time being by Sea The Stars out of My Spirit.
At 4.15 we have the 1m1½f Group Two Al Maktoum Challenge R2 Sponsored By Emirates Airline on the Dirt track. A few line-up you’ll recognise not least Dubai Warrior with trainer John Gosden reportedly optimistic the surface will not pose a problem to the five-year-old, whose biggest success so far came in the G.3 Winter Derby at Lingfield last February. The trainer said in the build-up “He has been pleasing in his work and works nicely enough on the dirt. Obviously a race is a different matter, so we will find out if he handles it Thursday,” He is top-rated, blinkers are on for the first time, and lost little in defeat in a bunch finish when third giving weight away to Bangkok (won Winter Derby Trial since) and Sangarius at Lingfield last time. Prominent running style not a bad thing here and I am on at 6-1. Thegreatcollection had a few of these in behind when runner-up in Round One three weeks ago and is the obvious danger if the Gosden horse don’t go on the surface.
The 4.50 is the Group Two 1m1f Al Rashidiya back on the Turf track. The David O’Meara trained Lord Glitters is looking to follow up his track and trip victory in the G.2 Singspiel Stakes three weeks ago and has a 3lb penalty to shoulder. He was visually impressive but got a dream run that day. Zakouski and Dream Castle were second and third and line-up here as well. Zakouski is the selection here it having been a fair seasonal debut effort in the Singspiel from Charlie Appleby's charge. Lightly raced for a five-year-old there should be improvement to come and Appleby has said this week “We were obviously pleased with Zakouski’s first outing of the year in the Singspiel Stakes, when he produced a good effort. He has come on for that run and a slightly improved performance should put him bang there.” I have the 2-1.
It’s a sprint handicap to finish with the 5.25 the 5f Emirates Skywards Handicap again on the Turf. Story Of Light is consistent if not spectacular and has a couple of decent efforts to his name in conditions races at Meydan in last years Carnival. Front running style of Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old won’t hurt and I would expect Buick to make this a real test as he is dropping back to the minimum trip having been running over six and seven last season. All being well the gelding can blast out of stall one and won’t see another horse. I am on at 2-1.Be lucky