Any regular reader, there are a few honestly, will not be surprised that my attention on a Thursday in February is out in Dubai and the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan. They have a decent six-race card out there and I fancy three.
Dubai World Cup Carnival Meydan Thursday 4th February
At 3.05 we have the 1m6f Meydan Cup a Listed Handicap on the Turf track. A number are in with a chance and as you might expect Godolphin are mob handed. Moonlight Spirit has been tried at a much higher level than this, has won a Group Three, but on his efforts last season can’t be backed at the moment and William Buick has chosen to ride another Appleby runner which looks significant. The one Buick rides is Ghostwatch who is nothing if not consistent and gets the trip no problems, it’s not exciting but that might be enough in this race. The betting tells you how open an affair this is and I have the 7-2 about the six-year-old.
At 3.40 they face a mile for the Group Three UAE 2000 Guineas on the Dirt. Naval Crown has just the won win to his name after five runs but was competing in some decent races as a two-year-old, especially his last two runs in France last back end. You would like to think there is improvement to come this year and he is the pick at 6-4. My biggest concern is it is his Dirt debut but I am fairly sure Team Godolphin may have done a little trial or two with him on the surface. Mouheeb is the danger on form but he looks set for place-money again having come up short in the Trial, beaten by the Appleby trained Rebels Romance. The winner was tipped on here and it is a big surprise that colt aint lining-up but Buick did mention Saudi Arabia for the Derby there after the race and Buick is confirmed as one in the International Jockeys Challenge in Riyadh this month so that I assume is that ones next aim.
We stay on the Dirt at 4.15 for the Group 3 one-mile Firebreak Stakes. Matterhorn will be known to most of you for his exploits whilst with Mark Johnston and the six-year-old is odds-on for this having shown his liking for life out here winning the G.1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 last season. I can't bet at the price.
At 4.50 it is the 7f Meydan Classic Trial, a conditions race on the Turf. Quite frankly Last Sunset looks the obvious pick on the form book her second in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial recently working out nicely with winner of that race Soft Whisper winning the UAE 1000 Guineas last week (tipped on here). I have the 6-4 and was actually expecting her to be shorter. Topper Bill and First Smile should fill the places.