Best bets for the horseracing at Meydan Friday 26th January 2024 - The Dubai Carnival

I mentioned in my post at the start of the week that the meeting at Meydan for Fashion Friday at the Dubai Carnival looked like a good card with no less than seven Group races and a Listed heat to enjoy and it has lived up to its billing. I have five fancies on the racecard and I am on overnight as I expect the money to come for them.

Best bets for the horseracing at Meydan

The opener on the card is for the Arabians and I am not involved there and the Group Three Firebreak Stakes is a tricky heat in which I can make a case for several so I am leaving it alone.

The first race of interest to me is the Group Two 7f Al Fahidi Fort on the Turf track is due off at 2.40. I didn’t back Mysterious Knight last week when he won a handicap over track and trip but he was impressive and now back to winning form the winner of a G.1 as a two-year-old is fancied to take this at the 7-4. Stall one should help his chances. Charlie Appleby said this week “It was nice to see Mysterious Night winning impressively last week and he came out of the race well. He is a G1 winner and should have some confidence after his recent success, which will make him very competitive again.” Danyah has to give them weight but is actually better off with a few of these, including Mysterious Knight, than he was when second in a Listed heat over C&D in December and is feared.

The Group Three 6f Al Shindagha Sprint on the Dirt looks at the mercy of Laurel River on his first run for the yard of Bhupat Seemar after leaving Bob Baffert. Last seen winning the G.2 Pat O'Brien Stakes back in 2022 anywhere near that form and the son of Mischief wins this. There in is the problem though, he hasn’t run for over 500-days and I can’t back the six-year-old at the price.

At 3.50 the speedsters are out for the 5f Group Two Blue Point Sprint on Turf. Star Of Mystery won the 6f Al Wasl last time, tipped on here, and drops to the minimum distance for this. She gets weight off the rest of the field, over a stone off the older generation, and I think she can take full advantage of that. Her trainer Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website “Star Of Mystery is the only three-year-old filly in the field and receives a lot of weight from her elders. She is dropping down to five furlongs, but I feel that it may suit her and she will be doing her best work late on. We would be delighted if she can run into a place, which would potentially open up more opportunities for the rest of the Carnival.” I think Charlie is being a bit coy there and I expect her to win and have the 100-30.  

The first of the Group One races is the 1m1f Al Maktoum Challenge on the Dirt at 4.25. The betting has it as a two horse race between battle hardened American raider Clapton and recent UAE Debut winner Kabirkhan who was racing in Russia before moving to the yard of Doug Watson out here. A G.2 winner in the States I can see Clapton running them all down late here and I have a bit of the 15-8.

We are back on the Turf track at 5.00 for the Group One 1m1f Jebel Hatta. 1,000 Guineas winner Mawj clearly sets the standard on that and her narrow defeat in the G.1 Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita in November and is rated superior to the colts and geldings getting weight. She’s good but I feel this trip is stretching her stamina. I am a big fan of Measured Time, in the Dirty Dozen for the season, and have tipped him more than once including when he won the G.2 Al Rashidiya over track and trip last time. I am convinced there is more to come from him and can see him out staying the filly Mawj. I have the 6-4. Charlie Appleby said in the build-up “Measured Time was an impressive winner of the Al Rashidiya and has done well physically since. This will obviously be more of a test, with Mawj and San Donato in the field, but he heads into it in great order.”

The Group Three UAE 2000 Guineas has little form to work with on the card and looks wide-open so I am leaving that alone. 

For the lucky last, the 1m6f Al Khail Trophy Siskany is unopposable for me. He has won on both starts over track and trip taking this and the G.3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy in the past. I am on the six-year-old at a rather skinny Evens but he looks the Banker!

Be lucky