Carnival time again and Triple G is concentrating on Meydan and the fourth meeting of the Dubai Carnival 2019. It’s a decent competitive card and we have a couple of Group Two races to enjoy on the Turf track where the going is described as good. I am reliably informed it’s a bit warmer out there!
Here in the UK officials at Wetherby and Fakenham have announced inspections for their meetings on Thursday and sadly both meetings look unlikely to go ahead with temperatures dropping like a stone.
Back to the desert and the first race of interest to me is the 1m1½f Al Bastakiya Trial sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium on the Dirt track at 3.05 can go to Art Du Val. The Charlie Appleby trained three-year-old is clear on OR’s having won nicely on debut over seven at Sandown last August before running second in a Listed mile heat at Deauville in October. Sire No Nay Never needs little introduction after his exploits over here in Europe but he did go well more than once on Dirt in the US so hopefully, the surface will be fine. More of a concern is stall 15! I am crossing my fingers he doesn’t get stuck out wide as I am on at 5-1. Grecko is now with Kenneth McPeek in the USA but was running in Grade 1 company in his native Argentina and is a likely danger.
At 3.40 it’s the Group Two Al Rashidiya sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium on the Turf over 1m1f. Charlie Appleby has another with a chance in the shape of Blair House. The 6yo lines-up as the officially top-rated runner and the draw has been kind to him as he breaks from stall one. Won the G.1 Jebel Hatta over track and trip last season and has been kept busy in Australia since. The slight drop in class is another plus and the chestnut gelding is a strong fancy at the 7-2 that is available. Dream Castle from the yard of Saeed bin Suroor is the danger having it would appear improved for the dreaded gelding operation based on his victory in the G.3 Singspiel Stakes over C&D three weeks ago.
It’s the 7f course for the Group Two Al Fahidi Fort sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium at 4.50. An old friend to Triple G D’Bai goes for Charlie Appleby. Fourth in this last year, he was given a bit much to do in the final couple of furlongs. He has a habit of going well off the back of a break so this being his seasonal debut is of little concern and he is without a doubt the most reliable of those who line-up. Nailed on to be in the mix I have taken a bit of the 4-1 that he can get his head in front. Marinaresco is an obvious threat if the South African form he brings can be trusted; this is his first outing for Mick De Kock who of course loves a winner or two at the Carnival. His Janoobi is another for the shortlist.
The lucky last is the EGA Al Taweelah Trophy Handicap at 5.25 over 1m4f on the Turf. It was impossible not to be impressed with the way Bin Battuta won over C&D at the beginning of the month. He had Ispolini back in second that day and that rival boosted the form by winning here last week (tipped on Triple G). I think the 4lb rise underestimates him and this could be a case of a black type performer smuggled into a handicap. He has to give them all weight but should be able to and I am on at 5-4.