It’s the last Thursday of the Dubai Carnival at Meydan 2019; after this, it is Super Saturday on the 9th March and then the big Dubai World Cup night on 30th March. There is a Group Three and a couple of Listed heats to be enjoyed alongside three handicaps. I have five fancies.
The 2.30 is the Arab Group One so the first race of interest to me is the Listed Meydan Classic at 3.05 over the mile on Turf. A few of these have met already at the Carnival, Good Fortune beat Woven in the Dubai Trophy and the extra furlong shouldn’t bother him here. That said Golden Jaguar is two for two and the lightly raced UAE based chestnut colt trained by Ahmad Bin Harmash has to enter calculations. He won the Meydan Classic Trial over 7f in some style having previously won over five at Jebel Ali. Irish Trilogy and Sporting Chance were behind in the trial and there is no reason to think they can reverse the form. Conor Beasley rides again and I have the 5-2.
Ibn Malik gives weight to them all on the Dirt track at 3.40 for the one-mile Crystal Lagoon Trophy. He is hard to win with though and I have never seen him as a miler either. I think this could get messy late on with a number wanting to come from off the pace so a chance is taken with Bochart. The 6yo has ballsed-up the start the last twice running his chances but he showed what he can due off the front winning over 7f here in January. He will have to bounce from stall 10 but if he does break smartly he will have the run of the race whilst others get into a likely barging match behind; I have taken a chance at 8-1 each-way.
They are on the Turf track at 4.15 for the 1m6f Group Three Nad Al Sheba Trophy. Red Galileo is nothing if not consistent but he has a habit of finding at least one too good. On paper, Brundtland is heads and shoulders above the older horses here and he and Ispolini get the 4yo weight allowance – they are the two to concentrate on with the first named the pick. Fourth in a typically messy G.1 Prix Royal-Oak at Chantilly when last seen in October the 4yo colt should be backed at 8-11 to take this before a likely tilt at the Dubai Gold Cup.
It’s the Turf track for the two handicaps that bring the meeting to a close with the 5.25 the 7f District One Elegance Stretch Cup. Mubtasim won on debut for the yard of Charlie Appleby back on the 7th (tipped on here at 5-1) and looks to have a chance to follow-up in this. He was brought under the Godolphin umbrella for a reason and showed some smart form for William Haggas, with three wins as a 2yo and was placed in Group and Listed level at three and four. William Buick switches to On The Warpath here which raises a question but if Appleby has coaxed him back to his best, and his win a fortnight ago over track and trip suggests he might have, he should have too much for this line-up; rated 109 at his best. I have 5-1.
The lucky last at 6.00 is the 1m2f District One World Class Run handicap. Key Victory heads the weights, though the 4yo really hasn’t found his form at all out in the desert. From what I have seen this year at the Carnival Cliffs Of Capri could appreciate this step-up in trip. He has looked to me to have been tapped for toe over a mile and 7f trips here and the extra two-furlongs could now suit the 5yo. He is an each-way punt at 10-1.