Best bets for the racing from Meydan the Dubai Carnival Thursday 31st January 2019

It is Carnival time again and Triple G is once more concentrating on Meydan and the fifth meeting of the Dubai Carnival 2019.

It’s been a lovely day outside Triple G Towers on Wednesday but if you are under the blanket of snow that has fallen in some parts hopefully I have a winner or four to lift your spirits.

The fillies take centre stage on the Dirt track with the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas the main event. Fifteen are due to line-up over the mile at 3.05 with Dubai Beauty looking to rebuild her reputation having run a stinker in the 7f Trial earlier this month; the hood goes on for the first time. The winner of the Trial Al Hayette duly lines-up here and off the back of that two-length victory she obviously has every chance. Muthhila was third, Mulhima fourth, Swift Rose fifth and Al Shamkhah sixth in the Trial but there is no reason to think any of those they can turn the form around. That said I am not backing any of them. Divine Image won over a mile at Chelmsford in December on debut in easy fashion and the Charlie Appleby trained filly might be the answer here. None of those that run in the Trial look likely world beaters whilst I was very taken with this filly when she won in Essex. William Buick rides and at the 2-1 she is the pick as I think she might prove better than Listed class in due course.  

I tipped Nashirah in the aforementioned Trial when she finished second and she goes in the 7f Meydan Classic Trial at 3.40 on the Turf track – I think it might be significant that Appleby hasn’t gone for the 1,000 Guineas with her. She looks to be going the right way and gets the various allowances as a filly with the 5lb she gets from likely main danger Sporting Chance looking very handy. I have a bit of the 11-2 Of the others Woven and Trolius are closely matched on their last run three-weeks ago when second and third respectively and are the others for the shortlist.

Switzerland has been sent over from the States by Steve Asmussen and Ryan Moore has been booked to ride in the 6f Group Three Al Shindagha Sprint at 4.15 on the Dirt track. Tato Key makes his debut for Co Tipperary based David Marnane in what is an interesting sprint with Ibn Malik also in the line-up. Doug Watson is saddling Drafted and I think the grey is the one to be on. I tipped him on the first evening in the Group Three Dubawi Stakes where he finished second. His track and trip record now reads 1st, 1st, 2nd and he has a win over seven-furlongs to his name. Short enough at 15-8 but he looks a solid bet.

The Jafza Handicap at 5.25 over 1m2f on the Turf looks a tricky affair at first glance and surprise, surprise Godolphin have a strong hand with six runners. The one I kept coming back to though is the lightly campaigned 5yo Oasis Charm for that man Charlie Appleby again. Two from two in 2018, and last seen winning a decent heat at HQ in May, there should be improvement still to come and despite being on a career-high mark of 104 I think the gelding can win this. HNis style of running should suit this track and stall six gives William Buick every chance to get his mount into a nice position and rhythm just behind the likely leaders before swooping late. I have taken a chance with the 5-2. Team Talk and Key Victory are the two most likely to cause him problems.

Be lucky