Meydan 10th January 2019:
Meydan 3.05 Race.
A stakes race where at the weights the Simon Crisford trained Sporting Chance is rightly favourite having shown some decent form as a 2yo over 6 furlongs last season, with fair efforts in a couple of Group 2 contests before winning at listed and Group 3 level before finishing his season with a 5th placed finish back in Group 2 company in France. He should run well, but the yard are short of success when send raiders over to Meydan, albeit still from a relatively select number of runners. Woven from the David Simcock yard is interesting having beaten Estihdaaf at York, although that one was making his debut. Godolphin as ever have a few entries and the two most likely are Good Effort, who comes here off a decent 2yo season, but does look one of the more exposed types and preference is for the previously mentioned Estihdaaf. A very promising debut when 2nd to Woven at York was followed by a decent effort again at Newmarket where he finished 3rd in a race that has worked out well. An impressive winner of his final start, he looks sure to progress as a 3yo and would be the pick here. He’d of real interest when ask to race on the dirt, as he’s very much bred for that surface being by a Grade 1 winner Sire, and out of a mare by the multiple grade 1 dirt winner Ghostzapper.
Selection: Estihdaaf at 9/2 – Lost.
Meydan 3.40 Race.
The UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial and a standout favourite in the Godolphin runner Royal Marine, who’s bred for the dirt being by Breeders Cup Classic winner Ravens Pass and has already shown a high level of form, winning the Group 1 Prix Jean-luc Lagardere at Longchamp. Whilst he isn’t really a betting proposition it’s hard to see past him.
Meydan 4.15 Race.
A really good handicap with top weight Above The Rest sure to be better for his last run here on the dirt and he’s sure to prefer the return to turf as well, but has a tall order under top weight. Mujaafy has to be respected having raced in Group company. The Fav here is Major Partnership and whilst he’s impressed winning 3 of his last 4 starts, this is a big step up in class and he’s a shorter price than we feel he should be. One that does make plenty of appeal is Dream Today, making his debut for the Jamie Osbourne yard and stepping back in trip. All his best form is when the ground is riding on the quick side, which he should get here, the stable do well with the horses they send over here and the step back in trip is very interesting for a horse that doesn’t lack tactical speed. A fair draw in 7, he’s a big price.
Selection: Dream Today (e/w) at 20/1 – WON 16/1
Meydan 4.50 Race.
A really high class Group 2 event, with the probability of a tear up in front with North America and Heavy Metal both high class front runners who are sure to make this a real test of early speed and stamina. Both have proven themselves at a high level but they might just set this up for a closer and whilst Kimbear who’s beaten Heavy Metal previously is also known for front running tactics, it wouldn’t surprise to see him ridden with a little restraint this time. Of the three considered big guns, Kimbear is just about our preference here. Gold Town is also sure to run well and Muntazah who ran very well and was a little unlucky behind Heavy Metal in the Godolphin Mile last March can’t be discounted, as he had excuses last time. A trappy contest with slight preference for Kimbear on the win front and a sneaky fancy for the stablemate Muntazah from an each way perspective.
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