Meydan Thursday 21st February

We continued our review of the racing at Meydan in Dubai, this time for Premium Members Only….

Meydan 2.30:
A tricky handicap, but without Capezzano to deal with and dropping back to 7 furlongs, African Ride looks to hold decent claims. 5th behind North America on his debut in Dubai, he improved on that when 3rd to the impressive Capezzano last time reversing form with Gold Town. He travelled well last time, but couldn’t live with the winner and faded inside the final furlong. This drop back in trip should suit where as Thegreatcollection who finished in 2nd last time, looks as though he wants at least a mile.

Suggested Bet: African Ride (e/w) 11/2 Paddy Power, generally 5/1 –
Result: Non Runner

Meydan 3.05:
Another Batt ran really well on his first start over this trip, getting out paced but staying on nicely and he may well come on for that having experienced the quicker racing pace for the first time. That said he’ll do well to turn that form around with Dream Today who seems to relish this trip and conditions. He cruised through the race last time and just found 2 very decent sprinters too good on the day. Backing up his previous win here, he’s sure to go very close again, with cheek pieces and a tongue tie on for the first time today. Intisaab would have strong claims on his close 3rd behind Dream Today a few starts back, but has really disappointed on his last two runs and couldn’t be backed with any confidence. Ekhtiyaar is very interesting stepping back to 6 furlongs, having run very well when 3rd to Another Batt on his debut for the yard. He didn’t seem to quite handle the bend that day and will be better suited by this straight 6 furlongs, whilst this trip should be better for him as well. Having looked a progressive 3yo sprinter, things didn’t quite happen for him last year, but he’s still very much one that could progress to a level higher than this. Finally Riflescope was impressive when winning last time and could step up again, but he’s now 7lbs higher in a much deeper race, so further improvement is probably required.

Suggested Bet: Ekhtiyaar (e/w) – 6/1 Skybet, generally 11/2 or 5/1
Result: WON 7/2 

Meydan 3.40:
Racing History holds some pretty strong recent form having been placed in Group 3 and then Group 2 company behind Dream Castle and just about sets the standard on recent carnival form, so is sure to have a big say in the outcome here. Spotify won nicely last time on handicap company and whilst he had an easy time of it in front, he did quicken away nicely, so this drop back in trip shouldn’t be a problem at all, but this is a step up on that. Whilst he has a bit to find at the weights, Connect was really unlucky last time on his UAE debut as he simply got no run in the home straight having travelled really sweetly. That was only a handicap, so this will be tougher, but he could run well at what will be a pretty big price. First Nation won really well when beating Nordic Lights and with that one winning subsequently he’d hold chances, although on form lines through Earnshaw, Oasis Charm holds stronger claims having given that one weight and a beating more recently. We also feel Nordic Lights stepped forward quite a bit for that run behind First Nation, so whilst he was impressive, he might just be slightly flattered. Team Talk would also have claims on his 2nd to Oasis Charm last time where he came from well off the pace and is now 4lbs better off with that winner. That said, Oasis Charm travelled like the best horse in that race and is likely to improve for that run and can confirm the form. Last but not least Vintager makes his first start for Charlie Appleby having last run when bolting up in a handicap at Newmarket in July over a mile. The figures that day suggest that was a huge run and he’s very much capable of being competitive in this grade, but it’ll be a fair ask to win such a competitive race on his first run for a long while and over a trip that he’s yet to prove himself over.
For an 8 runner field, this is an extremely competitive race and whilst Oasis Charm is sure to step forward from his reappearance win and is feared most, Racing History sets the standard here and looks the most likely winner, whilst we’re likely to have a small each way play at huge odds Connect.

Suggested Bet: Racing History to Win (9/2), Connect (e/w) – 40/1 Paddy Power
Result: 2nd Place. 

Meydan 4.15:
This is likely to be dominated by the notebook talking horse from last time, Dubai Image who bunny hoped coming out of the stalls last time losing all chance before staying on in eye-catching style into 2nd place behind the impressive winner Silva. Those two are likely to create a market for the remainder of the field, and rather than taking a short price on either Silva confirming that form of Dubai Image jumping level this time and stepping up in that run, we’d perhaps take a chance on a bigger price each way play. Further behind those two last time was Starry Eyes, making her Dubai debut having won a novice race at Chelmsford in September. She shaped with plenty of promise herself last time and whilst one of the market leaders is likely to land the spoils here, Starry Eyes could run a nice race at a decent price.

Suggested Bet: No bet advised due to the 2 market leaders prices and reflective chances, but Starry Eyes could be a small fun each way play. (20/1 Skybet)

Meydan 4.50:
Unlike the earlier Group 2 event, this doesn’t look quite so close knit and competitive with 3 stand out performers for us, 2 of which haven’t run in Dubai as yet. Of those that have shown form in Dubai, Mythical Magic makes plenty of appeal following a very good 2nd to D’bai over 7 furlongs last time. This trip will be more suitable and he should go pretty close under William Buick. The two making their debuts here that appeal are Century Dream who progressed no end last year, from handicap company to a 4th place finish in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and finishing his season with a fine 3rd in the QE2 behind Roaring Lion. A mile looks to be his trip and if improving again this year he’d be a player; Wootton, Formerly trained in France is also interesting. He ran 4th in the French Guineas and 3rd in the St James Palace Stakes, before his form slightly tailed off. Always held in high regard if the change of scenery untapped some of that latent talent, he could be very dangerous here.

Suggested Bet: Mythical Magic – generally 4/1
Result: WON 7/2

Meydan 5.25:
A tight handicap where chances can be given to Cliffs of Capri and Freescape who are closely matched in their last running and we’d perhaps give slight preference for Freescape of the two. Symbolization can be expected to step forward on this return to action, with this step back in trip likely to suit. On form through Baroot he’s closely matched with both Above n Beyond, Bedouins Story and Eshtiraak who were 2nd, 4th and 5th behind Escalator last time. Despite being a 33/1 shot that day, there was no fluke about Above N Beyonds run and he’s likely to be over priced here compared to those others. Depending on prices, as we conduct this write up before the prices are available, we’re likely to side with Symbolization and Above N Beyond.

Suggested Bet: Above N Beyond (e/w) – generally 8/1 top 4 places. – Win Saver Symbolization at 4/1.
Result: 2nd at 12/1

Meydan Notebook:
4.50 Wootton, all sorts of trouble having been held up, had his run blocked several times in the home straight, flew home when getting a clear passage, is much better than the bare result.

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