Meydan Carnival Analysis
The final Carnival fixture prior to Super Saturday sees a typically competitive card for the action in Dubai on Thursday.
With the end of Meydan's season on the horizon, the final Thursday evening fixture has Group 3 action in the form of the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (4.15) as it’s feature event.
Trainer Charlie Appleby has enjoyed another remarkable winter out in Dubai and his pair of runners in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy are hard to look past.
The form chance of Brundtland is the obvious place to start having won twice in Group 2 company in France last year. The son of Dubawi was only beaten one length in the Group 1 Royal-Oak at Chantilly last time out and that was despite conceding what must have been at least eight lengths when the leader at the time (Flag Of Honour) spooked and carried Brundtland wide when crossing the path.
His unbeaten record would probably still be intact if it wasn’t for that mishap and he’s going to be hard to beat here, despite this likely being a prep run for the Gold Cup on World Cup Night.
Stablemate Ispolini is clear of the remainder on Official Ratings and he’s been impressive in two starts this winter, posting a smart effort on seasonal return in a Conditions race before going on from that and winning a stayers’ handicap in good fashion when stepped up in trip next time.
It’s likely the jockey bookings tell the story here, with Brundtland sure to be fit enough to land this and they have both been well found in the market; hardly surprising given the yard form and the trainer’s success in the race last year.
A more interesting betting heat comes a little earlier in the form of the one-mile dirt handicap (3.40) and Thegreatcollection looks overpriced.
While Doug Watson’s charge has been no match for World Cup night bound Capezzano in his two most recent runs, he beat the rest of the field in competitive enough fashion on both occasions to suggest he will be well-handicapped off the same mark in this contest.
While he tends to get behind in his races, his ability to handle the kickback is a huge positive in double figure fields where he has a solid pace to aim at and if he can see out this extra distance stepped back up in trip, he’s expected to be right there.
Stablemate Mystique Moon heads the early markets after a wide margin win at Jebel Ali last time and he gets the services of the yard's stable-jockey Pat Dobbs.
However, it’s unlikely to have been an easy decision for the Irishman and while Mystique Moon was visually impressive last time, he has a career high mark to contend with and the form has been let down on multiple occasions by those in behind subsequently.
Thegreatcollection (11/2) is the value bet at nearly twice the price from a better draw.
The handicap races that have closed the card each week of the Carnival so far have often been the most competitive races and Thursday’s finale (6.00) is no exception.
There’s little doubt the Godolphin horses will be popular with international punters but the filly from Turkey may have been overlooked in the betting after two promising enough performances at the Carnival already this season.
Peri Lina is anything but straightforward but her effort last time was particularly impressive - a third in Group 2 company - when taking in to account that she failed to settle throughout the first half of the race.
The four-year-old ought to find this bigger field easier to find cover and the drop back in to handicap company looks like a huge positive for her chance.
There’s little doubt that if she can settle better, she’s capable from this sort of mark and the 20/1 widely available looks too big with the step up to this trip sure to suit. With some bookmakers paying four places, she could be hard to keep out of the first four with a reproduction of her run last time out.
Thegreatcollection – Meydan 3.40 – 11/2
1 Point win
Peri Lina – Meydan 6.00 – 20/1 (four places)
1 Point each-way
1-5 Point Betting Scale