The Dubai Carnival returns on Thursday evening with several competitive turf handicaps and the UAE 1,000 Guineas on dirt.
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has a remarkable record in the UAE 1,000 Guineas with 10 wins since it’s inception in 2001 and the trainer returns double-handed for this year’s renewal.
Dubai Beauty would appear to be the first-string this time around with Christophe Soumillon taking the ride, but she’s been disappointing since her Newmarket debut in August and showed very little when last of 14 here on the opening night of the Carnival, despite her prominence in the market (3/1).
She’s better drawn this time (2) and it’s likely to be a case of “catch me if you can” for the daughter of Frankel who didn’t face the kickback last time out; hardly surprising given her pedigree.
It might have been a close call for Soumillon between Dubai Beauty and Swift Rose who gets the services of young Dane Kevin Stott. The Invincible Spirit filly may improve for her first start on dirt last time out when fifth of 14 in Dubai Beauty’s race.
She stayed on well enough that day to suggest this step up in trip will suit and she was rusty at the gate when slowly away. While she comes with risks attached, she wouldn’t be in the race if her master trainer didn’t think she could get competitive.
Al Hayette has been dealt a blow with the widest draw of all (15) but she sets the standard on form here with back-to-back course wins to her name including her run in the trial here on the opening day of the Carnival where she had several of these in behind.
Her ability to face the kick-back will give her a huge advantage over several of these rivals, many of whom are one dimensional front-runners and the step back up in trip looks certain suit. Unfortunately, her price accounts for her chance.
Godolphin’s other runners in the race include early morning favourite Divine Image who only has a fillies’ novice success to her name and Lover’s Knot who gets first-time headgear for her debut on the dirt.
It’s a hard-enough opener to the thoroughbred proceedings and makes limited appeal as a betting heat.
The same can’t be said for the Jafza Handicap (5.25). Earnshaw did this column a favour when landing each-way money two weeks ago and he’s been entirely overlooked in the market in this evening’s contest, widely available to back at 20/1, 22/1 in a place.
He stayed on well that day behind two Godolphin runners last time out, the winner a useful yardstick and the runner-up who is entirely unexposed. The form looks solid and his trainer arrives here in fine fettle with a couple of winners and several placed horses from 12 runners in the last seven days.
The handicapper has somewhat leniently dropped the horse further after his placed effort last time and he’s taken to finish in the first three again.
Oasis Dream heads the Godolphin challenge and he’s well-handicapped on the form that saw him win at Newmarket in May but there must be a small concern he missed all of the turf season. Team Talk is another to look out for, expect Saeed Bin Suroor’s mount to be last to challenge.
Earnshaw – Meydan 5.25 – 22/1
1 Point each-way
1-5 Point Betting Scale