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2020 Dubai Racing Carnival – Thursday 13th February

Meydan Overview & Selections – Week 7:

Benbatl was the star turn last week at Meydan. He enjoyed the perfect trip when winning Round 2 of the Maktoum Challenge and in so doing proved he handles the dirt. The Saudi Cup May be next for him which is a risk in terms of his Dubai World Cup credentials because a tough race there could mean that he sacrifices his chance in the World Cup itself. The Godolphin team have a big decision to make…

I have five selections for you this week, after a couple of winners last week.

Four win plays and one each way selection:

10:40am Meydan – Bochart

This horse was most impressive when winning here last time out in a fast time and from stall 1 I anticipate another really bold show from the front. That win was aided by a fast rail and unusually for a dirt sprint here he was able to carve out relatively even fractions. There could be some pace pressure from My Catch but he is drawn wide in stall 10 and will have to work very hard to find the lead and given he needs to lead I don’t see him as a danger. I do think Truck Salesman is a danger after his excellent second to Gladiator King last time but he’s never been very consistent and needs to back that up now. Bochart can dominate here and win again.

11:15am Meydan – Peri Lina (each way)

The Balanchine may well go to Magic Lily at restrictive odds after her Cape Verdi success last time where she had Peri Lina back in fourth place, however I think Peri Lina can improve now she steps up in trip and she was quite eye catching in the Cape Verdi. She wasn’t well positioned in the race, held up and wide she had a lot to do turning in but the sectionals show that she came home strongly. Indeed her last 400 metres was exactly the same as Magic Lily’s. That trip of a mile was too sharp for Peri Lina who has form at up to 12 furlongs and this will be much more suitable. She is clearly in good heart and a decent each way play in a race with a short priced favourite, who although classy needs to put back to back efforts together.

11:50am Meydan – Roulston Scar

This horse won in a good time on his Dubai debut and and shaped very well in third behind Rusumaat last week. He showed his customary early pace and had every chance but was on the wrong part of the track the way things planned out. He raced towards the middle whereas the winner and runner-up raced close to the favoured stands side rail. That run can be marked up given where he raced and given that he and his main market rival Ekhtiyaar got racing a from long way out. Now back down in trip to five furlongs and drawn towards the stands side in stall 10 he can make amends.

12:25pm Meydan – Muntazah

This is some race. Traditionally it’s a trial for the Godolphin Mile and I take Muntazah to strip significantly fitter for this than on his debut in Round 1 of the Maktoum Challenge. He clearly needed the run when fourth that day and is better judged on his track record breaking win over this trip on Super Saturday last year. That win was achieved on a speed favouring rail but even so it was a sensational effort. He looks to get a good trip here behind the pace which crucially should hold up before Jim Crowley strikes for home. The opposition is formidable. Quip is a class act who finished second in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster and Matterhorn is a fascinating runner for Salem Bin Ghadayer. This horse was a top class synthetic performer in the UK and who knows what Salem can get him to do here, and don’t forget Cappezano! He’s back and as we know from last year he can do special things. It’s a brilliant race, but I take Muntazah to prevail.

1:00pm Meydan – First Nation

This race looks like it will go to Godolphin and I believe that First Nation can win again here at Meydan. I’m wary of the progressive Dubai Future but he is drawn wide and Jalmoud but I’m not convinced he is straightforward. First Nation has shaped well both starts here this season and the step up to 12 furlongs figures to suit. He has been finishing well over 10 furlongs where the pace has not been conducive to his hold up run style. James Doyle is riding with plenty of confidence and this strong traveller can provide him with another winner.