Dubai Racing Carnival Analysis – Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Dubai World Cupby Steven Molyneux

A brief flurry of excitement this week with the release of the nominations for Dubai World Cup night, the excitement stemming from the fact Arrogate was among them.

Let’s face it the race is in need of boost, nothing got the juices flowing in the second round of the Maktoum Challenge last week, but realistically has the fact Arrogate is nominated brought him any nearer to running? Well it’s a step, but the facts are these free nominations closed on the January 12, so he was included even before he won the Pegasus, and talk since then has hardly been positive regards his inclusion. Anyway, that is all for another day, as this week sees two Carnival fixtures with the Godolphin young guns putting their classic aspirations on the line.

Saeed bin Suroor has openly admitted that he will use the UAE 1000 Guineas and Oaks as trials ahead of the Guineas back in the UK, so all eyes will be on Really Special on Thursday. She is naturally a very short price having won the trial and with the extra 200m firmly in her favour, it is hard to see her getting beaten, particularly as she largely comes up against the same bunch of fillies. Interestingly, Charlie Appleby did say on Wednesday that he would take a view on running Sobetsu in the UAE Oaks depending on what happens on Thursday, the filly here in Dubai and taking her winter training well.
As too is Boynton, who, in similar vein, could run later in the Carnival depending on what happens with Godolphin’s runners in the 2000 Guineas on Saturday.

The love-in for Mizbah on social media is (hopefully) very much tongue in cheek after his record breaking success over 1900m last time, but he has been found a perfect opportunity to supplement those gains in the 2000m handicap that is race three on the card. The angle is simple, he has early pace and looks the sole speed in the race, to the extent that it could almost be immaterial that he was put up 9lb for last time. I guess that, in a nutshell, explains just how one dimensional dirt racing can be.

Emotionless is on a retrieval mission yet pitches up as favourite again, the longer trip at least expected to see him get in a rhythm this time, but he still comes with risks attached, which leaves the Korean raider, Triple Nine as the main danger. He was half a length behind Hunting Ground last time compared to Mizbah beating the same horse seven and a half lengths, so collaterally, he has a bit to find acknowledging the weight pull, but the Koreans are nothing if not game and expect to see him staying on, if hopefully a bit too late in the day.

I will happily bypass the sprint this week, which brings me onto the penultimate contest, a 7f handicap that sees Flash Fire head the weights.
Charlie Appleby did nominate him as his best chance of the weekend but he has not exactly been missed by the bookmakers and I instead prefer to give Tahanee another chance. She got no luck in running behind Fanciful Angel on her reappearance and then surprisingly tried to make all the running in the Cape Verdi, where she faded into fifth behind Very Special. The front-running tactics will hopefully be canned, particularly with Anaerobio, Salateen and possibly even First Selection as potential front-runners, and that should enable her to confirm the promise of that initial effort.

Blue is likely to be the colour in the finale, with the trusty red cap, or is it white cap, firmly on board Folkswood. He failed to run down Artigiano on his reappearance but travelled for the most part like a horse ahead of his mark with a 2lb rise not enough to compensate for that. Stall ten now compared to stall two then complicates matters to a degree but Colm O’Donoghue will have plenty of time to edge his mount over and he should be well served by the slightly shorter trip. Reverting to true Meydan turf racing style, expect them to potter around which puts Folkswood in the perfect position to go for home early in the straight and hopefully stay there.

Stephen Molyneux’s selections for Meydan on Thursday morning:
10:40am (ET) Meydan: Mizbah
12.25pm (ET) Meydan: Tahanee
1.00pm (ET) Meydan: Folkswood

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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