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

Dubai Racing Carnival – Thursday, Jan. 19

by Steven Molyneux

It was not quite an “I was there” occasion, but it will be a surprise if the victory of Reynaldothewizard in the Dubawi Stakes last week is surpassed when it comes to moments of the 2017 Carnival. One of three on the day for Satish Seemar and Richie Mullen, it provided further proof that the locals are nigh-on impenetrable when it comes to racing on the dirt. If there is a racing nation to do it, then it could well be Korea who send out three runners this week and will have taken heart from the performance of Power Blade 7 days ago who finished third to North America. There is a general feeling that having tested the water here last year, the group that have made the trip this time around are more realistically weighted and hopes will be high that one of Triple Nine (considered to be the best of them), Seoul Bullet or Main Stay can give the burgeoning racing nature their first winner on international soil when they line up on Thursday.

Dubai World Cup The turf has provided a more level playing field, and owner Andy Taylor will be hoping Line Of Reason can do what Final Venture did when lining up in the five-furlong sprint at 10.40am (ET). Considering he exclusively owns sprinters because, “I get bored if anything lasts over a minute and a half” (there is a joke there somewhere), a second seven-hour flight to Dubai in quick succession might seem a bit excessive. Line Of Reason will once again have his optimum conditions in place but I am banking on Saayerr reversing form from when they met behind Ertijaal on the opening night. Just three-quarters of a length separated the pair in fifth and sixth but Line Of Reason had the benefit of a recent run whereas Saayerr, representing a stable just 1-71 from this season, was having his first since February. You may have noticed the negative in there, the stable form, but there has been the odd glimmer of a return to form, including in the way Saayerr shaped, and there is definitely some juice in his price.

The feature at 11.50am (ET) is the Group Two Al Fahidi Fort in which many of the field has something to prove regards the trip of seven furlongs, in that it will be shorter than they perhaps require ideally. That does not apply to Godolphin’s Flash Fire, and he bids to give Charlie Appleby a third successive win in the race following the victories of Safety Check. Having been gelded, he bolted up in a handicap on his return, the same handicap Safety Check won before winning this in 2015, and he looks best equipped to cope should things develop into a bit of a sprint. Noa From Goah is obviously the class act but he looks to be prepping for targets over a mile, and is also one that has had to go through the arduous quarantine to get here from South Africa, while Championship could well end up being a sitting duck out front once more, particularly if he pings the lids from his inside draw. Do not rule out Dark Emerald running a big race back at the scene of his finest hour(s), and he very much has the constitution to cope regardless of how things pan out.

Elsewhere, there is a bit of muscle flexing going on in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial at 10.05am (ET) when Saeed bin Suroor saddles the unbeaten Really Special. Bin Suroor likes to name a lot of his horses, and it is fairly obvious when he does; Huge Future, Very Special, Promising Run and Very Talented are all part of his team in Dubai. As too, is Thunder Snow, a horse bin Suroor was quick to point out last week as the one he was most looking forward to running. It is a bit of surprise to see Really Special here in Dubai as Godolphin tend to leave their better ones in Newmarket and if rumour is to be believed, then she ought to have bigger aspirations than the UAE Classics. She heads the market alongside Calare, who is more exposed but is at least related to a winner out here on dirt, and is trained by Charlie Appleby who is currently striking at 40% for the UAE season. Blue may well be the colour, but Doug Watson, intriguingly, did not jock up Pat Dobbs on either of his declared runners, presumably in the hope first reserve, Complimenti, would gain a run. He may have been privy to inside information as Nalout was soon scratched, but regardless of whether it was a gamble to hold Dobbs in reserve or not, her debut run when third to Van Der Decken and Fly At Dawn (both colts) reads very well in the context of this race. Back against her own sex, she looks too-readily dismissed and will do for me.

Stephen Molyneux’s Dubai World Cup Carnival week three tips:

10.05am (ET) Meydan – Complimenti

10.40am (ET) Meydan – Saayerr

11:50am (ET) Meydan – Flash Fire