We are still three weeks away from the Dubai World Cup, but Meydan plays host to a tremendous card on Saturday and there should be plenty of pointers for the big night on Saturday 27th March.
Below, we run you through our two bets on the card.
12.00pm 1m1f110y Listed Al Bastakiya
El Patriota won twice in his native Uruguay, the second of those successes coming at Group 1 level. His Meydan debut came in a weak enough contest, but he could do no more than win and is entitled to improve again for the run.
There were no headaches for backers of Panadol on debut, the son of US sire Flatter (sire of 2018 DWC runner-up West Coast) scorching home to score by a wide margin. He has a very big reputation, but the time wasn’t exceptional and he’ll need to take a step forwards, particularly given his wide draw this time. Still, he holds Endifaa on that form and, on a line through him, he also has the beating of Doug Watson’s Speight’spercomete.
At a bigger price, it’s worth taking a chance on Nayefah. The daughter of Super Saver remains a maiden after four starts, but she has always been well-regarded and ran with credit on her first two starts at 6-7f, no match for Mnasek in a maiden in December and again when runner-up to that rival in the UAE Oaks last time. Still, that race provided the winner of this a couple of years ago and she made up a significant amount of ground in the straight, having got behind at an early stage. She looks a work in progress, but could well run into a place and, if the leaders go too quick, she may be able to pick up the pieces.
12.00pm Meydan – 0.5pts each-way Nayefah @ 20-1 (PaddyPower, Betfair, Bet365)
1.10pm 6f Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal
Bochart was only fifth when a warm favourite for this last year (a race in which his trainer saddled the 1-2) and hasn’t yet looked in the same form this time around. At the age of eight, it’s possible time is catching up with him, though he does have the benefit of a good draw and cheekpieces are now tried.
Important Mission finished in front of Bochart when narrowly held in the Group 3 Al Shindagha last time, but swaps stall 1 for stall 13. One box inside from him is Canvassed, who beat Important Mission when the two faced off in handicap company here at the beginning of last month and is weighted to confirm the form on 3lbs worse terms now.
However, the bet in the race looks to be Good Effort. He has established himself as a really useful performer on the AW in the UK and won his second Listed there at Lingfield Park in November. He finished a good fourth on his Meydan debut last time, Frankie now takes over and he is a confident selection.
1.10pm Meydan – 1pt win Good Effort @ 4-1 (Bet365, 7/2 elsewhere)