Below is Steven Molyneux’s Meydan Overview and selections for the third meeting of the 2017 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
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.
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