By Angus McNae in Dubai
Gold Town lit up the Carnival on Thursday night by taking the UAE 2000 Guineas in his stride.
Evaluation of his performance seems to have been poisoned with the idea that he beat nothing and that the winning margin of more than 10 lengths was worthless against such opposition.
That is palpable nonsense. Ask yourself not what he beat, or by how far, but rather how fast did he run. The clock does not lie.
Gold Town can be assessed as having run fast. His time of 1min 37.77sec was well up to scratch for a three-year-old over this trip at Meydan and makes him at least worth a rating of 115, maybe more.
At this stage of his career he is better than Thunder Snow was - and as long as his career is nurtured the sky is the limit with surely the Dubai World Cup 2019 on the agenda. More immediately, the UAE Derby is his for the taking.
I have five more selections for Saturday:
A Group 1 and 2 placed performer in his native Australia, Faatinah won on his Carnival debut in good style and I am somewhat surprised that he has gone up only 2lb in the weights.
He was thought to be in need of the run yet made all and readily saw off the useful Baccarat. He will take some catching on this fast turf track and a win will put him firmly in the picture for the Al Quoz Sprint.
This horse is a miler through and through and has a tremendous record over course and distance.
He failed to see out 9 1/2 furlongs in round 2 of the Maktoum Challenge last time out when unable to lead.
Back over his best trip - and with the distinct possibility that he will be able to dominate - Heavy Metal can give trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer another Carnival winner.
Yalta can give Salem Bin Ghadayer another success. He put up an extraordinary performance last time out - forcing a very strong gallop over seven furlongs and seeing off all of the other pace pressers before succumbing late on.
Given the early fractions, he did tremendously well to finish where he did. Before that he ran well when fifth in the Dubawi Stakes, having faced pace pressure from the useful My Catch and Muaarab. He can dominate here.
This looks to be a straightforward opportunity for this filly in a weak looking Balanchine.
She easily took the Cape Verdi last time over a mile, when beating the useful Rehana. She looked very sharp that day over a trip that does not bring the best in her.
Unleashed here over an extra furlong, she should be able to chalk up a third course success at Meydan.
Mountain Hunter made all for a comfortable success last time out and there could be more to come given his unexposed profile.
He has only run five times, winning all three of his races on turf. He made all to win last time and from stall 1 I would expect him to once again be ridden prominently by Christophe Soumillon.
Select any odd to add a bet