Benbatl was the star turn last week at Meydan. He enjoyed the perfect trip when winning round two of the Maktoum Challenge and proved he handles the dirt.
The Saudi Cup may be next for him, which is a risk in terms of his Dubai World Cup credentials because a tough race there could mean that he sacrifices his chance in the World Cup itself. The Godolphin team have a big decision to make.
I have five selections for you this week following a couple of winners - at 8-1 and 5-2 - last week.
This horse was most impressive when winning here last time out in a fast time and, from stall one, I anticipate another really bold show from the front.
That win was aided by a fast rail and, unusually for a dirt sprint here, he was able to carve out relatively even fractions.
There could be some pace pressure for the lead here from My Catch, but he is drawn wide in stall ten and will have to work very hard to find the lead and, given he needs to lead, I don’t see him as a danger.
I do think Truck Salesman is a danger after his excellent second to Gladiator King last time out, but he’s never been very consistent and needs to back that up now.
Bochart can dominate here and win again
The Balanchine may well go to Magic Lily at restrictive odds here after her Cape Verdi success last time in which Peri Lina finished fourth. However, I think Peri Lina figures to improve now she steps up in trip and she ran eye-catchingly in the Cape Verdi.
She was not well positioned in that race. Held up and racing wide, she had a lot to do turning in but the sectionals show that she cane home strongly.
Her last 400 metres were exactly the same as Magic Lily’s. That trip of a mile was too sharp for Peri Lina who has form at up to twelve furlongs and this race will be much more suitable.
She is clearly in good heart and a decent each-way play in a race with a short-priced favourite who, although classy, needs to put back-to-back efforts together.
This horse won in a good time on his Dubai debut and shaped very well in third behind Rusumaat last week.
He showed his customary early pace and had every chance but was on the wrong part of the track the way things planned out.
He raced towards the middle, whereas the winner and runner-up raced close to the favoured stands side rail.
That run can be marked up given where he raced and that he and his main market rival, Ekhtiyaar, got racing a long way out.
Now back in trip to five furlongs and drawn towards the stands side in stall ten, he can make amends.
This is some race. Traditionally, it is a trial for the Godolphin Mile, and I take Muntazah to strip miles fitter for this than on his debut in Round One of the Maktoum Challenge.
He clearly needed the run when fourth that day and is better judged on his track-record breaking win over this trip on Super Saturday last year.
That win was achieved on a speed favouring rail but, even so, it was a sensational effort.
He is sure to get a good trip here behind the pace which crucially should hold up before Jim Crowley strikes for home.
The opposition is formidable. Quip is a class act who finished second in the Grade Two Stephen Foster and Matterhorn is a fascinating runner for Salem Bin Ghadayer.
This horse was a top-class synthetic performer in the UK and who knows what Salem can get him to do here, and don’t forget Cappezano! He is back and as we know from last year, he can do special things. It’s a brilliant race, but I take Muntazah to prevail.
This race looks like it will go to Godolphin and I believe that First Nation can win again here at Meydan. I’m wary of the progressive Dubai Future, but he is drawn wide, and Jalmoud as well but I’m not convinced he is straightforward.
First Nation has shaped well both starts here this season and the step up to twelve furlongs figures to suit.
He has been finishing well over ten furlongs where the pace has not been conducive to his hold-up style. James Doyle is riding with plenty of confidence and this strong traveller can provide him with another winner.
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