By Angus McNae in Dubai
What a start to the Dubai World Cup Carnival we enjoyed last week.
Ertijaal scorched his way up the five furlongs turf track to win again at his beloved Meydan, while Benbatl outlined that he is a ten-furlong Group One performer in the offing. A track record also came tumbling down courtesy of D’bai.
How can we top that, you may ask. Well we can equal it for sure and if 12-year-old Reynaldothewizard lands the Dubawi Stakes there will not be a dry eye in the house.
Whether he can win is debatable, and in search of another winner to supplement the three of last week I am going to have to oppose him. In total I am bringing four selections to the Meydan party. Good luck.
2.30 Meydan: Rayya
This filly made a spectacular debut on the Meydan dirt six weeks ago.
Rayya dominated a field of maidens, drawing clear late on to run out an impressive winner and this UAE 1000 Guineas Trial is hers for the taking.
She is speedy and rode the rail to success last time. Now up in grade, she will need to break well from stall 1 to utilise her early speed. Once on the lead on the rail she promises to be hard to peg back.
4.15 Meydan: Light The Lights
Light The Lights looks capable of giving Mike De Kock his first Carnival winner of the year.
I thought he shaped well under a considerate Christophe Soumillon tide in the Singspiel stakes and he will strip much fitter for that initial effort.
He is very useful on his day, as he showed when beating the classy Championship last January in a Listed contest. This is a lesser race than last week and with Soumillon back on board this looks a gilt edged opportunity.
4.50 Meydan: Muarrab
Sorry to be party pooper but I think Muarrab will beat Reynaldothewizard.
It’s very much a case of head ruling heart but Muarrab looked to be right back to his best when winning over course and distance four weeks ago.
When this horse is good he is very good. I think he is at his best when ridden prominently as he was last time.
Bizarrely, at times last year connections tried to ride him patiently which really negates his main asset which is early pace.
In a small field here, he will be prominent along with the speedy My Catch and may well steal an an advantage early in the straight which I fancy Reynaldo will find too much of a bridge to cross.
5.25 Meydan: Baccarat
This strong travelling sprinter can win again at a venue where he has an excellent record.
He has not been off since running at York in May, where he ran badly on soft ground. He also found yielding conditions on World Cup night beyond him when well beaten in the Al Quoz Sprint.
Back on decent ground he can win this off a mark of 109, which is only 2lb higher than the rating off which he won here last year.
That win was an impressive one and he went on to finish a good second to Jungle Cat next time out. He has a low draw, which looked important on this sprint track last week, and Charlie Appleby's speedster is set to go very well.
Angus McNae's top tips for Thursday:
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