Thursday 9th January 2020
Author: Jordan Yates
A first Meydan preview of the year and I’m kicking things off with the 3:05 which is a handicap over six furlongs and I think this race revolves around EKHTIYAAR for Doug Watson and Jim Crowley. He holds the strongest form in the race, with a solid effort behind Blue Point in a Group 3 here in March taking the eye. He often needs his first run, so he should come on for an effort on the dirt here last month and looks very solid.
Next up is the 3:40 which is the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial over a mile and this race has attracted a sizeable line-up resulting in an extremely competitive looking contest. I’m taking a chance here on another Doug Watson runner and that comes in the form of FAR SKY who’s the mount of Pat Dobbs. He has a very appealing taking for the Dirty and despite an unfavorable draw the last day still ran a mighty race to finish second. He’s now drawn in Stall 1 and it would be no surprise should this 120,000 juvenile put in a bold showing.
FAR SKY (6/1) (E/W)
Moving onto the 4:15 which is the Group 2 Singspiel Stakes over a mile and a furlong and this particular contest looks to be all about the well travelled BENBATL. Saeed bin Suroor’s star six-year-old is well clear of his rivals here on ratings and should put this lot to the sword with minimal fuss. He was disappointing when last seen in the QEII on Champions Day at Ascot when the 7/2 favourite, but goes well fresh and under Soumillon should take all the beating here.
The 4:50 is the Longines Conquest Classic which is a handicap over a mile. It’s another sizeable field but I think Godolphin have the answers again, this time in the form of ZAKOUSKI who’s the mount of William Buick. He hasn’t been seen since finishing fifth in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April but following his debut win connections believed he had the potential to be a Group 1 horse. He may just prove too good for this handicap.
Another Group 2 takes place at 5:25 and this is an Al Maktoum Challenge over a mile. North America and Muntazah will be popular here and rightfully sit at the top of the betting on the standard of form they set. I’ve tried to take them on though and done that with KIMBEAR who’s the ride of Pat Dobbs. He’s a very seasoned performer in this type of race around here and is a smart performer in his own right, he was a solid second on reappearance in Listed company the last day and will be a lot more tuned up as a result of that. If the top two aren’t firing on their first outings of the season he’s very likely to pick up the pieces.
KIMBEAR (11/2) (E/W)
The final race I’ve had a look is the 6:00 which is the Dubai Trophy over six furlongs and the boys in blue have the top five in the betting on this occasion. For me, it’s hard to get away from CHASING DREAMS who’s the first string here for Charlie Appleby and William Buick. She was mightily impressive on debut at Newmarket before following up at Wolverhampton after a lay-off which kept her out for the majority of last season. She is a potential star and could prove on a different level to some of these.
CHASING DREAMS (7/4)