Thursday 22nd November 2018
Before we kick things off with this Meydan feature, I want to take a few moments to show some respect as we lost one of my all time favourite sprinters this week in Ertijaal to colic. Desperately sad news as he was a horse that was a big part of my love affair with this track and what it’s all about. R.I.P to a fine servant to the game. Ertijaal.
4.50 – (Dirt) (1m) (Fast)
The 4.50 at Meydan is a contest set to take place on the dirt over a mile and it’s a competitive contest which has attracted some smart performers. The race is currently headed by last year’s winner Cosmo Charlie for the all conquering combination of Doug Watson and Pat Dobbs. He’s got three victories to his name around here, all when dominating proceedings from the front and from a good draw I suspect that will be the plan once again here. He was an unplaced favourite last time at Jebel Ali but suffered an injury on that occasion and will look be looking to bounce back. Taamol is next up in the betting at around the 4/1 mark and he was a Listed winner in the UK for Sir Michael Stoute, he was last seen only a few weeks ago here when winning on his reappearance and there could well be more to come here now up in trip. Rodaini also made a smart return to the track here earlier in the month when finishing second within handicap company and will be looking to step up again on this occasion, his stamina will be asked a few questions once again though as a sharp seven furlongs has seemed to be where he’s looked most at home in the past.
Doug Watson has four more representatives in the line up here and the first of these comes in the form of Etijaah, he likes to comes off the pace and pick up the pieces so this drop down in trip could cause a few issues, he has however won twice within Listed company though. Thegreatcollection is alongside Etijaah in the betting and he’s a horse that we still may not of seen the best of yet, he was very poor when last seen here though and will need to bounce back but could well do that if settling better in the preliminaries. Nathr comes here off the back of a slightly below par effort when going off favourite here last time, he does come here off a very manageable mark though and could well be a lot more tuned up this time around. His draw however, won’t do him many favours that being said. Active Spirit concludes the Watson contenders and he has four wins to his name at this track, he was pulled up though when last seen with nothing really coming to light as of why, he’ll need to bounce back to his best should he play a part. Parfait was a decent sort for John Gosden last year, winning a couple of decent handicaps before being sold, he does have a sizeable lay off to contend with here and has to prove whether he handles the dirt. Hornsby often travels well within his races although he often competes on turf, he has tried the dirt before though and ran well enough so if transferring his best turf form onto this surface he could well have a chance. Montsarrat is one of my favourite performers at Meydan, I was a fan when he was with Mark Johnston and this front runner often springs a surprise or too when getting away out in front. Positive tactics will likely be the plan once again here under Royston French however this drop down in trip will ask a few serious questions of his pace.