THE 3YOS GET A chance to shine at Meydan with a trio of races for the younger generation headed by the 2000 Guineas Trial over 1400m due off at 20:50. As was the case in the fillies’ equivalent seven days ago, Godolphin are mob handed although Saeed bin Suroor may have his work cut out to replicate that success with Charlie Appleby’s Rebel’s Romance looking a standout contender.
Rated 99 after two wins from two starts, Rebel’s Romance has every chance of handling the surface being by Dubawi out of a Street Cry mare with the early speed he has shown in those two victories likely to help him here. Gelded prior to making his debut, there will be no fanciful Classic options for this one back in Europe and Dubai on the dirt maybe his time to shine in a similar vein to Gold Town a few years ago.
He is obviously giving up track experience to some of these with Zhou Storm about the best we have seen so far and he is two from two. It was no mean feat in conceding his penalty last time and this will be a truer test of his metal, particularly from stall ten. Ali Rashid Al Rayhi is also responsible for Grand Dubai who was off the mark last time and don’t discount Mouheeb from the Nicholas Bachalard yard who was impressive in seeing off subsequent winner Hurry Up at Jebel Ali and Bachalard rates him as the best of his youngsters.
The Dubai Trophy over 1200m at 21:25 provides a turf option for the 3yos and this is one that the filly, First Smile, can grasp. Out of Queen Mary winner Jealous Again, she was always likely to be a speedy juvenile and made it third time lucky at Lingfield when an emphatic four length winner. Being related to Sceptical who thrived last year and finished second in the July Cup, she is likely to get better with age and may not have a lot to beat here.
First Prophet looks the main danger trained by Fawzi Nass although will need to improve for the move to Dubai having been beaten in nurseries off 84 on his last two starts. That is still a decent level of form in the context of this race and there should be more to come after just the five outings.
Elsewhere on the card Firnas can continue his fine season by becoming the second horse from the Salem bin Ghadayer yard to win three times this campaign when lining up in the 1900m handicap at 20:15. He landed the Listed Entisar last time and whilst half a kilo worse off with Saltarain Dubai from that race he can be expected to confirm the form given his progressive nature.
Bin Ghadayer also introduces Mkfancy in the contest and he was a Group One winner in France back in 2019. That wasn’t a strong race, however, and his four runs since have all failed to see him reach those heights so a watching brief is advised on his dirt debut. The two turf handicaps give Jaber Ramdhan two good opportunities to continue his fine start to the season, his record currently standing at three winners and four placed runners from 12 starts.
Harbour Spirit will go in the 2410m contest at 19:40 and he is responsible for one of those wins having narrowly prevailed at the expense of Welford at Abu Dhabi. That continued the good run of form he enjoyed towards the end of last season although a career best effort will be required to defy his 4 lb rise. It could be worth risking one in the same colours in the form of Hard Taskmaster who didn’t take to the dirt at Jebel Ali last time but ended last season with a good win on turf at Meydan.
As with any from the Fawzi Nass yard he will have improved fitness wise for that initial outing and these are more his conditions. Ramadhan’s other turf runner is Nayslayer in the 1400m contest which is the finale on the card and he was more impressive in Abu Dhabi last time when winning by three and a half lengths. That saw his mark go up 9 lb which will undoubtedly make life tougher but it wasn’t hard but to be impressed with the nature of that victory.
I prefer the claims of Laieth despite him being the second string as he suggested he was on the cusp of a bigger performance when seventh last week. That 1000m trip would have been very much on the sharp side and third time could be the time to catch him with the 1400m firmly in his favour.
The other handicap on the card is a 1400m contest on dirt due off at 19:05 and this looks good for Lytham St Annes who drops in grade having finished third behind Lavaspin last time. All his wins in the UAE have come over shorter but he is fully effective at this trip and is now 7 lb below his last winning mark so should be making an impact here.
The last race we look at is actually the first on the card, as always off at 18:30, and it is a 1400m maiden featuring several who are perhaps after a softer option having also held entries in the UAE 2000 Guineas trial. Meshakel fits that brief and he showed good speed over 1200m at Jebel Ali last week.
It was a good start and although 1400m is a slight concern he should be bang there. With so many newcomers it is a bit of a lottery with the draw also going against some of the more experienced. With that in mind Meshakel can put his experience to good use and hopefully get over from stall 12 to dominate.