IN SUMMARY: Plenty have had more than enough chances and many will be assuming Big Brown Bear can improve enough on his debut to win this, but at the prices it may be better value to take a risk on JOCKEY JOE (Each Way) who is bred to be so much better stepped up to this trip, and could well surprise stable companion Big Brown Bear and take home first prize for Doug Watson.
1 AL HARETH – Plenty of chances already after two starts on the all-weather in the UK for George Peckham before moving to the Ahmed bin Harmash yard in Dubai in November last year. Three runs since have seen precious little worthy of a mention with an eight length eleventh at Jebel Ali last time out and with a wide draw today he can be easily overlooked.
2 BIG BROWN BEAR – Cheaply bought for a son of Tiznow at $50,000 at the Ocala Spring Sales last April and ran a promising race on debut when fourth to Yulong Warrior over course and distance last month. He was beaten ten lengths that day when sent off the 15/8 favourite but will improve for the experience and is expected to mount a serious challenge here for trainer Doug Watson and jockey Pat Dobbs.
3 DIRILIS ERTUGRUL – Getting better with each race and followed a debut ninth over seven furlongs here with a fifth over this course and distance, one place and a length and a half behind Big Brown Bear. Needs to find a way to reverse that form but he may yet have more to offer with added experience and with Mickael Barzalona in the saddle.
4 GRAND STORM – Finished a thirty-seven-length last here on his debut over seven furlongs when never placed to challenge but did show he has potential next time out when third to Jabir at Jebel Ali, beaten nine lengths at the line. Satish Seemar will know exactly how good he is, and he may well have even more to offer but on what we have seen so far, a place is the best he can hope for.
5 JOCKEY JOE – Blinkers were added by Doug Watson last time out after a poor seventh at Jebel Ali but they failed to bring too much improvement, though he did at least finish closer with a six length fifth over the six furlongs when running on late after a slow start. On breeding there is every chance he will be better suited by the mile today and at a big price he is sorely tempting as an each way alternative.
6 LAST DESIRE – Pretty much unsighted in three starts so far and beaten eleven lengths and nine lengths over seven furlongs before trying this course and distance when a forty-four length twelfth of sixteen when breaking badly and never looking comfortable. He may well be better than that run suggests but on his form so far, he is impossible to make any case for here.
7 NEW ARCH – Tried at a higher level recently with a ninth in the UAE 2000 Guineas and a sixth at Jebel Ali in a six-furlong Conditions Stakes last time out. He was third here in February where he had Big Brown Bear, Dirilis Ertugrul, Rua Augusta, and Last Desire in behind and although he may struggle to confirm that form with debutant Big Brown Bear, he is dropped in class and ought to be just about able to mount a challenge.
8 OCEAN SNOW – Two races so far, one each on turf and the dirt he faces here, and both over seven furlongs. Beaten twenty-four lengths and then nineteen lengths he needs to find a lot more to take a hand in the finish here and although Satish Seemar has booked Pat Cosgrave to ride, he has an awful lot to find on what he has shown so far.
9 RUE AUGUSTA – Held by Big Brown Bear and Dirilis Ertugrul on February form and highly tried in the UAE 2000 Guineas before finishing seventh and two places ahead of New Arch. Drops back in to maiden company now which he should appreciate but he has had four starts since arriving from the Kevin Ryan yard in January and needs to do better if he wants to win here.
10 HAWZAEN – NON-RUNNER.
11 HEART POWER – The excellent Adrie de Vries rides the daughter of Poet’s Voice here who gets five pounds from her male rivals. First time out she finished a thirteen length third to Rayya who went on to win the UAE Oaks on Thursday but she failed to build on that when a nineteen length seventh here on her only other start. If she can add to her first run she has place possibilities at the very least, but her latest effort was poor and she is hard to gauge at present.