3.05pm Meydan Tips & Betting Preview 01/03/2018

IN SUMMARY:  With improvement expected for the extra furlong he encounters today and decent Goodwood form to his name Godolphin’s ZAMAN is expected to come home in front today, though El Chapo is an interesting each way alternative. 


1 PICTURE NO SOUND – Two races so far for Doug Watson after arriving from the Richard Fahey stable and with one Newbury maiden win his only victory so far this looks a huge ask on what we have seen to date. Beaten over eight lengths here last time out over a furlong shorter, he needs to find a good few pounds on that form to have any chance and looks up against it in this field, despite the help of Sam Hitchcott in the saddle.

2 CENTENARY DIAMOND – Silvestre de Sousa’s mount finished ahead of Picture No Sound when third to Wasim here last month, staying on well over the seven furlongs suggesting this mile could see further improvement. Still a maiden after the two starts this does look a huge ask for the son of Kitten’s Joy though he does look good enough for connections to find a winnable race for him sooner rather than later.

3 ZAMAN – Charlie Appleby trains and William Buick rides the three-year-old who runs in the Godolphin first colours at a meeting where they unsurprisingly dominate on home turf. He has rock solid European form to bring to the table with a second to Expert Eye in the Group Two Vintage Stakes in August as well as wins at York and Pontefract, and although he has to turn around recent form with Wasim, that was his first run in over six months and the added furlong here will certainly play more to his strengths. 

4 WAQQAD – We know he handles the track after he took a maiden here over the seven furlongs in January, but he failed to build on that in two races since being beaten fifteen lengths in January and twenty-five lengths last month. Good to see a horse from Kuwait taking his chances at the Carnival but it would be a major shock if he were to prove good enough to challenge for the places here, let alone win.

5 DE BRUYNE HORSE – Formerly with Richard Hannon where he won twice from twelve starts at Ripon and then at Vichy in a Listed contest over seven furlongs. One run for Brendan Powell saw a twenty-four length twelfth of sixteen to Wasim here and he needs to shoe some dramatic improvement under John Egan if he wants to collect any of the prize money. 

6 WASIM – Ismail Mohammed’s colt pulled off a 25/1 upset last time out when positively ridden to beat Zaman by half a length over the seven furlongs and although his main rival will be ridden more prominently today, he cannot be simply written off. His racing style and breeding do leave him with stamina questions upped in trip but if he does get home then he will be a danger to them all.

7 EL CHAPO – Luke Morris rides the Fawzi Abdulla Nass trained gelding who brings some decent form with him after a win here over seven furlongs was followed by an acceptable fourth (beaten over eleven lengths) in the UAE 2000 Guineas over this trip on the dirt here at Meydan. He did win twice at Catterick on the turf for Richard Fahey back in England and needs to recover his very best form here but if he does he looks to have a pretty decent chance of a place.

8 RACING COUNTRY – Not at his best so far this season with a half-length second to El Chapo in January followed by two unplaced efforts including a fifty-five-length last of fifteen on the dirt here on the 2000 Guineas last time out. That was just too bad to be true and he is trained by Saeed Bin Suroor which can only increase his chances of success here in Dubai, but he undoubtedly has something to prove at present and cannot be suggested in this company.

9 FREESCAPE – One win from six starts for David Marnane when successful on the Dundalk all-weather track and he finished a long way behind Wasim here on his first start since early October. He should strip fitter now but it would be a surprise if a maiden win equated to victory in this Listed event in what looks a much higher-class field even though the booking of Pat Cosgrave catches the eye at a track he rides as well as anyone.

10 MUTAMAYEL – Formerly trained in Australia and with just the one run since arriving in Dubai when a thirteen length tenth to Wasim in the race that seems to be providing the majority of the form here. More excuses than most having travelled so far and likely to strip an awful lot fitter now with that run under his belt with quarantine hold ups undoubtedly hindering his training regime. Jim Crowley rides and at a big price he is sorely tempting as an each way alternative.

11 CIRCLE DREAM – Already a Meydan winner in November last year and only beaten a length and a half when fourth to Wasim here last time out when running on well over a furlong shorter. Richard Mullen rides for local trainer Satish Seemar and he is another who could well challenge for the minor places stepping up to this trip. Open to further improvement with experience and won’t be too far away at the finish if that is the case.

12 DOUBLET – Twice an Epsom winner when in the care of Mark Johnson but yet to really threaten the judge in four outings since arriving in Dubai with a well beaten twenty-four length tenth of fifteen to Gold Town in the UAE 2000 Guineas on the dirt, but connections have sensibly decided to return him to the turf this afternoon where we may well see a vastly improved performance.

13 ARROWAY – Held by plenty of these after being beaten by Wasim and co last time out here following a six and three-quarter length fourth to El Chapo. He does seem sure to do better stepped up to this trip and can finish in the first half of this field at the very least, but the formbook tells us all that he cannot win barring massive improvement and with no real reason to expect that others appeal considerably more.

14 BLUE LAUREATE – Previously trained by Clive Cox the son of Poet’s voice did win a Doncaster maiden very easily but surely that form is not good enough for him to get competitive here. Last time out on the dirt on only his second start for Doug Watson he was tailed off in thirteenth, forty-four lengths adrift of the winner in the UAE 2000 Guineas, and although turf looks to be far more suitable looking at his breeding, he still has an awful lot to find in this field.

15 THUNDERBOLT ROCKS – RESERVE – Just the two runs for Newmarket trainer Hugo Palmer have seen an educational run at Newbury followed by a Novice Stakes win over a mile plus in November on the all-weather. He needs to improve again if he wants to take part in the finish in this race and isn’t guaranteed to produce the same sort of form back on the grass.

16 NORDIC DEFENSE – RESERVE – Our Norwegian challenger is hard to judge on International form with a second at Bro Park last time out when beaten three lengths by I And I in a Conditions race over a mile. That effort seems likely to fall way sort of that required, and as he has been off the course since mid-October, he may even improve for the race.

17 COZMO STAR – RESERVE – Challenges from his Kuwait base but easily beaten by Wasim here in the recognised trial for this race and has twenty-two lengths to find if he wants to get involved in the finish. It seems fair to suggest that looks pretty unlikely and he has a good twenty pounds or more to find to get competitive.

Please Gamble Responsibly