4.50pm Meydan Tips & Betting Preview 16/02/2017

Group action continues at Meydan with the Group 2 Zebeel mile on Thursday, see our betting tip sand the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: A lot of encouragement can be taken from NOAH FROM GOA‘s return from a year’s absence on local debut last month. A Group 1 winner at this trip back in Argentina, Mike De Kock’s four year old was only beaten three lengths by Championship and Flash Fire on that reappearance and his trainer has stated that he has ‘certainly improved for the run’ which is very positive. Christophe Soumillon keeping the ride is likely to be an omen and he should have far too much potential for the aforementioned rivals, who can fight out second place in behind.

1 CYMRIC – 107 rated for the inform Charlie Appleby yard and won a C&D handicap on his latest start, running on well and not hard pressed to take victory on his debut for the yard. It was however in a much weaker race than today’s and he faces much sterner opposition in this race. William Buick prefers Flash Fire and may just struggle this time around, although he does race off the same mark and has stall 1 to help.

2 CHAMPIONSHIP – Has been progressive this season for the Harmash yard and ran a brilliant race to win here in January (7f, Good), beating Flash Fire by three and a half lengths with Colm O’Donoghue on board. Meets that rival on three pound worse terms but if he continues to improve it may well be tough for the Godolphin rival to reverse that form, as the step up in distance is likely to draw out further progress. Likely to be in their pitching and has to be respected.

3 GIFTED MASTER – Six time winner in Britain for Hugo Palmer including over today’s trip at Newmarket in October 2015 (1m, Good), though he was disappointing on his latest start at that venue back in October (7f, Good to Firm). Would be no surprise to see him bounce back immediately as he’s a capable performer at this level and has the services of Pat Smullen for today’s race. Likely to go well from Stall 3 and has to be respected.

4 FANCIFUL ANGEL – Has won two C&D carnival handicaps in the past, including on his penultimate start in January when a game winner under Daniel Muscutt. Although not at his best on his latest start when behind Cymric, he’s likely capable of much better for trainer Marco Botti. Others possibly have more interesting claims in terms of the win though and hard to see him fighting for any more than places, as he’s also yet to win a group race which has to be of concern.

5 LIGHT THE LIGHTS – First runner for Mike De Kock with Bernard Fayd’Herbe taking the ride who won here in January at lsited level when a neck ahead of Championship (1m 1f, Std). Clearly that form now shows up well and he meets that rival again on 3lb better terms, with leading on his latest start over the same C&D possibly not suiting him when a neck second a few weeks later. Likely needs more against some progressive rivals but surely has to have a good chance and is respected.

6 NOAH FROM GOA – Grade one winner at this trip in South Africa and made a promising local debut when third behind both Championship and Flash Fire in a seven furlong Group 2 in January. Likely to be more of a threat now upped to the mile trip under Christophe Soumillon, especially since that was his first run for over a year, with his trainer coming out and saying he has ‘certainly improved for that run’. Should have far too much potential now re-opposing these rivals with race fitness and will take all the beating.

7 FLASH FIRE – Has been in brilliant form since moving over to Meydan, winning on his return at the start of January with a comfortable success in a competitive looking handicap (7f, Std) and wasn’t beaten far by Championship on their previous meeting in a Group 2 a few weeks prior (7f, Std). Arguably disappointing when back in handicap company on his latest start, and will need to raise his game now back up in trip if he’s to overhaul the margin to Championship on their previous running. Does stay the trip and has to be respected as William Buick prefers him to Cymric, and likely to play a leading role in this today.

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