IN SUMMARY: SANSHAAWES is yet to show his best in Meydan this season but he gets the addition of cheekpieces to the mix. He was only beaten a length in a Group 1 at the 2017 Dubai Carniaval so he’s a massive price if he can find that form again. Both Mountain Hunter and Baroot are capable of more improvement and look the biggest threats.
1 KIDMENEVER – Globetrotting last season without being able to get his head in front. Placed here at Meydan, in Australia and in the U.K , he is capable from this sort of mark. Well beaten on his return here however, so he is going to have to come on plenty for that effort to play more than a minor role.
2 MOUNTAIN HUNTER – Lightly raced, he has progressed quickly, a win here beating Banksea before runner-up in a similar content to this last time. That was over nine furlongs, where he lacked the turn of foot of the winner, this step back up will suit him but he is short enough given how well he was seen off there.
3 SMILING BLUE EYES – Picked up her first two starts when trained in South Africa, disappointing badly since. Well beaten in a Group 2 on her only start in Meydan, this is an ease in class but still not the easiest to support with any great conviction.
4 BANKSEA – Smart handicapper, he had his quirks when in training with Luca Cumani. Placed on both starts here, he looks set to run his usual honest race once more but does appear to be handicapped to the full level of his ability.
5 BORN TO BE ALIVE – Solid efforts at Listed level in both the U.K and France in 2017, he has not quite hit those same heights in a pair of 2018 runs here. Behind Banksea last time, he will need to produce a career best if he is to get his head in front in this contest.
6 SANSHAAWES – Veteran has not shown much in his starts back in Meydan so far in 2018. Only beaten a length in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta here last March, but first time cheekpieces are a very interesting addition to him at a massive price.
7 BAHANA – Smart campaigner in Singapore, he has won in Listed company there. Showed nothing on his Meydan debut last time out when behind a number of these so hard to be confident about his chances of making the frame on this occasion.
8 TROUBLE OF COURSE – Decent performer in Norway but showed that level of form is not able to contend with this sort of field when he was well beaten here in mid February.
9 ACROSS THE SPEED – Well beaten on his 2018 debut, he has not managed to get his head in front since Royal Ascot 2016. He looked regressive and recalcitrant for the majority of 2017 so makes limited appeal here.
10 GOD’S SPEED – Found the gulf in class between Saudi Arabia and Dubai too much to contend with in 2017. He has not been quite at the same level so far in 2018 so it’s impossible to think that he can do any better now.
11 NEWLANDS – Shown very little so far, beating just a single rival home in a pair of starts here. Looks comprehensively outclassed at this level.
12 GREY BRITAIN – Gelded since last seen, he is a gutsy type who tends to find plenty under pressure. A Listed winner at Newmarket in 2017 over this trip, he ran well on both starts here last year. Interesting each way contender now.
13 BAROOT – Has progressed well in handicaps here the last couple of seasons. He won over a furlong shorter last time producing a career best in the process. Is going to have to make another step forward in this company but that is entirely possible.
14 MIKKLUS MAKKLUS – A winner in both Norway and Sweden last season, this is a massive step up in class for him. Hard to know exactly what he has achieved in those wins, but it’s not going to be good enough to win this.
15 IN THE LOPE – Solid efforts on both starts here, he wasn’t beaten far in a Listed contest at Lingfield in November. Would be an interesting each way player if he gets in as a reserve.
16 EFESOS – Another ex Swedish winner, he has not been able to land a glove on the principals in a pair of starts here. Much the same looks to be coming if making the contest.
17 PROPOSED – Not shown much in four handicap starts here in 2018, slipping down the handicap in the process. Tough to support even if getting into the race.
18 G K CHESTERTON – Form tailed off last season after a pair of decent handicap wins. Struggled in a pair of starts in Meydan so looks set for another difficult task again.