IN SUMMARY: Not quite as clear cut as the betting suggests with Muarrab looking to pounce off a fast early pace and Reynaldothewizard a possible improver after his last run, but COMICAS is only four and may well have a lot more to offer with a serious chance on Dubai World Cup night if he can score here as expected.
1 MY CATCH – A decent enough gelding trained by the likeable Doug Watson who has a bit to find after being beaten close to three lengths behind Comicas, Muarrab, and Reynaldothewizard here over this course and distance three weeks ago. Likes to front run and best chance of success today is if those in pursuit allow him a soft lead while focussing on their market rivals.
2 COMICAS – Took the best trial for this race a shade cleverly when running on strongly to score by a length and a quarter from Muarrab and the race looks likely to unfold almost exactly the same this afternoon. Likeliest winner here on that form but well beaten by Muarrab here in December and he may still be improving at the age of four. Trainer Charlie Appleby does report him to be “in good nick” and he is clearly a major player now as well, and on his way to the Golden Shaheen on World Cup night if he wins today.
3 WONDER OF QATAR – A decent enough handicapper with wins at Ffos Las and Dohar (three times) but beaten seven lengths on the turf track here last time out. Ought to be far happier back on the dirt but this looks a massive ask and he is close to impossible to make a sensible case for in this classy line-up.
4 MUARRAB – One all in recent meetings with Comicas and fully entitled to get in the mix again. He may not have as much improvement to offer as his younger rivals at the age of eight but if Jim Crowley can keep him up with the pace in this field then he won’t be far away at the finish with a place the barest minimum expected even in this field.
5 TAAMOL – Drops back in trip after a well-beaten fourth in the Jebel Ali Mile last time out but he has never really looked up to this class since arriving here after leaving the Sir Michael Stoute yard in Newmarket in early January. His last try as a sprinter saw an eight length eighth in a handicap here and if that is as good as he is, then he ought to be outclassed here.
6 REYNALDOTHEWIZZARD – Perhaps the most popular horse in training in Dubai at the age of twelve but surely asking him to win over this course and distance for the eighth time is too much now. Last time out he was third to Comicas and Muarrab, beaten a length and a quarter and a length at the line, but that was his first run in ten months and with improvement likely he may well get an awful lot closer now at the very least.
7 SCRUTINEER – A winner last time out over this course and distance when seeing off Lytham St Annes by three and a quarter lengths but that was a career best effort and he needs to do a lot more stepped up in to this class. Needs to find a stone with the likes of Comicas on official ratings and that should be asking far too much of the five-year-old.