Midweek Meydan Magic & a 96/1 Treble

Benbatl winning the 2018 Dubai Turf

Barney Roy got last week’s Acca off to a cracking start. Dee Ex Bee was unable to reproduce his best on stable debut and both Land Of Legends and Simsir didn’t get the clearest of trips and rank as ones to follow next time. Still a 6/5 winner, an 11/2 second and a 11/4 fourth represented a solid effort from four recommendations last week.

There’s Group action on the dirt this Thursday, including the UAE 2,000 Guineas. I’ll be focusing on the turf handicaps though, with the three selections combining to form a 96/1 treble. Be sure to check out our tips and analysis as we build towards the weekend, including the lowdown on Supreme favourite Shiskin’s Huntingdon assignment.

3.05pm Yahsat Trophy (Handicap) 7f

All runners in the Godolphin blue have to be feared at Meydan. Nevertheless, their Comicas is hugely underpriced here. The seven-year-old has some decent form in the book including when placed in a dirt Group One in 2017. His turf form has always fallen below that which he’s shown on synthetics, with his two runs in 2018 seeing him beat just one home in Australia. Absent since March 2019, he’s best avoided.

Yattwee is another near the head of the market for the boys in blue. He’s just one from ten on turf though, and whilst he’ll appreciate a return to seven, he was over a length behind SUMMERGHAND three weeks ago.

David O’Meaa’s charge frustrated in the summer, with form figures of 225342440. He placed in a number of premium handicaps, including when fourth in the Challenge Cup on his sole run over seven furlongs last term.

He beat a couple of higher rated rivals on Tapeta on Boxing Day, a win that would have boosted confidence, before two creditable efforts over six at Meydan. Both runs have suggested a return to seven is well suited and he’s three pounds well-in today, rated the same as when placed in the aforementioned Challenge Cup and in the Ayr Gold Cup. In a far easier assignment today, he can gain a deserved return to winning ways.

Selection: SUMMERGHAND @ 5/1

4.15 Dubai Sprint (Listed Handicap) 6f

Hamdan Al Maktoum is mob-handed here with three runners. His Ekhtiyaar is currently favourite having scored cosily from Dream Today over course and distance last month. He’s now won two of his three handicap starts for Doug Watson.

He’s of obvious interest, but at the prices the vote goes to ROULSTON SCAR. He also beat Dream Today last time, but that came on his first start for 104 days whereas Ekhtiyaar was race fit from a spin on the dirt in December.

The son of Lope De Vega was making his stable debut for Simon Crisford there when posting a career best. He’s now won four of his seven starts since being gelded. The in-form James Doyle is retained and a six pound rise in the weights is far from excessive given that the four-year-old looks capable of making a mark in group company soon enough.

Angel Alexander similarly enjoyed a productive 2019, landing the Ayr Gold Cup in September before placing in a French Group Three. He’s capable of getting involved at his best, but that tends to come in big fields (top 4 RPRs in fields of 11+) and he ran a shocker on his return last year. Absent for 100 days, he may well need this.

Selection: ROULSTON SCAR @ 9/4

5.25pm Strata Trophy (Handicap) 1m1f

There was little between Epic Hero and Above N Beyond over the mile trip here three weeks ago, with the latter beaten just a nose by Suedois. The latter is two pounds better off at the weights, so I’m not quite sure why he’s available at twice the price.

Those two will likely be thereabouts, but the one of most interest is ART DU VAL wearing the first colours of Godolphin. He won three of his first four, the latest success coming in a French Listed contest in June 2019. Sent off just 7/2 for a Group Three subsequently, he got no luck whatsoever, badly hampered a furlong out where he suffered a cut to his gum.

With a line put through that, the four-year-old returned to the track after a 167 day lay off and a gelding operation with a hugely creditable fifth over ten furlongs. He showed plenty of speed there, only headed in the final furlong where a lack of fitness and stamina told. Dropped back in trip and now race fit, he’s a cracking each way bet.

Stablemate Key Victory posted a career best when scoring over a mile four weeks back. Given that was his first win since 2018 and having struggled from similar marks in the summer, he doesn’t appeal as one who’s capable of doubling up from a four pound higher mark.

Selection: ART DU VAL @ 4/1

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