Midweek Meydan Magic! Group 2 Action & a 121/1 Treble

Vazirabad winning the 2018 Dubai Gold Cup

Thursdays in the New Year mean one thing – racing from Meydan. Whilst the UK and Ireland’s best jumpers are gearing up for Cheltenham, some of our best loved flat horses are enjoying some winter sun over in Dubai.

Another fiercely competitive card runs alongside action from Ludlow, Market Rasen, Wincanton and Newcastle in the evening. Be sure to check our tips and analysis, as we lead towards Saturday and the Clarence House.

Here’s three hugely interesting runners from the action from Meydan. They can be backed as a 121/1 treble (best price at time of writing) with Betfair and Paddy Power who have a sign up offer on our Free Bets page.

3.40pm – Zabeel Turf Handicap 1m2f

Godolphin are, as usual, mob handed with six of the eleven runners. They have a number of live contenders, including Loxley. Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old finished runner-up three times to sign off last term, including when beaten a neck on Polytrack in December. He’s in fine form, unlike owners’ mate Dream Castle.

The former was a fair way behind the latter in the Jebel Hatta here in March. Saeed bin Suroor’s charge has enjoyed a tough time since, but a mark of 112 greatly underestimates him if he can rediscover his best form.

The most attractive bet doesn’t come in the blue of Godolphin, but rather in the green of the Aga Khan. The unexposed SIMSIR makes his handicap debut today as he ventures south from County Kildare. He defied odds of 25/1 on his debut before backing that effort up with a cosy success at Dundalk from a number of more experienced rivals. He arrives here on the back of another creditable effort, beaten a head by an in-form sort where a lack of experience cost him dear.

Despite that defeat, he’s improving at a rapid rate. A mark of 98 today is far from excessive and the Halford yard have started the year well with one winner and three placed runners from five starters. At an attractive each way price, he gets the vote.

Selection: SIMSIR (13/2)

4.15pm – Cape Verdi (Fillies & Mares) Group 2 1m

It’s another contender from the Halford yard who makes most appeal in this competitive mile contest for the fillies and mares. The ever-reliable SURROUNDING (in the first three in eighteen of her twenty five career starts) has won her last three starts against fellow females, including a facile success at Dundalk in November when last seen. She races at this level for just the second time, but she’s an admirably consistent sort who is actually the highest rated.

Of the three rivals in blue, Dubai Blue is of most interest having romped home in a Lingfield handicap in August. Magic Lily failed to reproduce the form of her third in the 2017 Fillies’ Mile in two starts last year and Beyond Reason struggled in two weaker races in the summer. With that in mind, it’s hard to ignore the claims of Halford’s seven-year-old.

Selection: SURROUNDING (10/3)

4.50pm – Mina Handicap 1m

The final selection comes from a dirt handicap over a mile, which features sixteen contenders all mostly trained in the Middle East. The home team have a strong hand with the rapidly improving MIDNIGHT SANDS, who completed a hat trick here in December.

Formerly trained in the UK by James Given for whom he failed to score in three starts, he’s appreciated a switch to dirt since joining Doug Watson. Second on stable debut, he landed three starts in a row stretching from March to December. A five pound rise for his latest running on success over seven furlongs doesn’t look enough to stop another bold bid from the colt.

Ed Walker’s Assimilation ended 2019 with two victories on the All-Weather, including a cosy success at Chelmsford when ahead of a subsequent winner. He’s one for the shortlist, as is course regular and stablemate to the selection Thegreatcollection, who has three victories here to his name.

Selection: MIDNIGHT SANDS (11/4)

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