Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meydan Week 4

Moataz came in a game second, fairly beaten by 3 lengths. It was a case of the winner being too good.

Thursday is the 4th round of the Dubai Carnival and overall, it looks to be a quiet week for the Mike de Kock stable (besides Musir's race) since the conditioner is probably more focused on this Saturday's J&B Met meeting in Cape Town! Godolphin send out some decent types and although they don't seem as intimidating as those in previous weeks, they still have a stronghold on the market. Here are my views of the races.

The first race looks to be a very competitive handicap with nothing standing out clearly; so it would be speculative to guess on the outcome, better stay away.

The second race sees the first run of African Story under the Blue colors. He's previously been under the Andre Fabre care and has relatively good form in Pattern races,  having been close to Moonlight Cloud and Sahpresa. This looks a decent contest for his seasonal return and I recommend him as a Place.

I would caution against going all out on favourite Time Prisoner in the third race. Looking at last year's form, he alternates the good and the bad races. Each of his wins was followed by an unplaced finish. He won a fortnight ago, and could still win or place tomorrow, but just be wary of these blemishes in his track record.

Races No 5 and 7 are thoroughly-competitive handicaps that can go to several, so I'll abstain again.

The main race of the day is the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free in race 6 where Musir will lock horns with the high-class Presvis, City Style and Rajsaman. I believe the 9 furlongs distance is the optimum trip for Musir. Having shown he's still a top horse 2 weeks ago, he's again the horse to beat and I cannot see him out of the first 3. Presvis is possibly one of the most difficult horses to ride. He can only be asked for action at the right time at the finish so that he does not idle after having burst through the pack; a top horse that cannot be always trusted to produce given his non-versatility.Ryan Moore knows him to perfection and has a fantastic record with him, but they are still dependent on the right pace going for them. I believe the City Style will be stretched by the distance and Rajsaman will have lots to prove for his new connections. A Place on Musir looks safe and I think going for the outright Win looks a worthy risk as well.

Win: Musir
Place: African Story

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