In what looks a classic Swan Vista between the front two in the market,
HAPPY DIVA(best price 6/4) is taken to get the better of tissue favourite Pulling Power. First and foremost, Kerry Lee’s charge has a notable advantage over her main rival in that she’s already run to a fair level of form at this track when runner-up to the useful Ruby Rambler on her seasonal return and secondly, she was the only one to offer any resistance to Jessber’s Dream at Lingfield last time until falling at the last. As that race was on heavy ground, she also proved that testing conditions are water off a ducks back to her and with the winner going on to give crack Irish mare Myska a decent workout at Taunton next time, the collateral form suggests the daughter of King’s Theatre holds all the aces here.
HAPPY DIVA - 2pt @ 6/4
Round one of the Al Maktoum Challenge is the highlight of the six-race card on the first day of the carnival and it’s brought together a star-studded line-up befitting of the Group 2 status.SURFER(best price 11/2) has been handed a decent chance to follow up last year’s success having been gifted a similarly favourable draw in stall two (stall one last year), and with his two main market rivals a little stranded out in more choppier waters, there’s every chance Saeed Seemar’s inmate can repeat the dose. Often best when fresh, the strapping son of Distorted Humour powered his way to the front rounding the home turn to pull readily clear of the very smart Frankyfourfingers twelve months ago and even though he failed to follow up against his old rival next time out, he still ran a creditable race over a trip beyond his best.
If the main selection does come up short,LE BERNADIN(best price 6/1) looks one of the few with the class and capabilities to take advantage. His latest victory over the C&D was achieved in a rapid time and even though his stall position could prevent him from repeating a similar all-the-way success, he has to be worth a small saver just in case things do go his way.
Surfer - 1pt @ 11/2
Le Bernadin - 1pt @ 6/1
Although ONE MAN BAND(NAP)(best price 2/1) has yet to established himself on the big stage over in Dubai, his two recent victories suggest he looks set to put that record straight. Since adopting the classic dirt-winning formula of setting strong fractions and maintaining a relentless gallop all the way to the line, Doug Watson’s charge hasn’t looked back and if he replicates his latest performance which witnessed him tear away from a decent quality field – including the very smart Faulkner – then he’s likely to be very difficult to beat. The clock also points towards the son of Pivotal being well up to the standard of true Carnival events and even though his best two times figures have been over 1m, a previous C&D win puts the mind at rest on that score.