It's Dubai World Cup day at Meydan and in-form Andy Holding has all the best bets.
The way that most races on the dirt at this track have developed throughout the carnival suggests there’s a massive advantage to be drawn low and be ridden prominently, so with that in mind, the two that stand out in the first big Group race of the evening are MARKING (best price 13/8)
and ONE MAN BAND (best price 10/1)
. The former carried a huge reputation on his shoulders into his first assignment on the carnival, but unfortunately disaster struck as Kiaran McLaughlin’s charge got rid of his pilot after dipping badly coming out of the stalls. The son of Bernardini made no mistake at the second time of asking and given that the trip that evening was short of his best, it’s not difficult to see this strong galloper making a huge leap forward back over his optimum distance. The latter takes a little more explaining, but at the same time, he could well turn out to be the fly in the ointment if he jumps well and holds the kerb from the one box through the early exchanges.
Although he wouldn’t be in the same class as some of these, Doug Watson’s charge has punched above his weight several times at the carnival when he’s been able to dominate, and the only time he’s been beaten here in his last five starts was when he missed the break from a wide draw and burnt himself out getting to the front.
Marking - 2pt @ 13/8Lost -2pt
One Man Band - 0.5pt e/w @ 10/1Won 6pt
HANNAH’S PRINCESS (best price 13/2)
has always been held in high regard at home and this looks like the perfect opportunity for her to land the big pot she’s threatened to do so in the past. Runner-up in the final of this series at Newbury last season, everything has been geared up for a repeat bid twelve months on, and following an impressive victory visually and on the clock at Exeter last time out, Warren Greatrex’s mare arrives here in tip-top shape.
Hannah's Princess - 1pt e/w @ 13/2Lost -2pt
Ertijaal has looked world-beater in his two races over this C&D this season and drawn handily right down the middle in stall six, it would come as no surprise if he were to complete the hat trick. Using Ali Al Raihe’s charge as the benchmark, NAADIRR (best price 40/1)
, however, looks overpriced based on his performance against the favourite first time off the plane and he’s just simply too good a horse to be quoted at 33/1 in any race he contests. Unlucky when receiving a troublesome passage in that EGA Billet Handicap back in early February, Marco Botti’s inmate was unsurprisingly a very warm order next time to vindicate the impression he created that night and although he ran right up to his best form, he had the misfortune to bump into a revitalised Baccarat who hit the ball out of the park on the figures first time up for Godolphin. Although he’s probably best over 6f, he’s the type to be equally affective over a strong-run 5f, and if it wasn’t for a potentially boggy draw in stall one, he’d be worth more than just a small stakes selection as advised.
Naadirr - 0.5pt e/w @ 40/1Lost -1pt
CALEDONIA (best price 12/1)
and OCTAGON (best price 14/1)
fought out the finish of a very strongly run affair at Ayr last time out and are worth playing against the field to prove the worth of that form line. In what looked a competitive race on paper, the pair pulled well clear of a decent field at the Scottish venue and with overall time and final circuit sectionals proving by far-and-away the best on the card, both of them should be conditioned in to coping with the likely strong pace that today’s test looks bound to offer.
Caledonia - 0.5pt e/w @ 12/1Placed 1pt
Octagon - 0.5pt e/w @ 14/1Lost -1pt
As we’ve seen time and time again at the carnival, a fast break and being able to hold a position against the paintwork has proved the highway to eternal riches on dirt this campaign and being housed in the box seat in stall one, RICH TAPESTRY (best price 12/1)
has every chance of not only turning the form around with old rival Muarrab, but going one place better than last year. Best when allowed dominate, the son of Holy Roman Emperor posted some smart figures when bossing a decent field from the front on his first outing of the carnival and it was no surprise to see him sent off a warm order to justify the form next time. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite get to the front on that occasion as Paul Hanagan held his position from the inside post on Muarrab and that resulted in him running well below par. Hopefully he will hit the lids and obtain an early lead this time around, and if so, the spritely eight-year-old will have every chance of out-running his odds.
Rich Tapestry - 0.5pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -1pt
Similarly to the dirt track, a low draw and a ground-saving trip around the inside on the turf course has benefitted so many winners here at the carnival so it makes sense to play the unbeaten pair cited next to the rail, namely FORRIES WALTZ (best price 14/1)
and TRYSTER (best price 2/1)
. The former clocked a big number when following up his previous victory in some style back in January and although there maybe one or two more classier than him in the line-up, the one box more than compensates for the few pounds he has to find on the bear figures. The latter has proved what a top-class performer he is on his last two starts, not only winning impressively, but doing so against the track bias and even though his hold up style can mean he’s hostage to fortune, he has the turn of foot to bail himself out of jail.
Forries Waltz - 0.5pt e/w @ 14/1Lost -1pt
Tryster - 1pt @ 2/1Lost -1pt
In what will hopefully turn out to be the big clash between FROSTED (best price 5/2)
and California Chrome, the former is taken to claim the bragging rights for the American raiders. Kiaran McLaughlin’s charge lived up to his reputation in no uncertain terms when scoring impressively by five lengths on carnival debut and with the likes of well-beaten pair, Special Fighter and Faulkner going on to endorse the form with wins subsequently, the race looks hard to knock. Moreover, his circuit time of 1.44.9 is the only race on the round track so far this campaign to dip under the magic 1.45.0 barrier (California Chrome 1.46.8) so armed with that knowledge, the son of Tapit has to be the bet at 5/2.
Frosted - 1pt @ 5/2Lost -1pt