Meydan returns! Will be focusing on the turf handicaps, which did well for us last year and we start over the minimum. I’m tempted by Fityaan, way down the pecking order of the Al Maktoum runners but he goes well fresh here. Were he not 4lb higher than when last seen over course and distance, he’d be very tempting. Demora is a mare who had this track mentioned as a target for her after winning on quick ground at Nottingham a few years back. It’s since been said softer suits but she is a winner on firm too and I’m not overly concerned about ground conditions. Her last 2 wins have come off the back of a break and I fancy she’s overpriced here. There is pace on but not bundles of it and I’m not too sure Divine, a pace angle on Demora's inside, will be able to keep tabs on her. This track should really suit her blistering pace and she may take some pegging back off just 2lb higher than her highest winning mark to date.
There is plenty of pace on in the last at Meydan and that could suit Eastern Rules who looks the best treated horse in the race. He’ll have to go some from 16 of 16 though and his price isn’t quite juicy enough. Bossy Guest looks feasibly treated based upon his 2000 Guineas effort from off the pace and should have this run to suit. He tends to save his best for early season, is 2-2 on seasonal debut and will likely get the pace he needs at this trip. I also want to take a chance on Merhee who will be race fit after a couple of runs pre carnival on the dirt. He had shown more on that surface when running here for Mike De Kock and is risky back on turf but I fancy this is his trip and he’ll likely be held up off a decent pace. 5 furlongs didn’t suit a couple of years ago and nor did leading in this race last year. Stable jockey goes elsewhere but Hector Crouch is worth his 7lb and the horse is worth a play at the prices. If Secret Brief got in he’d look a big danger but I can’t be putting up a reserve.