Mick Halford's charge is one of four Meydan selections from Tom Stanley.
Like a few prices at Meydan this afternoon. Ajeeb ran well in behind Ertijaal last time and the step back up in trip should suit. His last run in Australia was over a mile prior to him making his Meydan debut over 5 furlongs here last year where he shaped encouragingly. He then went back up to a mile and was sent off 9/2 but seemingly didn’t run to form or get home. He shaped well last time where keen early and racing a little on his own but running on and finishing a neck behind Roi De Vitesse. The latter has been left alone by the handicapper whereas Ajeeb has eased 1lb and is over a more suitable trip. He’s entitled to come on for that first start in a year and I like the blinkers back on for the first time since his Australia days. A tongue tie is also added.
Mike De Kock has a superb record in the Al Rashidiya and, of his 3, Forries Waltz has the sort of profile that looks worth siding with. Winning well in handicap company last time, he has little to find on bare ratings and should improve, though his draw isn’t ideal. I put up Bossy Guest for his handicap bow out here but, looking back at the race, that was probably used as a prep for this and he fully deserves his place here. His Guineas form is rock solid and a peak career rating of 114 would put him top of the pile. Now officially 108, he has had excuses and looks a touch forgotten this afternoon. The trouble is his hold up style often means he makes excuses and he’s become a tricky horse to win with. He’s better drawn than last time though and the price is worth taking. I fancy the trip could well bring out the best in him.
Royal Ridge was pitched in too deep last time but he looks a well treated horse. Were this a mile, he’d be top of the list but it could be worth waiting until we see him at that more suitable trip. Anaerobio has the older De Kock horse profile that has been worth following here in recent weeks but I can’t understand the disparity in price between he and Eastern Rules. The latter ran a cracker of a race when 2nd a few weeks ago, coming from way back when the winner made all, and then had pounds to find with all but 1 runner last week in Group company. Back in a handicap now, he’s drawn 8 of 12 as opposed to 16 of 16 2 weeks ago. 3lb lower than a course and distance success 2 years ago, he's got a proper chance this afternoon. Double figures should be lapped up.
A bit of a tentative selection but the last looks a weak race with little pace on and Rock Cocktail is worth chancing at a half decent price. It’s a concern Soumillon passes him up for Vin Chaud (he did the weight on a horse last week so it's not that) but he’s eased 3lb since making his debut out here last year and is still lightly raced. He went forward last time in blinkers and they are retained so similar tactics may well be employed from stall 6. He shaped encouragingly when easy to back for his debut out here last term but hasn’t really featured in 2 subsequent starts. It may be too soon to give up on him though, particularly if getting the run of this.