Our expert Andy Holding has four bets this afternoon, three of which run at Meydan.
You wouldn’t call MAJOR MUSCARI (best price 9/1)
a prolific win machine, but he runs his race more often than not and he can reward each-way support in a tightly-knit 5f handicap. Although you’ve got to go back to this time last year when he was last in the winner’s enclosure, a series of place efforts on an all-weather surface in the interim have cemented Shaun Harris’ inmate ultra-consistent sort and having hit the board on his two previous C&D starts, the likelihood is that he will do so again at the very least from his favourable inside draw.
Major Muscari - 0.5pts e/w @ 9/1Placed 0.4pts
ERTIJAAL(NAP) (best price 7/4)
looked imperious when hammering similar rivals into a pulp on his return to action over the C&D last time out and unless he bounces to the moon off that stunning effort, Ali Al Raihe’s charge really ought to win again. Racing over the minimum trip for the first time, the son of Oasis Dream was like a bullet from a gun out of the traps and never looked like getting caught after exhibiting blistering all-round speed throughout. As he did all of his own work away from the main pack down the middle of the course, stall 16 looks the ideal draw for him to execute those similar lone ranger tactics and he rates a decent bet around the 7/4 mark to follow up (sure to trade shorter in the run for exchange players).
Ertijaal - 2pts @ 7/4Won 3.5pts
PRAYER FOR RELIEF (best price 7/1)
shaped like he’s worth a try beyond a mile based on his performance here last time out and he rates a fair each-way alternative to short-priced favourite Frosted. Running on strongly in the latter stages after being posted out wide throughout the majority of the contest, he still managed to clock a smart speed figure in finishing third in the best dirt mile race so far at the carnival (sixth and eighth both won since), and with most of Mike De Kock’s runners coming on for their initial outing, there’s every reason to expect a little improvement from the son of Jump Start.
Prayer For Relief - 0.5pts e/w @ 7/1Lost -1pts
With connections of Mubtaahij having one eye on the Dubai World Cup prize in March, there’s a chance Mike De Kock’s inmate might just be at his most vulnerable first time off the plane and with that in mind, LE BERNARDIN (best price 4/1)
is taken to exploit any possible chinks in the favourite’s armoury. Ali Al Raihe’s charge has been the revelation of the carnival so far with his two all-the-way victories catapulting him from being a top-class handicapper into a genuine Group 2 performer. The time figure and subsequent form of those he beat here last time suggest the race is total believable and if he breaks cleanly and gets the battle of early exchanges with the potential pace spoiler, One Man Band, the son of Bernardini could prove hard to peg back.
Le Bernardin - 1pt @ 4/1Lost -1pts