Tom Stanley has four selections from Meydan, including a 40-1 shot in the finale!
First up at Meydan is bet of the day in the form of Certerach. He was put up here last time (his reappearance) but this isn’t just blindly following a horse in going after him again, he looks to have a huge chance this afternoon. His last win out here came in Group 2 company over 2 miles so he had little chance last time in a slowly run mile and a half, silly me. He’s 2lb above his last handicap win out here (mile and a half on reappearance in a race run to suit) and will be seen to far better effect this afternoon. Early quotes of 16/1 are very generous.
Frosted doesn’t fill me with confidence and I’m more taken with former Group 2 dirt winner Prayer For Relief, who shaped very encouragingly last time. Save a second play for the turf Group 2 though in the form of Almashooqa. She gets a handy 3 year old allowance of 7lb but is only 6 months younger than the likes of Very Special and Excilly and should be seen to far better effect than when reappearing on dirt. I like the dirt to turf angle and she’s well drawn to sit handy here and pounce. There’s very little pace on and though there’s plenty of scope in her pedigree for a mile, her speed should come in handy here.
The first race is very tempting given Ertijaal has some pace right next door to him in the form of Caspian Prince. Whether anything will be able to go with him though is another matter and, either way, a 5lb rise for last time’s romp could be made to look very generous. Speed Hawk has the visor on and were he drawn nearer the pace I’d be keen. Roi De Vitesse takes a while to get going but he's better drawn near the trailblazers and that could be key. He almost certainly wants 6 furlongs and is yet to win here in plenty of attempts but pace meltdowns can spring surprises, as we saw with Sir Maximilian out here last year. If they go too quick then the selection has a sniff and I like the visor returning given he ran a better race in it first up. Hopeful, but far from hopeless.
Mustadeem could be a hopeless shout, very easily, but he’s 40/1 for a yard having a decent carnival. He had some good form in the UK, notably behind Time Test when going forward, and similar tactics today should really put him in this. Tadhg O’Shea made miracles happen last month with Ghaamer from the front and, even of he can’t get there given the presence of Snow Squall, he won’t be far off a likely modest gallop. Is he better at a mile? Is he sound? These are unknowns which mean he’s 40/1 or so but he’ll be seen to better effect than when on the dirt last time and when far too keen on reappearance. The tongue tie goes on this undoubtedly well treated horse, hit and hope.