MEYDAN – THURSDAY 22nd FEBRUARY 2018
Meydan Sprint Sponsored By District One Greenery Stretch Group 2 – 5f Turf
An exciting sprint race gets the card underway. What the race lacks in numbers certainly makes up for in quality. It looks like a straight shootout between Blue Point and Ertijaal. Both horses are Group winners and bring with them excellent Group 1 form. BLUE POINT is the younger and is making his UAE debut. The colt arrives at a high rating from the UK then Ertijaal achieved and he was not far behind some top quality horses. The only concern would be if the 5f is too sharp. Ertijaal has flourished whilst in the UAE with seven wins from twelve runnings. Won on seasonal debut, over course and distance, last time out in handicap company but will push the selection all the away. Unlikely to see any of the other runners troubling the top two, Hit The Bid has come out and won since his defeat by Ertijaal but is unlikely to reverse that form and Sir Maximilian, having his third race in a week, will run his usual genuine race.
District One Residences Handicap – 7f Dirt
Not a great handicap with many not having particular strong form. Pirate’s Cove and Secret Ambition have both had some good runs this season but both have also had significant rises in weight. Musawaat makes his UAE debut on the back of some useful form in the UK and if adjusts to conditions will go close. Galavanize has had a great season to date but the distance and carrying top weight will go against him. TREASURED TIMES has only three runs under his belt. Won his maiden on the Turf but has also run well over this course and over this distance at Jebel Ali. Looks to have the potential to win this right from the bottom of the handicap.
District One 300 Villas Dash Handicap – 7f Dirt
KIMBEAR has had two excellent runs to date in the UAE since arriving from the US. From the powerful Doug Watson yard this colt still looks on a winnable mark. Ravens Corner not yet hit the heights of last season when recording two victories including a course and distance. Has been dropped in the weights slightly which may help. Portamento was third last time out and has been running in some good company. It looks like place at best for this horse.
Dubai Millennium Stakes Sponsored By District One Mansions Group 3 – 1m2f Turf
Ten go to post in a competitive looking Group 3. Godolphin holds a strong hand with four runners. Folkswood is making his seasonal debut. A Listed winner with also some useful form in Group company. Leshlaa has perhaps the best chance for the Godolphin team. Two excellent runs to date in the UAE including a course and distance win beating a useful sort who has come out and won since. Away from the Boys In Blue, Light The Lights has run well on last two outings including a course and distance win and back to 1m2f will help. SPECIAL FIGHTER makes his seasonal debut and was last seen well beaten in the Dubai World Cup. However is a Group 1 course winner and ran some good races in top races last season. The only worry is that he runs on the turf for only the second time in his career in the UAE. Gilt Complex is an interesting sort. Did not make a good start on first run in the UAE but does have some Group 1 wins in Singapore.
Zabeel Mile Sponsored By District One Legacy Group 2 – 1m Turf
Ten go post in the feature race on the card. Last year’s winner Championship attempts to repeat his success. Has had one run this season, where he should come on, but unsure if can recapture that form of last season. BAY OF POETS improved on his debut run this season finishing second in a Group 2. Listed winner in France who will have no issue with the distance. Main danger may come from the Mike de Kock colt Janoobi. Improved from his first run finishing second in a Group 2 over 7f. Is a distance winner and a Group 1 winner in South Africa. Noah From Goa was second in this last year. Continues to run well without winning. Hornsby showed a lot of potential at the start of the season but has disappointed in last two races. Interesting one to watch is Whisky Baron who makes his UAE debut. A Group 1 winner in South Africa.
District One Mediterranean Handicap – 1m Dirt
Classis Emperor arrives from Hong Kong with some useful form and is one for the shortlist. Drafted has won two on the bounce over the course. However he has risen in the weights and tries 1m for the first time. Rodaini was well behind Drafted last time out but did run well prior to that over course and distance. Can reverse that form. CLAIM THE ROSES also ran in that race won by Drafted over 7f. However prior to that was a course and distance winner and remains off a favorable mark.
District one Contemporary Handicap – 1m4f Turf
Final race on the card is a competitive twelve runner handicap. Another strong Godolphin presence with five runners. It’s difficult to make a case for anything other than the Godolphin entries with GOLD STAR being the stand out colt. Course and distance winner last time out after a good course and distance debut in the UAE. Difficult to see any another horse to challenge. Wolf Country, Walton Street and Eynhallow, the other Godolphin entries, look like they will be fighting out the minor honors.
Twitter – @northracingclub