Suroor fancied to land Top Score
The 7f Turf handicap due to be run at 16:15 on Thursday is as good a handicap as you could wish for. Multiple runners hold solid claims but Top Score is fancied to come out on top.
He was an unlucky second behind Oh This Is Us, 12 days ago and is 2lb better off today. He should have a much better trip around from a much more favourable draw in two.
He covered more ground than any other rival, was last turning in and managed to cut back all bar the Richard Hannon charge. Oh This Is Us should also go well but with the draw going against him here I fancy the Saeed bin Suroor trained son of Hard Spun to reverse the form.
He rates a solid bet at around 11/4. An each way saver on Silver Line should also be considered if we can get 10/1 or so. He was unlucky not to be closer when encountering traffic problems before finishing well with plenty more to give.
Rare can find Rhythm to overturn Vazirabad
The Nad Al Sheeba Trophy run at 16:50 is also a very good race. It's the main trial for the Dubai Gold Cup run on DWC night and Vazirabad looks to cement his position at the head of that market with a big run here.
He was beaten by Beautiful Romance in this race on his way to bagging his second Gold Cup. His defeat in this race last year was largely down to a lack of race fitness, the drop back to 14f and poor race position in a moderately run race.
He will head the market on Thursday and deservedly so but there is a concern that he is vulnerable for the same reasons. Clearly, he's the one to beat but he won't offer any value at anything around even money so we have to look elsewhere.
The obvious one is the unexposed Godolphin trained Rare Rhythm who hasn't been seen since winning a solid looking listed Silver Cup at York in July. The form of that race looks very solid and for an animal only having his seventh lifetime start and his first start beyond 12f; he looks to be a horse of some promise.
The Melbourne Cup had been muted before a setback curtailed his season last year and Charlie Appleby has stated that this run will decide whether they go to Dubai World Cup night or for a cup campaign in Australia so presumably fitness won't be an issue.
Rare Rhythm is also likely to be prominently placed and should enjoy first run on Vazirabad and anything in the region of 3/1 appeals as a viable alternative to the favourite.
Etijaah to land back-to-back Curlin's for Watson
The 17:25 is the listed Curlin Handicap on dirt over 10f. Don't Give Up is likely to head the market and he has been progressing nicely on the dirt in two starts for Saeed bin Suroor in the Emirates.
However, I think he's enjoyed extremely favourable trips and while that could happen again here, he is now 8lb higher than when winning on his Meydan debut in January. He should be vulnerable.
Alabaster would be the one to be on if there were not major doubts about his attitude to the starting gates, however, there are and he cant be opposed without seeing how he breaks.
Etijaah won this race for Doug Watson last year when rated 102, he is 7lb higher here and has to carry 9-6 so from a handicapping point of view he should be vulnerable but this race looks loaded with forward going types and Etijaah really should enjoy the run of the race, he should be running on well at the end and is fancied to get his head in front as the winning post looms. He looks a decent bet at anything in the region of 4/1+.