Meydan Racing Tips: North America can take revenge in Al Maktoum

The Godolphin owned Thunder Snow
John is taking on Thunder Snow in the Al Maktoum Challenge R3

John Sheeran of the Betfair trading team returns after supplying another winner at Meydan last weekend. Here he breaks down every race on Super Saturday...

"He was run down by Thunder Snow having got away with setting favourable fractions over 9.5f but now enjoys a 5lb swing in the weights so he has to have a solid chance of reversing the form. I'd be interested in North America at 5/2+."

Last Voyage can take advantage of Masar failings

The Al Bastakiya is the main trial for the Group 3 UAE Derby and is run over 9.5 furlongs on the dirt track. This year's renewal contains one of the most intriguing runners on the card with Masar making his dirt debut.

The Charlie Appleby trained, son of New Approach is well ahead of his rivals in terms of relative ability but he does have to prove the new surface is suitable. If he handles it, he will win but given his ability advantage he will be no value in the betting markets and has to be opposed for that reason.

Last Voyage is also trained by Appleby and he made his dirt debut 23 days ago over 8f on the dirt track at Meydan when finishing a distant third to the ultra-impressive and exciting prospect, Gold Town.

However, Last Voyage shaped a lot better than his finishing position that day when he was slow to break, always on the back foot but to my eye, he showed plenty of aptitude for racing on dirt. He is really well drawn in stall four and provided he breaks well, I see him beating the rest of these with ease and if Masar doesn't act on the dirt, I'm pretty sure he'll be hard to beat. He looks a great each way bet against the likely favourite at 4/1+.

Comicas a strong fancy in Mahab Al Shimaal

The Mahab Al Shimaal is a Group 3 run over 6f on the dirt and is the main trial for the Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup Night. This race won't be much a trial in terms of providing the winner on March 31st as the locals, on show here, won't be good enough but I really like Comicas in here.

He is the highest rated horse in the race and normally one I like to oppose over this CD due to his relative lack of early speed. However, he always finds plenty for pressure and is usually strongest at the end, particularly when a hot pace is on upfront.

I think that is very likely to happen here with Jordan Sport (first run on dirt), Yalta, My Catch and Ravens Corner all likely to press forward. If Comicas can stay in range through the first half of the race, I expect him to be running on best of all and I'll be surprised if he doesn't hit the line first. I think he rates a very solid bet at 2/1+.

Baccarat the each-way play against Ertijaal

The 6f NAS Sprint is the first race on Super Saturday on the turf course and is the trial for the Al Quoz on World Cup night. Ertijaal is currently second favourite for the big race and he puts his credentials on the line again here.

He was a narrow winner from Blue Point 16 days ago when holding on well from a very talented rival. He faces nothing of the calibre of that runner here and off level weights, he should be really hard to beat from a good draw and with 6lb and upwards in hand.

As per the norm, he will be bet accordingly and looks very likely to be sent off around 1.75/7 come the jump. He should win but we have to look elsewhere at that sort of price. I really like Baccarat as an each way shot against the favourite here.

He should get a perfect tow into the race, as he is drawn in 14 and right beside the speed horses in Ertijaal 15 and Dutch Masterpiece in 16. He comes here off the back of an excellent defeat of Faatinah who had been prominent in the Al Quoz betting for Australian handler, David Hayes. William Buick prefers Jungle Cat who also deserves respect but the draw edges it for Baccarat for me and he rates a solid bet each way at 9/2+.

Heavy Metal may find life hard from tough draw

The Group 3 Burj Nahar is the mail trial for the Godolphin Mile on World Cup night and is run over 8f on the dirt track. Heavy Metal hasn't been done any favours drawing stall 13 of 13 but still should take all the beating.

He is very fast from the gates and is by far the most talented running in the race. He should be able to edge his way over if breaking on terms and utilising his early speed and I expect him to be able to make all. I would need odds against to bet the horse, given the draw, but I am not sure he will get out to that price so a watching brief is advised.

Dream Castle is a very talented horse but his lack of dirt experience and the draw in 12 means I would be very surprised if he reached the frame but he is another to watch.

Take Whisky Baron at double figures in Jebel Hatta

The Jebel Hatta is the first Group 1 on the card and is used as the main trial for the Dubai Turf. Benbatl is sure to head the market, he has been very impressive in two starts this carnival and would be the right favourite.

However, I will look to get him beaten. He has enjoyed favourable trips against lesser animals in both of those wins and potentially faces a more difficult time here from stall 10.

Whisky Baron is the one that appeals against him at the likely odds, he should be in the 16/1 range and shaped really well on his UAE debut when reportedly in need of the run. He was only just behind Janoobi, should appreciate the extra furlong here and is a Group 1 winner in his native South Africa. He looks a sporting bet against Benbatl at 14/1+.

Quirky Thunder Snow could be lost without Soumillion

The Al Maktoum Challenge runs throughout the carnival over three different trips and culminates on Super Saturday over 10f as a Group 1 prep for the Dubai World Cup.

Thunder Snow will be a relatively short price favourite here around the 6/4 mark and is clearly the one to beat. He is three from four on the dirt track at Meydan and has proven European Group 1 form on the turf last year too, so in terms of ability he will be able to run with any of these.

However, I have two concerns, the first one being that he is missing his regular rider in Christophe Soumillion and the horse has his quirks as he showed when jinking near the line in the UAE derby last year. The second is the draw, on paper it looks good but he has usually been kept quite wide and out of the kickback and with the speed cross him early here, that will require an intelligent ride so given the likely odds I'll go against him.

North America is the obvious starting point, he is well drawn in stall six and should have the early speed to cross the two bin Ghadayer animals drawn to his inside and if he grabs the rail, he should be hard to beat. He was run down by Thunder Snow having got away with setting favourable fractions over 9.5f but now enjoys a 5lb swing in the weights so he has to have a solid chance of reversing the form. I'd be interested in North America at 5/2+.

Al Sahem coming to the boil for De Kock

The Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold is over 12f on the turf track and serves as a prep for the Group 1 Sheema Classic on World Cup night. This year's renewal is really tricky as both Hawkbill and Frontiersman represent Charlie Appleby and both have questions to answer for different reasons.

Hawkbill looks the likeliest winner but I have concerns with the overall strength of his form. He deserves the utmost respect but I have to look elsewhere given he is likely to be around the 5/2 mark. Frontiersman may well enjoy the run of the race but his attitude in a finish is in question.

Al Sahem has been progressing through the carnival like many of the Mike De Kock string but he caught the eye last time finishing off really strongly in a moderately run race.

He is almost certain to enjoy the step up in trip and I don't think he has much to find with the best of these, his short head defeat to Marinaresco looks solid South African Group 1 form and he should now be cherry ripe in terms of fitness. He looks a really interesting each way bet at 10/1+.

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