Timeform's Dubai Handicapper, Stephen Molyneux, returns with three bets for Friday...
"Mutajare looks to be the interesting one in the 11:50 now dropping in grade having run some solid races already this season..."
Nothing can boast outstanding claims in the opening thoroughbred contest at 10:50 so it could be worth taking a chance on Festival City who has more going for him than perhaps looks to be the case at first glance. It's fair to say his form in a couple of outings at Meydan this season has been uninspiring, well beaten behind Ganas and Trojan Nights, but both of those races look significantly stronger contests than the one he lines up in today and the handicapper has dropped him 3 lb since his latest outing. His form at Jebel Ali doesn't amount to much but he was hardly likely to make an impact behind the likes of Mujaazef and Escape Route and his pedigree raises hope for him being just as good on dirt, by Green Desert out a Dubai Millennium mare. The final piece in the jigsaw is first-time blinkers so it seems reasonable to assume that if he is to revive at any point this season then today should hopefully be that day.
Mutajare looks to be the interesting one in the 11:50 now dropping in grade having run some solid races already this season. His best effort came when finishing fourth to Famous Warrior on his penultimate outing, not beaten too far by Farrier who came out and won easily at Jebel Ali next time. Mutajare was disappointing in that race won by Farrier, and it is an effort that needs forgiving, but the track was riding differently that day, fields returning well strung out with the kickback seemingly particularly severe. He has dropped 3 lb as a result of that effort, qualifying him for this lesser race, and given he had bounced back from disappointing runs in the past it seems reasonable to assume he will do so again here.
Need To Know didn't exactly look a natural tackling dirt for the first time behind Ana Emarati a couple of weeks ago but he still achieved more than enough in finishing fourth to suggest he should be capable of landing the concluding maiden at 12:50. A drop to 5f compounded matters that day so all in all it was another promising effort on the back of a hugely encouraging second to Ganas, form that has been handsomely franked in the interim. He won't have it all his own way here, Matador De Toros expected to build on his encouraging debut, but Need To Know has the form in the book and will benefit greatly from this return to 6f.
Timeform Dubai SmartPlays
All at Jebel Ali
Back Festival City win and place in the 10:50
Back Mutajare to win the 11:50
Back Need To Know to win the 12:50