Timeform Dubai SmartPlays: Meydan, Thursday February 21

Mickael Barzalona will be aboard Mandaean at 17:35.

With two of his three selections hitting the mark at Meydan on Saturday, Stephen Molyneux is confident of further success on Thursday...

"Godolphin tends to unearth the odd top class performer every Carnival and hopefully Mandaean will prove to be just that when he lines up in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort..."

Specific Gravity has steadily been coming to the boil this season, like so many from the Mike de Kock yard, and he looks set to strike in the 15:50. He was a winner last season at Newmarket for Sir Henry Cecil and has bettered the form of that win in finishing third on both his outings this year, even then looking capable of better given things didn't really pan out for him. He was third to Nawwaar over 1m earlier in the month, that trip looking sharp enough (a winner over 10f) and again got going too late last time when filling the same position behind Jawhar, that form looking rock solid with horses all around him at the top of their games at present. He has been crying out for a stronger pace which he should get here courtesy of Treble Jig and whilst Con Artist clearly boasts some very strong form, his presence should at least ensure Specific Gravity is a fair price. 

Godolphin tends to unearth the odd top class performer every Carnival and hopefully Mandaean will prove to be just that when he lines up in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort at 17:35. He was a Group 1 winner as a juvenile when trained by Andre Fabre, albeit in a weak race, and he was considered to be Godolphin's main hope for the Derby last season, taking his place in the Dante only to fold tamely and essentially run as if amiss. The rest of his season was pretty much a write off but he showed much more of what he is about when reappearing over 1m at this track when comfortably beating Don't Call Me in a handicap off a mark of 105. The key point to him looks to be the trip, a free-going sort who, in hindsight, wasn't getting home last season and given this will just be his second start over 1m, he clearly remains with plenty of potential and looks the one to beat in what is admittedly, a competitive race. 

The sprints down the straight turf course have been rather messy so far this season but one horse who has caught the eye is Russian Soul and he should go well in the concluding handicap at 18:10. He's been second on both of those outings, hitting the front soon enough before getting worn down by Tamaathul on his reappearance and then he probably should have beaten Medicean Man last time but was left rather isolated and tended to wander his chance away. He seems to be a strong-travelling sort who may need producing at the right time, and his draw in stall 10 should help on this occasion with confirmed pace all around him. He strikes as the type that could even run above himself in the Al Quoz Sprint but will need to win this to justify those expectations. 

Timeform Dubai Smartplays
Back Specific Gravity @ 3.711/4 in the 15:50
Back Mandaean @ 4.3100/30 in the 17:35
Back Russian Soul @ 3.814/5 in the 18:10 

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