Timeform Dubai SmartPlays: Meydan, Thursday January 24
Timeform's Dubai expert, Stephen Molyneux, has previewed Thursday's card at Meydan and found three betting propositions...
"The sprint at 16:15 predictably looks wide open but the local horses have a tendency to be overlooked in this type of contest and, with that in mind, Garbah is given the nod...."
The opening contest at 14:30 has no real depth to it and I am going to take a chance on Layali Al Andalus who makes a quick reappearance having finished sixth behind Alkimos last Saturday. That was by no means a bad effort, particularly as he was set loads to do and crucially met trouble as things were taking shape ahead of him, all things being equal doing well to get as close as he did. Prior to that he beat Topclas in what was a slightly messy race, but Al Shemali and Tanfeeth, third and fourth that day, have both come out and performed with credit in Carnival races since then so clearly it wasn't a bad effort. He may seem the stable second string on paper with Richard Mullen riding Bay Willow but Marc Monaghan has been making a name for himself in Dubai this winter and is excellent value for his 7 lb claim.
Saeed bin Suroor, as expected, has his string in excellent form and his Masteroftherolls looks to hold sound claims in the 15:05. He's still to win for this yard but was placed four times last season, including twice at the Carnival when second to Blue Panis and third behind Mutahadee. He continued to perform with credit back in England and whilst he never really shaped much better than the bare result, his consistency counts for plenty and the handicapper has seen fit to drop him 2 lb, and that could make all the difference in a race that isn't going to take much winning.
The sprint at 16:15 predictably looks wide open but the local horses have a tendency to be overlooked in this type of contest and, with that in mind, Garbah is given the nod. She represents the powerful Ali Rashid Al Raihe yard who saddled Tamaathul (a non runner in this) to victory last week and Garbah could be classed as being just as progressive as that one, a slight blip at Abu Dhabi excusable on account of her forcing a very strong pace over a trip she barely stays. Prior to that she had made a most impressive seasonal reappearance when slamming a useful field by over 5 lengths, taking her record over this course and distance to three from four. She is well drawn today and whilst this race has plenty of pace in it, she doesn't need to force it and will hopefully sit just behind the leaders before taking things up inside the final 1f.