Timeform Dubai SmartPlays: Meydan, Thursday January 31
Timeform's Dubai expert, Stephen Molyneux, brings you his three best bets from Meydan on Thursday...
"A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Saamidd was considered to be a realistic danger to Frankel in the 2010 Dewhurst but he's just the sort that Godolphin do well with at the Carnival and he should go close in the concluding handicap at 17:25..."
Mushreq went into many a mythical notebook when fourth to Masteroftherolls last week and he should make a bold bid to gain compensation for a luckless run in the opening handicap at 14:30. The Mike de Kock yard has been slow to get going but there were definite signs last week they are about to hit top form, Mushreq one of two who could easily have won had things panned out differently. As Masteroftherolls made his bid for glory two furlongs out, Mushreq, who was still on the bridle, was badly hampered and forced to switch, really flying home once in the clear yet barely having a race which negates the potential issue of this relatively quick turnaround. He will need a bit of luck once again from stall 1 but he is clearly ready to strike and the presence of some last-time-out winners from the Godolphin camp should ensure that Mushreq is a reasonable enough price.
Iver Bridge Lad's luck has finally turned regards the draw and it could be worth risking him in the 16:15 having shaped with degrees of promise in his two runs to date. He has been drawn in stall 14 of 14 and 16 of 16 so far, clearly placing him at a massive disadvantage on both occasions yet he flew home from an impossible position when sixth to Lily's Angel on his reappearance before failing to stay 1m last time, at least going through the race as though he remains in top form. He did very well here last year before going off the boil back in Europe (in line with many from the John Ryan yard) but that has at least ensured he is on a potentially lenient mark and, from stall 5 this time, he should make a much better fist of things.
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Saamidd was considered to be a realistic danger to Frankel in the 2010 Dewhurst but he's just the sort that Godolphin do well with at the Carnival and he should go close in the concluding handicap at 17:25. They won with a very similar type last week in Mandaean, a one-time Derby candidate, and they must have had Guineas aspirations at the very least for Saamidd after a promising 2-y-o campaign that saw him win the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. He ran as if amiss behind Frankel in both the Dewhurst and the 2000 Guineas itself, his 3-y-o campaign swiftly aborted after Newmarket, but he came back last May and showed himself to be the smart performer he'd threatened to be when finishing second to Sri Putra in a listed race at Kempton, finishing strongly and just failing. It's obviously a concern that he ran as if amiss on his only other start but first-time-out is often the best time to be catching this sort of horse and he should have enough class to overcome a potentially troublesome draw in stall 14.