The jockey bookings for this race gave me a small headache. On paper Rare Ninja should be going very close, but I think it’s significant that Mickael Barzalona rides the newcomer Panadol for top UAE trainer Saeed Bin Ghadayer who also trainers Rare Ninja. this $180,000 purchase just last June was specifically bought to race in the UAE and might turn into a familiar name in time.
Meydan turf maidens are a rare thing and so generally attract a good field and this race does not disappoint.
Saeed Bin Suroor has Line of Attack here that will surely be popular with punters, but Rashed Bouresly’s Hawa Bilady has good Carnival form putting in a fine fourth-placed effort in the Meydan Classic nine days ago over course and distance and sets the standard for this maiden.
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Royal Sands was a beaten favourite in a very similar contest at this track back in November at the start of the UAE season. There were excuses made that day as he got upset in the stalls, so he is the bet in the race. He’s likely to be a better price too this time for the in-form Doug Watson stable.
Charlie Appleby does not run too many horses outside of the Dubai Carnival , but has three in this contest. Jockey William Buick, fresh from a treble on Thursday’s Carnival meeting has opted for Al Maysan who will have come on for his outing in a much hotter race two weeks ago.
He looks set to continue Buicks’ red-hot form.
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