This first division of the Jaguar XE Handicap looks a lot less competitive than the other half at 18:00, and Charlie Appleby’s relatively unexposed New Approach gelding can take advantage of this. Although beaten favourite in his last two starts here, the choice of William Buick has ran very respectively in what looked much deeper races, beaten only by ¾ of a length by Salute The Soldier, who takes his chance in the Zabeel Mile at 16:15.
The horse Good Fortune beat in his last victory here, Woven, was a winner of a valuable handicap here 2 weeks ago giving the former a timely boost ahead of today’s race. With this race appearing to lack much pace on paper, it looks an ideal opportunity for Buick to take advantage of this in gaining a good positive early position from stall nine.
This year’s Zabeel Mile looks to be a fascinating renewal with Godolphin appearing to hold all the cards with the three market leaders. All three look to be solid Group class performers on their day but preference goes to the defending champion, Mythical Magic, who ran exceptionally well on his last start, beaten by just three-quarters of a length in Group 2 company here over seven furlongs, off a seven-month lay-off.
That looks the ideal prep for Buick’s mount, who had an almost identical prep going into last season’s renewal. His biggest dangers in the race are a very unexposed Zakouski, who looks an exciting prospect but is in his deepest waters yet, and Dream Castle, who has failed to reach the heights of last season’s carnival in his last six runs, with his 2nd to Barney Roy recently being no more than what was expected to occur. Mythical Magic can claim this prize for a second year in a row and give trainer Charlie Appleby a 4th win in the race and owners Godolphin their 7th success.
With Midnight Sands looking to make it four out of four for the season here at Meydan, this won’t be an easy task for Tadhg O’Shea’s mount, All Out Blitz, however he does take a strong level of form from the US under his ex-handler Simon Callaghan. The 5yo who is still an entire horse, is taking a big drop from a deep Group 3 contest three weeks ago over a sharp 6f, to this 7f trip.
With a good ‘Blitz’ from the stalls he can gain a very attractive position and looks capable of putting it right up to the progressive Midnight Sands. The favourite, having gone up 6lbs from his last narrow victory, has gone up a total of 18lbs by the handicapper in just three runs and there is enough there to suggest he is worth taking on at such a short price. If the eight runners stand their ground, All Out Blitz looks a no brainer for an each way bet.