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This week's Meydan card provides us with an intriguing surface switch for the world class Turf horse Benbatl. Already a winner of an uncompetitive Singspiel this season he switches to dirt to see if he is a live contender for the Dubai World Cup.
He is by Dubawi, which gives supporters hope he will handle the surface, but the problem for him as for so many surface switchers will be the rhythm of the race. The furious early gallop could catch him out and he could taste kickback for the first time. He would thrash these if this was a turf race but it's not and we have seen many a good horse bomb out on this surface before.
I cite Masar, a future Derby winner as a prime example when thrashed here on the dirt the first time he ran on it. Benbatl is one of my favourite horses and he could bolt up but there are too many surface doubts to support him.
Meydan Racecourse - Post: 9:30 AM ET - The rail is out 12m on the turf which means that it may be best to challenge towards the stands side in the home straight. This will be particularly relevant in the turf sprint. There is a wide range of talent on show in this contest and Final Song is the class act in this field. She failed to stay in the UAE 1000 Guineas on dirt and this switch to turf and dropping back in trip looks ideal for her. She has some very strong juvenile turf form and if she can get anywhere near that she will win this.
Meydan Racecourse - Post: 10:05 AM ET - This filly steps back up to 7 furlongs after running really well over 6 on her seasonal reappearance and that will have sharpened her up for this. She was a bit unlucky in that contest here at Meydan as she raced on the far side when on the day the stands side was favored. In the circumstances I thought she ran a blinder and here for a good draw in stall 1 she looks sure to run well. She has won here before and clearly the track suits her well.
Meydan Racecourse - Post: 11:15 AM ET - This horse posted a fast overall time and fired a fast closing 200 metres when winning here last time out. That day he did have the benefit of racing towards the stands side but the figures don't lie and I believe he is capable of an even better performance today.
He faces Ekhtiyaar who was also impressive in a good time when winning here last time out and they look set for a decent tussle. Getting across toward the stands side rail may be important. Something that James Doyle is well aware of.
Meydan Racecourse - Post: 1:00 PM ET - Division two of this handicap is weak and Beyond Reason must go very close. She ran a blinder to be third in the Cape Verdi which was won in a fast time and now down a furlong in trip and down in grade she can take advantage of her lenient looking mark of 100.
It's worth remembering that she won the Group 2 Prix Calvados as a two year old and on that basis this looks to be a well found spot for this classy filly. She is trained by Charlie Appleby who is really rolling now and this can be another winner for him.
The Dubai World Cup Carnival, worth US$12.74 m in prize money across 10 race meetings, runs from January to March every year and is a season of high-class international race days contested by the most high-profile owners, trainers, horses and jockeys in the world. It runs alongside the domestic Racing at Meydan season.
The Dubai World Cup Carnival leads to the Dubai World Cup day, the richest day of racing in the world.
The major prep for Dubai World Cup day is the Super Saturday meeting, to be held on Saturday March 07, 2020. Super Saturday allows trainers to put the finishing touches to their equine stars before appearing on racing's biggest stage - Dubai World Cup day. As the official dress rehearsal for the Dubai World Cup it is a major social occasion.
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