STAR PREVIEW: Meydan Thursday

Midwinter can be a lonely old time for flat racing fans but those who are looking for quality action on the level have the comfort of the Dubai Carnival to take them through the months and today we have another highly competitive card to enjoy.

The Cape Verdi (4.15) is the feature event on the card and we have the most competitive renewal for some time, with Star going 3/1 the field compared to the many occasions where an odds on favourite has won and done so with ease in the past few years. The claims of Michael Halford’s raider Surrounding are strong, but a chance is taken on Magic Lily finding her best form once again. She looked to have retained a decent amount of the ability that saw her finish third in the 2017 Fillies’ Mile when a very encouraging second in the Prix Dahlia last October, but couldn’t match that in the EBF Gillies Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield when only sixth.

There are plenty of reasons to forgive that defeat, however. Firstly, she was drawn 14 of 14 around 10 furlongs at Lingfield – a near impossible task – and she was also pushed hard to take an early posse there, unlike the winner, second, or third there. It’s also possible that she bounced slightly to boot and hopefully this set up, with a break after two quick runs, should see her come back to something like her best. If so, she can be given a decent chance here in what is a very competitive event.

Dubai Racing Carnival 2020
Live on Sky Sports Racing HD
First Race: 2:30 UK time

Doug Watson has saddled doubles in both carnival fixtures so far and he has the top two in the betting for the Mina Handicap (4.50). Midnight Sands comes here looking for a five timer and is respected, but Thegreatcollection could be well treated off a mark of 104 given that he should get a good pace to run at here (forced the pace when fourth in C&D handicap in November) and his fifth in a Listed race in December looks a lot better after Secret Ambition and Kimbaar (1st and 2nd there) were the 1-2 in the Maktoum Challenge Round 1 last week. An inside draw of 3 is also a help in a big field here.

Nothing appeals as being particularly well handicapped in the Aliyah (5.25) where Major Partnership could struggle to confirm last time out form with Zainhom and Suedois from stall 13 and a 5lbs higher mark.

A drop back to 10 furlongs should help Loxley in the Zabeel Turf Sponsored by Riviera 1 (3.40) but stall 10 is off putting for his admittedly strong claims.

The Al Furjan (3.05) looks a race where one can take on My Catch, who is drawn in stall nine and will be facing pace to his inside. Bochart’s recent third in a C&D Listed race is arguably the best form here and with many having questions over their form or how they’ll handle the track he can give a good run for your money.

The opening Rivera 2 Handicap (2.30) is arguably the most competitive race of the day and there are several horses with strong chances. Dream Today looked to be the best value but he was just a tad too short to recommend.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Bochart 1 pt win in 3.05 Meydan 1 pt at 9/2
BACK Magic Lily 1 pt win in 4.15 Meydan 1 pt at 7/2
BACK Thegreatcollection 1 pt win in 4.50 Meydan 1 pt at 11/2

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 224.03 points
(excluding Premier League ante-post, Cameron Brown football bets)