Benbatl confirmed himself ass one of the world’s best horses last week with his breathtaking win in Round Two of the Al Maktoum Challenge. Art Du Val’s win and Military Law big run in 2nd place brought some tidy profit from last week’s blog. Carnival week 7 is an extremely difficult betting prospect so small stakes are advised.
Race 3: G2 Balanchine (1m 1f, Turf)
The key form-line for this contest is the G2 Cape Verdi from January 16th. Magic Lily edged out Nisreen by the smallest of margins on that occasion and the Godolphin filly will improve for this longer distance, but she does have a 1.5kg penalty to shoulder. Nisreen is well placed to turn the tables, as her rider Pierre-Charles Boudot hit the front a bit sooner that he would necessarily have liked in the Cape Verdi. This daughter of Raven’s Pass will have no problem with the extra distance and is likely to be played late. Her impressive burst of acceleration could be too hot for her rivals to handle.
Race 5: Reach Handicap (5 Furlongs, Turf)
Caspian Prince will blaze a trail from stall four but he will again find it tough to see off Waady, who will inevitably get a nice tow into the race. Doug Watson’s 8yo finished one place in front of Caspian Price when the pair met on January 23rd. The winner on that occasion was the super impressive Equilateral; strong form. The in-form Waady is taken to beat the improving Roulston Scar who tries this distance for the first time. Spanish raider Blueberry is another to consider as he was inconvenienced by the draw on his latest start.
Race 6: G3 Firebreak Stakes (1 Mile, Dirt)
Capezzano and Muntazah dispute favoritism here and both have some high class course and distance form to their names. These two animals have questions to answer in terms of fitness, with Capezzano seemingly using this as a prep for the Saudi Cup and Muntazah arriving off the back of a lacklustre comeback effort. Doug Watson’s other runner Quip is worth chancing, this talented US import was bordering on top class when trained by Rodolph Brisset. Stall ten would be a death knell for many, but this 5yo is extremely sharp out of the gates. Top local trainer Watson is likely to have him primed and ready to win on his carnival debut.