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March 1: Free Dubai Picks, including the Nad Al Sheba Trophy

by Angus McNae, Racing UK

February 28, 2018

The rail on the dirt track at Meydan is generally the place to be but this advantage seemed to be even more acute last week. It was impossible to close down the outer of the track and the three winners in the dirt all made every yard of the running against the rail. It will be interesting to see how the track plays this week in something of a low key week before we get to Super Saturday on March 10.

Just one winner last week in the form of Ertijaal, taking the season tally to 15 at this year’s Carnival. Here are four more selections:

Race 2 (10:05AM ET) - #3 Zaman (GB) (9/5)

I am taking the view that this horse can reverse recent form with Wasim on the basis that this trip of a mile will suit him a good deal better than the seven furlongs he raced over last time. He boasts strong European form - his second to Expert Eye at Goodwood stands out - and he did shape very well last time; finishing well having been further back than was ideal. This trip looks spot on for him and he will be hard to beat.

Race 4 (11:15AM ET) - #7 Top Score (GB) (5/2)

Ground loss in a race is one of the most underappreciated adversities that horses face in races and Top Score was undoubtedly a big sufferer on his latest start. Forced wide throughout, he gave away a lot of ground when finishing second last time to Oh This is Us, who got the perfect trip. The two meet again with roles reversed in terms of their stall positions. Top Score is in 2, his rival in 11, and this should help him to reverse placings on that rival.

Race 5 (11:50AM ET) - #10 Vazirabad (FR) (9/5)

This top class stayer finished second in this race last year before going on to win the Dubai Gold Cup On World Cup night. He could need the run here but, with a rating of 118, should get the job done under the brilliant Christophe Soumillon. Vazirabad is arguably better at two miles than this trip but he travels strongly and this is not a particularly strong renewal. I take him to be delivered late by Soumillon for a cheeky success.

Race 7 (1:00PM ET) - #2 Mountain Hunter (7/2) 

A return to 10 furlongs will suit the progressive Mountain Hunter after he finished second to Blair House last week over a furlong less. From an inside draw, it was probably a mistake to not let him bowl along in front as he had done when winning on his previous start. If they revert to front running tactics he will be tough to beat. He has won three out of his four starts on turf and he should resume his progress.