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January 25: Free Dubai Picks

by Angus McNae, Racing UK

January 25, 2018

Week two of the Dubai World Cup Carnival brought with it a tremendous dual in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial between Rayya and Winter Lightning, a worthy winner of the Dubawi Stakes in Comicas and a first winner of the Carnival for Mike De Kock courtesy of Light The Lights.

This week an eight-race card includes the Group 2 Cape Verdi and a fascinating UAE Guineas Trial. The latter features the first of my four selections on the card. The UAE 2000 Guineas Trial has been split into two divisions and both can go to the combination of Saeed Bin Suroor and Jim Crowley.

Race 4 (11:15AM ET) - UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial (Division 1) - #4 Deyaarna (2/1)

Officially rated 92, this colt has looked to be an improved performer since being switched to the Tapeta at Wolverhampton and Chelmsford. Now on dirt for the first time he can take another step forward. I like the fact that he has shown plenty of early pace in gaining both of his wins at the aforementioned courses. That pace will enable Jim Crowley to take up a good early position from his outside draw in stall 11. He is bred for the dirt with plenty of influences for acting well on the surface on the dam’s side of his pedigree. The Charlie Appleby-trained Gold Coast is a danger and, being by Street Cry, he will like the surface but he wears cheek pieces and may find dirt racing a bit too attritional for him. I’m happy to stick with the potential of Deyaarna.

Race 5 (11:50AM ET) - Cape Verdi Stakes (Gr 2) - #7 Rehana (IRE) (5/1)

Promising Run will be popular here, but while her most recent run at Lingfield was perfectly respectable she strikes me as being better over farther. Preference is for Rehana, trained by Mick Halford. She has had one run already at Meydan this year, finishing a good fourth to D’bai in a race that was won in a course record time. Travelling strongly throughout she only gave way inside the final furlong on that occasion. She is sure to be better for that effort and although a mile is certainly the limit of her stamina she has every chance now of taking this feature.

Race 6 (12:25PM ET) - UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial (Division 2) - #7 Moqarrab (2/1)

Moqarrab can take the second division of the 2000 Guineas Trial. He has a dirt pedigree, being by Speightstown out of a Silver Deputy mare, and he looks set to thrive on the surface. Moqarrab has had two starts and showed improvement from his Newmarket debut to win at Wolverhampton at the second time of asking. I liked the way he handled that surface and he won that contest with authority. He clearly possesses plenty of ability and potential and this surface looks made for him.

Race 8 (1:35PM ET) - EGA Casthouse Trophy Handicap - #2 Banksea (GB) (10/1)

Banksea won the Spring Mile at Newbury last year and I think he could be better than his mark of 104. He is having his first run for Charlie Appleby, having previously been trained by Luca Cumani last season. This race is not particularly strong in comparison to some that this horse ran well in last year in the UK and from a good draw in stall three he looks set to win again. He is just the type of horse that can thrive on Dubai and I can see him being rated 110-plus by the end of the UAE season.