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Nicholas Godfrey (At The Races)

113h00 – Al Maktoum Challenge R3 Sponsored By Arabian Adventures (Arab Group 1) – Dirt

In an open contest a chance can be taken with IRIDESSE, who was placed in a Grade 3 contest when last seen in the US in December. The seven-year-old has subsequently joined Ernst Oertel’s yard and she merits plenty of respect in a race where all of the leading contenders have questions to answer. Rajeh won the second round of this series over an extended 1m1f here a month ago and is arguably the one to beat, although that race fell apart and he needs to back it up today. Brraq disappointed in that contest but making his own running would not have suited and he was patiently ridden when winning this race last season. Af Alajaj won well over a mile here last month but the step up in trip is a big concern.

213h35 – Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored By Emirates Skywards (Group 2) – Turf

This is far from a strong Group 2 but it should be an ideal Sheema Classic prep for HUKUM. The son of Sea The Stars was a three-time Group 3 winner in the UK last year and that includes an impressive victory in the Cumberland Lodge when last seen in October. Quick ground would be a concern but the five-year-old should have plenty in hand today. Without A Fight arguably arrives here on the back of a career-best effort when winning a 1m4f Listed event at Newmarket in September and he may prove to be the main threat to the selection. Global Storm has to be respected given his connections but he only won a handicap over C&D last month, while Square De Luynes is an interesting Scandinavian raider.

314h10 PM – Burj Nahaar Sponsored By Emirates Skycargo (Group 3) – Dirt

In a competitive contest the marginal preference is for TUZ, who was forced wide on the bend when finishing third in the Firebreak over C&D a month ago. Bhupat Seemar’s gelding made an eye-catching move to challenge the leader entering the straight but the wide trip told late on. From stall six today, the five-year-old should be capable of holding a decent early position and he could be hard to beat if doing so. Strongconstitution was second in the same contest and he should not be underestimated for a trainer who has done exceptionally well at the Carnival this year. Golden Goal arguably sets the standard based on his Group 2 win here in January but his wide draw is a concern, while similar comments apply to Mubakker and Mouheeb.

414h45 PM – Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint Sponsored By Emirates Skycargo (Group 3) – Turf

EMARAATY ANA took a big step forwards last year and he won the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock after finding only one too good in the Nunthorpe at York. The six-year-old proved that he can handle travelling with a respectable fourth-placed finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint when last seen and he is arguably the one to beat. That said, A Case Of You was only a head behind him at Del Mar and has had the benefit of a recent run at Dundalk. Man Of Promise won well over C&D in late January but that was only a Listed race and this requires improvement. One who should not be underestimated is Final Song, who won this race 12 months ago and subsequently hit the crossbar in the Al Quoz.

515h20 PM – Al Bastakiya Sponsored By Emirates Holidays Listed Stakes – Dirt

BENDOOG may have been a beaten favourite in the UAE 2000 Guineas three weeks ago but Bhupat Seemar’s colt confirmed himself as one to follow on that occasion. The son of Gun Runner was involved in a very strong pace duel and he clearly went too hard early on. That said, he showed plenty of promise to hold onto fourth place and all of those who beat him that day were held up way off the pace. He should be able to dominate this field much more easily and stall two only helps his chances today. Quality Boone was an unlucky third in the Guineas but he may not get the strong pace he requires today. Sari Dubai was second to the selection in a maiden here in January and he merits each-way consideration.

615h55 PM – Al Maktoum Challenge R3 Sponsored By Emirates Airline (Group 1) – Dirt

Hypothetical was an impressive winner of the Firebreak over a mile here a month ago, but he made all from a low draw on that occasion and is unlikely to get such an easy lead from stall 14 today. With that in mind, a chance can be taken with EVERFAST, who was third to Hot Rod Charlie in the second round of this series last month. Doug Watson’s gelding should get a good trip from box one and he remains unexposed in the UAE. Salute The Soldier won this race last year but his two efforts this season have both been underwhelming, while For The Top and Avant Garde have each-way claims.

716h55 PM – Ras Al Khor Sponsored By Emirates Airline Conditions Stakes – Turf

Al Suhail is going to be very popular having won well in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes over 7f at Newmarket in October. Charlie Appleby has once again had an outstanding Carnival and this five-year-old could well give him another victory today. That said, he’s not the most reliable of performers and preference is for HAQEEQY, who bolted up on his UAE debut in The President Cup at Abu Dhabi last month. The son of Lope De Vega was not far behind Al Suhail when the pair met in the Summer Mile at Ascot last July and that recent run could prove to be vital. Storm Damage won a Listed race over C&D last month but is unlikely to get an easy lead today, while Prince Eiji should not be underestimated on his return to turf.

817h30 PM – Jebel Hatta Sponsored By Emirates Airline (Group 1) – Turf

LORD GLITTERS has an outstanding record at Meydan and that includes his defeat of the subsequent Dubai Millennium winner Royal Fleet in the Singspiel a month ago. The veteran won this contest 12 months ago and he should take plenty of stopping once again today. Barney Roy is an obvious threat to the selection having chased him home in the Bahrain International Trophy in November and that was only his second start following a 391-day break. Sir Busker was well held in the Singspiel but he may improve for that outing, while a wide draw will not help Zakouski’s chances.

918h05 PM – Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored By Emirates Airline (Group 3) – Dirt

There is not a lot of early pace drawn low in this contest and so a chance can be taken with AL TARIQ. Doug Watson’s gelding dominated his rivals when winning the Dubawi Stakes over C&D in January, but was unable to repeat that level of form in the Al Shindagha three weeks later. He will need to break well from stall eight today but if he does he could secure the key rail position. Canvassed was a place in front of the selection last time but he may not be able to catch him today. Freedom Fighter is a nice prospect with decent form but he will need a very good ride to defy the widest draw.