Race 1 4:35 PM – Etihad Museum Pure Arab Maiden Stakes (Div 1) (AWT)
A moderate contest that appears to be an ideal opportunity for AL KHALEEJY to get off the mark. The three-year-old filly has shown ability in the UK, including when second at Newbury in July, and she should take plenty of stopping if handling the dirt. Af Fakhama bounced back to form when second at Sharjah last time and he represents a yard who had the first two home in a similar event here recently. Others to note are Jap Hadad and Af Bareeq.
Top Tip: AL KHALEEJY (13)
Watch out for: AF FAKHAMA (2)
Race 2 5:10 PM – Dubai Frame Arab Maiden Stakes (Div 2) (AWT)
Alghanny made an encouraging UAE debut when finishing second at Abu Dhabi recently but the marginal preference is for ON CUE. Pat Cosgrave’s mount put in a career best when finishing fourth over a mile here last week and a reproduction of that level of form today would give him a big chance. The shortlist is completed by Fakhr and Af Mathakeel.
Top Tip: ON CUE (6)
Watch out for: ALGHANNY (2)
Race 3 5:45 PM – Al Jaddaf Mile Presented By Museum Of The Future Conditions Stakes (TURF)
Unsurprisingly Godolphin look set to dominate the first turf race to be staged at Meydan this season and NEW KINGDOM appears to be the pick of their quartet. The son of Dubawi cost 800,000gns as a yearling and he confirmed his debut promise when getting off the mark at Haydock in September. Nader took a big step forward when scoring at Bath last time and he should have more to offer, while Night Of Luxury may improve for a gelding operation since his last appearance. King Of Conquest should not be written off, while Sed Maarib is the pick of the remainder.
Top Tip: NEW KINGDOM (4)
Watch out for: NADER (3)
Race 4 6:20 PM – Nad Al Sheba Classic Presented By Ain Dubai Conditions Stakes (TURF)
ECHO POINT was unfortunate to bump into some very useful rivals when finishing second three times last year. That includes when second to the subsequent Group 3 winner Mohaafeth at Newmarket in April and it would be no surprise to see him rated a lot higher than his current mark of 88 in a few months time. Desert Peace is an obvious threat to his stablemate and he was successful on the dirt here last season. Brilliant Light is arguably at his very best over further than this, but his form here last year is very encouraging. Others to consider are Marching Army and Recordman.
Top Tip: ECHO POINT (16)
Watch out for: DESERT PEACE (2)
Race 5 6:55 PM – UAE 1000 Guineas Trial Presented By Burj Al Arab Conditions Stakes (AWT)
Silk Romance is clearly a very talented filly and she should have no problem handling the dirt on pedigree but preference is for SHAHAMA. Fawzi Nass’ filly created a big impression when readily beating Minwah on her debut over C&D last month and that performance suggests that she could be well above average. Heart Of Summer and Beautiful Secret complete the shortlist.
Top Tip: SHAHAMA (8)
Watch out for: SILK ROMANCE (11)
Race 6 7:30 PM – Al Garhoud Sprint Presented By Burj Khalifa Listed Stakes (AWT)
SWITZERLAND made a winning seasonal debut in the Dubawi Stakes over C&D last January and Bhupat Seemar’s veteran was then far from disgraced when finishing fourth in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint the following month. His subsequent Golden Shaheen effort can be forgiven and it would be no surprise to see him go very well today. Gladiator King was considered to be a bit disappointing in two starts last season, but he still made the frame at Group 3 level twice. The six-year-old had won those same races the year before and was third in the Saudi Dirt Sprint. If he can bounce back to that level of form, he is arguably the best horse in this race. Al Tariq was highly progressive last season but the races he won were not overly strong and he may be slightly flattered by a mark of 110.
Top Tip: SWITZERLAND (2)
Watch out for: GLADIATOR KING (4)
Race 7 8:05 PM – Palm Jumeirah Handicap (TURF)
A case can be made for many of these but preference is for JADWAL, who ran well in some decent handicaps in the UK last year. His most recent effort can be easily forgiven, as 7f on the dirt at Jebel Ali was never going to be ideal, and it would be no surprise if he proved to be well handicapped. Dahawi confirmed his well-being when finishing second on dirt here recently and he was not disgraced off this mark in a similar event over C&D a year ago. Wufud is another with strong form claims, while Alfolk and Ejaaby have each-way claims.
Top Tip: JADWAL (7)
Watch out for: DAHAWI (9)