Jebel Ali 17th November
Saturday’s meeting at Jebel Ali includes 6 thoroughbred races but despite spending a couple of hours looking through the runners, I must say that it looks extremely dififcult to try to find a winner. If you have been following this blog, you will have seen a recent post regarding the maiden races on the opening meeting of the season here 2-weeks ago (see related pieces) and it is to that data that I will look for Saturday’s best bet. Firstly, I would point out that I do expect Turjman to take advantage of what looks to be a gift of an opportunity in the second race, but this looks a very weak race on paper, and I have no desire to get involved in a race where he has opened at 4/11 in the International markets.
Instead, I will look at the second of the maiden races an hour later. Michael Costa has made an incredible start to the new season in the UAE, and he won both maidens at this course a fortnight ago, so his runners do need to be respected. He runs 4 horses for Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, and it is almost impossible to try to work out a pecking order amongst them. Takdeed has only run once and that was 2-years ago, whilst the newcomer Ghaaleb doesn’t look like a certain dirt maiden winner on debut on pedigree. Moheeba offers more hope on her US dirt pedigree, but a filly against the boys on debut, with a high draw to overcome is not my cup of tea.
I will focus on course form and that leaves us with Ajdayet and Al Arbed. The former is trained by Michael Costa and certainly shaped like he would come on for the run when he finished 4th here 2-weks ago and he has the plum draw by the rail. However, he did have the same draw a fortnight ago and couldn’t keep himself on terms in the early stages, so he does need to be sharper this time around. They were both probably unlucky to bump into an above average sort when they chased home Mozahim last time and Al Arbed was fully 5-lengths ahead of Ajdayet. This race doesn’t look any stronger than the race a fortnight ago and I am happy to follow the form, but with a 6lb swing at the weights this time around and race fitness, Ajdayet looks the solid bet.