A very nice card on tap for tomorrow’s meeting, including a pair of G2 events: the Cape Verdi and the Al Rashidiya. The Al Rashidiya has that added bonus of being the scene of the comeback for a horse I quite fancy…Vercingetorix! AKA “Big V,” the name I called him on a YouTube video when I was sure I would butcher his name (I’m sure my British friend Joe still inwardly makes fun of me for that. “I don’t think she can pronounce that” yeah yeah laugh it up.) Anyway, let’s get cracking.
R1 – Emirates Global Aluminium Trophy
He’s back! I’m Back, that is. He won on opening night’s card over Henry Clay and Le Bernardin, and Le Bernardin came back to win impressively a week later. He’s also not the highweight of the field – that honor goes to Artigiano, an intriguing Godolphin entry who did decently at the Carnival last year on turf and synth. This son of Distorted Humor out of an A.P. Indy mare is making his dirt debut; will he run to his pedigree? He certainly has the class for it. But I’m playing it safe here and going with I’m Back. Hopefully he’ll be back again in good form.
R2 – Emirates Global Aluminium Excellence Trophy
As I did last time he ran, I’m once again going against Ahtoug, who was eighth behind Hototo in his first-up race on the 8th. He is dropping some weight from that loss, and he has every chance to improve on that, but I’m going to look elsewhere. I’m going with Fityaan, who found himself closest to Hototo on the 8th after bobbling a bit at the start and keeping on well on the inside. He gets an outside draw from last out and, while I can’t really say how the straight track is playing this year, outside runners did pretty well at the 1000m last Carnival. I’m earmarking Speed Hawk for his next run on the dirt.
R3 – Emirates Global Aluminium Billet Trophy
This is one of those races that, at first glance, I’m gonna just have to go with the very first horse I saw on the page. Filfil gets my vote. This son of Hard Spun o/o More Than Ready mare has won two in a row on the dirt at Meydan and is looking to make it three. I think he’ll do so, but with my form on the dirt, it’s really just a guessing game for me at this point.
R4 – Cape Verdi sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium
This is always one of my favorite races at the Carnival. Remember when Certify bolted up to win this last year? Ah, good times. This is a pretty evenly-matched race. Nothing is really screaming out to me here. Both Zurigha and Slipper Orchid have had runs here at the Carnival. I’m going with the former: hopefully Hannon & Hughes can bring in a winner for me!
R5 – Emirates Global Aluminium Casthouse Trophy
Remember when Jamie Osborne and Jamie Spencer almost stole the Breeders’ Cup Classic from Bayern & Chrome? They’ve got an entry in here named Another Party, who’s making his dirt debut. His pedigree doesn’t exactly scream dirt, but he was a nice runner-up to impressive Safety Check last out. Give him a long look. There are some other mainstays in here like United Color and Russian Soul, and keep an eye out for Silver Ocean breaking from the rail. But I’m taking a shot with the Jamies here, even though dirt has been very polarizing this season (either you love it, or you hate it.)
R6 – Al Rashidiya sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium
This is it! This is the one! Big V returns! He faces True Story here, who was hella impressive (apologize for the slang, but truly, hella impressive) in winning on opening night over Mushreq, who’s a decent pony in his own right. Except oops, I’m siding with True Story. Sorry, Big V! You have my money next out, I promise. The long layoff is an ask…not a big ask, but stll an ask.
R7 – Emirates Global Aluminium Potlines Trophy
Haafaguinea gave me a virtual heart attack last out, but he got up just in time, and for that, I thank him. That said, don’t think he’s getting past Mushreq, who gets some class relief here after getting clobbered by True Story last out. Hunter’s Light, like Big V, is making a return. Looking forward to seeing him.
Best Bet: Fityaan in R2