Meydan Tips for Thursday 5 December – Selections in every race for today’s racecard in Dubai

Meydan horse racing tips. Selections through the card at MeydanMeydan horse racing tips. Selections through the card at Meydan

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race Meydan tips for Thursday's classy fixture in the United Arab Emirates

The Dubai World Cup Carnival is only a few short weeks away, kicking off in early-January and running for ten weeks leading up to the richest raceday in the world in late-March, and the Meydan action cranks up a gear this Thursday with some classy Listed and handicap action as things heat up in the Emirates.

A seven race card goes to post at the premier Dubai venue, with two Listed contests taking centre stage of the day’s proceedings where racing takes place the dirt track.

2:30 – P&O Marinas (Maiden) (Dirt) (4yo+) 1m
3:05 – Jebel Ali Port (Conditions) (Dirt) (2-3yo) 1m
3:40 – Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal (Handicap) (Dirt) (4yo+ 80-92) 1m2f
4:15 – Mina Hamriya (Handicap) (Dirt) (3yo+ 67-78) 1m3f
4:50 – The Entisar Sponsored By DP World UAE Region (Listed Race) (Dirt) (3yo+) 1m2f
5:25 – The Garhoud Sprint Sponsored By JAFZA (Listed Race) (Dirt) (3yo+) 6f
6:00 – Mina Rashid (Handicap) (Dirt) (3yo+ 75-89) 7f

Brian Healy begins his coverage of the Dubai World Cup Carnival by taking a look at the Meydan racecard on Thursday, where he gives his race-by-race selections on a quality racecard.

2:30 – P&O Marinas (Maiden) (Dirt) (4yo+) 1m

This could be a shootout between Doug Watson’s Torno Subito and Satish Seemars MAJESTIC THUNDER (6/4, Bet365) with preference for the latter on account that he may have more scope than his rival.

The Dubawi gelding finished third here on his racecourse debut back in February, shaping as if he’d come on for the experience, and that proved to be the case when finding only Tabernas too strong on his recent Jebel Ali reapparance last month.

Beaten just one length, he ought to be suited by this step up in distance and the application of blinkers could help to deliver a jolt of improvement for this unexposed sort as he goes up in trip for this latest outing which might suit him better than Doug Watson’s runner who drops in distance.

3:05 – Jebel Ali Port (Conditions) (Dirt) (2-3yo) 1m

Those with the benefit of a previous start don’t set the bar too high, but it nevertheless ought to pay with experience and COMMANDING (6/4, Bet365) could prove a tough nut to crack if progressing on the back of his promising debut runner-up effort at this venue last month.

Sateesh Seemar’s Camacho colt was beaten only a neck behind behind Al Modayar in that first run, finishing well although not done any favours by his wide draw. However, he caught the eye with the way he travelled into the race, and the front pair had pulled clear of the rest so it was a very useful effort in the circumstances.

Entitled to progress on the back of that run, he has a much better draw to work with here and it would be no surprise to see him going one better here.

3:40 – Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal (Handicap) (Dirt) (4yo+ 80-92) 1m2f

MARK OF APPROVAL (9/2, Paddy Power) was a winner on the Southwell fibresand when trained by John Gosden, and the Lemon Drop Kid gelding has taken well to this surface since joining Mahmood Hussain where he struck at the first time of asking over this course in October.

That victory was followed up by a solid effort in defeat last month when finishing third behind George Villiers, beaten two lengths, and this further step up in trip may unlock some additional improvement which could see him quickly bounce back to winning ways.

He wasn’t seen to best effect last time, given too much to do but finishing well from off the pace to snatch the bronze medal, and he can race from the same mark here so every chance he can go one better if this longer trip proves positive.

4:15 – Mina Hamriya (Handicap) (Dirt) (3yo+ 67-78) 1m3f

IMMORTALISED (6/1, Bet365) rounded off last campaign with success over this course and distance back in April, beating Secret Trade by one length, and the Frankel entire can get back on the scoresheet following an encouraging return to action over a shorter trip at this venue.

Sateesh Seemar’s charge was beaten just under two lengths’ behind Tradesman over ten furlongs here in October on his return from almost seven months off the track, and he ought to prove a lot sharper for that run so could well be up to the task of going one better.

He’s not blessed with any early pace so he does have a tendency to get left behind; but he stays well, and assuming he doesn’t get too far behind then the return to this longer trip from the same mark could well see him get back on the scoresheet in what looks a winnable race.

Gronkowski (right) can make a winning return to action at Meydan on Thursday.

4:50 – The Entisar Sponsored By DP World UAE Region (Listed Race) (Dirt) (3yo+) 1m2f

GRONKOWSKI (5/6, Coral) is the clear pick of these on form, and while there is a chance that the Lonhro colt might just need this reappearance, it could be worth chancing on his class to see him through.

A Listed winner in the UK for Jeremy Noseda, he was beaten only by Justify in the 2018 Belmont Stakes during his stint with Chad Brown, rounding off his Stateside stint with a third in a Grade Three prior to moving to Dubai and Sandeep Jadhav.

Now with Salem bin Ghadayer, he finished fifth in R3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge back in March prior to getting to within a nose of Thunder Snow in the Dubai World Cup, and if he runs to anywhere near that level then he’ll be very tough to beat.

He does have fitness to prove, but on the pick of his form he is well ahead of this field of rivals and he should collect this prize enroute to making his mark during the Carnival proper.

5:25 – The Garhoud Sprint Sponsored By JAFZA (Listed Race) (Dirt) (3yo+) 6f

Doug Watson saddles two in this race, and while Ekhtiyaar is likely to claim favouritism come post-time, it could be worth chancing on WAADY (12/1, Paddy Power) to follow up his recent return to winning ways.

The Approve gelding was useful for John Gosden, but his form has been somewhat patchy since moving to the Emirates, and he was winless for more than two years before making a successful reappearance over this course and distance last month.

He ran out a near-two lengths’ winner over Pop The Hood on that occasion, scoring a shade readily and he should strip fitter for the reappearance so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he didn’t find more on the back of that outing where he can follow up with a repeat.

6:00 – Mina Rashid (Handicap) (Dirt) (3yo+ 75-89) 7f

MIDNIGHT SANDS (11/10, Coral) arrives on a hat-trick of wins having already struck twice either side of a break at this course, with the latter victory coming over course and distance when beating Mazeed by four lengths.

Doug Watson’s charge had been winless in three starts for James Given, but he was thought good enough to take his chance in the 2018 Coventry Stakes won by Calyx, and he has taken his form up a notch since switching to dirt for his current handler.

The Speightstown colt’s form figures on dirt read 211, and he can improve for his reappearance which will surely have sharpened him up. A 7lbs rise in the weights for his reappearance win could prove lenient given he likely has more to offer on this surface, and he can land his three-timer here.


2:30 – MAJESTIC THUNDER (6/4, Bet365)

3:05 – COMMANDING (6/4, Bet365)

3:40 – MARK OF APPROVAL (9/2, Paddy Power)

4:15 – IMMORTALISED (6/1, Bet365)

4:50 – GRONKOWSKI (5/6, Coral)

5:25 – WAADY (12/1, Paddy Power)

6:00 – MIDNIGHT SANDS (11/10, Coral)