A 'nearly week' last week, with the blog finding the first three winners, from five, only to be let down by an appalling effort from the well backed Nap, Cat O'Mountain. Although the stable has an iffy record on the surface, no real excuse for the Cat, who has a smashing dirt pedigree. That said, pedigree is not everything, and almost any horse, including those bred for it, can be forgiven. The sooner Tapeta returns to Meydan, the better the racing will be once again. Indeed this week's distinctly average card is a case in point. I won't be popular with everyone for believing that, but I'm not trying to win popularity contests here, just winners :)

Reynaldo the Wizard, the NB selection last week, got a lovely tow into his race as Muarrab didn't enjoy being taken on up front at odds-on, and the old boy won with any amount in hand. 

An intriguing card this week,just three main bets, but still some interesting enough plays and a sportingly priced NAP choice to try and spice things up.

4.10 LET'S GO can take this. Apart from one effort at Pontefract when heavily eased a long way from home, something clearly amiss, has shown plenty of ability and three wins from the other four starts suggest a horse with more to come. The defeat, second to Tryster who has put up some spectacular speed figures at Chelmsford in particular, was quite possibly the best run of the four. Still unexposed and probably better than an official mark of 110, looks very hard to oppose here. Footbridge was well behind Henry Clay here last year but rates the likeliest danger, while the others are solid handicappers, but they've probably bumped into one here.

4.45 Ghaamer beat Eastern Rules and Anaerobio here a fortnight ago, and they will have a fitness edge, but SAFETY CHECK (NB) is a dual winner at this Group Two level and was a close third to Toormore in a Group One at Goodwood in the summer. Tellina and Harry's Son will be worth watching through the Carnival, but both will have their work cut out to cope with the selection.

6.30 CERTERACH (e/w NAP) is a sporting NAP selection in the finale. Has been banging his head in mainly Listed and Group company. Indeed his last win was in a Group Two here, and Micky Halford can always ready one off the shelf. Could be nicely in here. HaafaGuinea has a fine record fresh but topweight might find out the horse here, while Al Saham won this off a break last year so is respected too. Saxo Jack has plenty ability but might be too keen first time out, a trait in the past.


The rest of the card makes little appeal from a punting point of view. the 5.20 is quite an open handicap but ELLEVAL had a few of these behind last time and just seemed to blow up after hitting the front. With Pat Smullen here for the ride, this could be the day for the son of Kodiac. Tha'ir might prove best of the rest, a tough and consistent handicapper, though Sanshaawes was mainly running at a higher level last year and if recapturing his best of previous years, can get a lot closer to Elleval than a fortnight ago. .



WIN DOUBLE: EDIT, With the prices since cut, will try these two only as a win double, well done if you got the 11/8 on the originally put up singles.

4.10 LET'S GO 11/8
4.45 SAFETY CHECK 11/8


5.20 ELLEVAL e/w 9/2
6.30 CERTERACH e/w (NAP) 9/1


As always, thanks for looking in.


ONE FOR THE ROAD: There's a Friday card at Jebel Ali. Forjatt is King of the Hill, but almost got beaten by Silver Galaxy in the Mile last season (subsequently Forjatt was disqualified) and Silver Galaxy would be worth a look in the market for an e/w on his return (never out of the first three) against Forjatt,

However the suggestion in a later race is HAMMURABI who has a record of 3/3 at 6f and 2/3 at this track (his only defeat here was at 7f). Still scope off a decent mark of 77 to progress further.


No big bets on the golf this week, but Ryan Palmer 33/1 the main e/w pick, a generous 4/1 for top 10 and 15/8 cover top 20. Plus minimum stakes on Daniel Im top 20 in Abu Dhabi (in great form), and John Cook in the Mitsubishi. Both e/w.