Not my best header admittedly, :) but pretty much straight to the chase for the final Carnival card, ahead of Super Saturday next week. It's a mix of fairly average Carnival horses and some slightly sub-Carnival standard events, but winners to be found nonetheless and one Very Strong fancy.

Thursday was a semi-decent day, Flying the Flag winning at 7/1 (6/1sp) but too many placed rather than winning, including the Nap.
The Appleby debate continues apace. Safety Check did win for Charlie Appleby, while the dog that is Strategical ran as well as could be expected, but I will continue to oppose the stable. From memory was something like 0 from 37 at the end of last year's Carnival, and the weight of evidence is that they are not generally in good form now.

Outstrip and Palozini ran absolute shockers on Thursday, while Francis of Assisi was beaten over 15 lengths 

An analogy might be in a class of 25, maybe 16 will get the flu if sets in. Not saying the yard has a virus but if there is something going round, perhaps Safety Check is one of the lucky ones!
I take the very good point made on twitter that it's a small sample size, however, these are good horses we are taking about.
Steeler shouldn't be beaten 30 lengths in almost any race, Vancouverite 25 lengths or Outstrip 15. I'd argue 20 bad runs from horses rated 100+ is at least as relevant as 40 from class five or six horses. Almost by definition, the higher class horse is less likely to throw in a stinker.


5.05 10f Dirt.

A race that I think only four can win, and one of them has a serious attitude problem on that score! Line through the two Appleby runners reappearing runners off absences (Pazolini and Francis of Assisi the two flops on Thursday), Saint Baudolino and Footbridge . The latter's run behind Shared Belief hints at class, but for aforementioned reasons, surely shouldn't be market leader here. Duke Derby and Without Fear don't look near good enough.

Three of the other four tie in on form. Farrier has finished ahead of both Henry Clay and Tenor this Carnival, but is the one with attitude! Henry Clay will attempt to make all the running, and Farrier will probably ease past as last time on similar terms about a furlong out. No reason to think Henry, decent stick though he is at this level, can reverse the form, but Farrier doesn't like being in front, and so EMIRATES FLYER (NB) e/w is expected to mow them all down late on.
The one 'bad' run for this horse was last time, but was outclassed in Group company there and back into a handicap off 104 should do a whole lot better. Before that had decent placed form behind the likes of Toast of New York and Long John, while beating Safety Check, last season.

I can't see anything of that level here, and travelled well enough on the dirt under hands and heels for most of the straight behind Surfer. 

Given the shape of the race it would be folly not to take advantage of the e/w, given that I think only four count.

2.45 1 Mile. Dirt

An absolute mess of a race to start the card. NOLOHAY's sixth placing last time out was the best any of this bunch managed on latest starts, and with doubts about the pace angle as well as the form, best left alone. On their day each of these has bits of form good enough to win, for example Our Channel's run behind Umgiyo could be the best form on offer, but the horse ran flat next time. Perhaps the dirt will bring improvement.
Nolohay is only there incase anyone must have a bet.

3.20 11 Furlongs. Dirt

Quite the opposite here, yes a slightly below standard race, but that matters not a jot if there's a decent bet in it. I don't buy into the 'it's not a Carnival race therefore automatically no bet' thesis, and think there is, in the shape of JEERAAN (NAP) This horse ran down fast improver Layl inbetween that one's two Carnival victories. Had several of these behind that day but is only 4lbs higher here and can beat them all again.
Of the rest, Press Room is slightly quirky but talented enough to pose some sort of a threat off his mark, but the selection's stablemate Etijaah might pose most danger. Back to back successes last two runs, off 80 latest trouncing a modest enough field but doing it in great style and is entitled to try this grade in current form, though it is a step up and might just catch him out. On board that day though was Paul Hanagan, who switches to Jeeraan and i hope that is the decisive clue.

3.55 7F Dirt.

Several that could be fancied here. Music Theory drops in grade after taking on the likes of Safety Check and Dark Emerald, while Giftorm found only Layl too good after a fine effort behind Faulkner, but threw in a stinker inbetween, and Filfil just failed to beat in form One Man Band last time. Jayed Jidan ran with credit behind Fils Anges and then Forjatt at Jebel Ali. Ennobled Friend is overpriced and a very interesting class dropper having run in Frankyfourfingers race and now at a more suitable trip off 98.
Not a betting race for me, but Ennobled Friend e/w would be the tentative selection, with Giftorm a threat. The latter is probably the most talented maiden in Dubai at the moment.

4.30 6F Turf

Medicean Man won this contest last year, but generally is more effective at 5f and was suited by a lack of pace that day. Just ahead of him last time over 5f, staying on, preference is for JAMESIE e/w if he can overcome stall 12. However the sprint races thus far have sent mixed messages about the draw and therefore I think this one is worth chancing. improved on his January run there and gets the 6 furlongs well. This really isn't the strongest of renewals, and Master of Youth's third behind Dark Emerald entitles the horse to have a frame chance. Ertijaal is a progressive four year old, and another open to improvement. Fils Anges is in good form, but Eastern Rules has to bounce back from a slightly below par effort last time.

5.40 14+F. Turf

CAVALRYMAN won this by 5 lengths last year, despite stable doubts at the time about him needing the run, before having a tragic ride on Finals night and getting out too late. Several of these reoppose but it's very difficult to oppose the old boy. Ahzeemah was closing at Goodwood over an extra two furlongs last summer and is likely to come out best of the rest here, while Almoonqith is interesting upped in trip to a distance he should get on pedigree.
Excellent Result should go well, but has plenty to find on ratings and might find the selection too strong.

6.15 10F Turf

Elleval had the staying on MUJAARIB e/w about 2 lengths behind over a furlong shorter last time, but the latter is 4lbs better in and just fancied to turn the tables. Haafaguinea had little chance last time after grinding out a win the time before, and back in a more realistic race, can make the frame.
Atomic Rush has the assistance of Christophe Soumillon and ran well in a couple of Group Ones in South Africa. In the 'could be anything' category, and could be chucked in, but on his website Mike De Kock has mentioned issues in training and the need to get the horse on the track. Might just need this..

MAIN BETS; Singles./ E/W Treble.

3.20 Jeeraan NAP 5/2 Betfair Sportsbook
5.05 Emirates Flyer e/w NB 6/1 Several (I'll try to back the place part on betfair as 8 declared, and will still guarantee 3 places if any non-runners).
5.40 Cavalryman 9/4 Corals

Small stakes E/W Singles, E/W Double

3.55 Ennobled Friend e/w 9/1 Paddy Power
4.30 Jamesie e/w 13/2 Corals

Other observations: Nolohay, Mujaarib e/w 9/1 is too big.

PS... Thanks for reading and do look in next week for an in depth preview of 'Super Saturday'! :)