Meydan Preview - 20/02/20


As openers go, the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes isn't a bad start to the day as the Dubai World Cup Carnival hots up ahead of next months season finale.

The in form David Simcock gelding DESERT ENCOUNTER will be looking to make it five victories on the bounce however we've gone for the fifth highest rated flat horse on the planet, Godolphin's GHAIYYATH.

He was a runaway 14 length winner of the Group 1 Longines Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden last year and was well fancied for the Arc however he ran a bit of a stinker to finish well back in the pack.

This is a huge step down in class from that race and with him heading the market from next months Sheema Classic at 4/1, he should make relatively light work of this field.


In what looks to be a fairly weak handicap, we've opted for Charlie Appleby's GOOD FORTUNE.

He's clearly a horse who is highly thought of winning one and placing in one of his three runs last year and he's returned to action this year in impressive fashion with a 4th and a 3rd on his first two runs at Meydan in January.

He should progress once again here and is undoubtedly the stand out horse in the field.

15:40 - DUBAI LOVE

The 15:40 at Meydan sees six go to post for the UAE Oaks and we've taken a real liking to DUBAI LOVE.

She debuted at Meydan over 7f at the start of January finishing six lengths behind Final Song but she was then stepped up to a mile next time out and seemed to thrive off the extra distance winning the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas by over three lengths.

She's now stepped up in trip once again and going off her previous performance, it'll take a good horse to stop her from making it back to back victories.

16:15 - ZAKOUSKI

It's becoming a bit of a Godolphin fest with our Meydan picks but once again, they've got what looks to be the best horse in the field in the shape of Shamardal gelding ZAKOUSKI.

A two length victor over Group 2 winner HEADMAN on debut at the end of 2018, he was only seen once in 2019 when fifth of eight in the Group 3 Craven Stakes. However that loss hasn't seemed to deter him and after another lengthy break, he coasted away from the rest of the field on Meydan debut at the start of January to win by over three lengths.

The likes of Dream Castle and Salute The Soldier will pose a threat to him here but if he improves from that run last month over this C&D, he could well put in another special performance.


In what looks to be one of the more competitive Group races of the day, Charlie Hills's EQUILATERAL heads the Meydan Sprint field and that's who we're backing.

Winner of the Listed Scarbrough Stakes at Doncaster towards the end of last year, the experienced gelding showed a classy turn of foot here last month to win the Dubai Dash by two lengths to WAADY.

The form of that race has worked out rather well with both second and third winning next time out and the fact that it still looked like Equilateral had more to give in that race, we'd be amazed if he wasn't first past the post once again here.

18:00 - EPIC HERO

In the finale tomorrow we've gone for the Simon Crisford trained EPIC HERO.

He's recorded back to back places at Meydan so far this season most recently finishing third behind Art Du Val in what looked to be a fairly strong handicap.

Off the same mark here and down in trip, he's got the better sort of form in the race and it'll be a big shock to not see him amongst the places here.

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