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Angus McNae

Angus McNae - Thursday 24th January

(Read Angus's column every Thursday and Saturday)

Soft Falling Rain was an impressive winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial last week and in so doing gave Mike De Kock a welcome winner. 

This horse is somewhat one dimensional in that he is all speed and would probably not react well to restraint and to some degree his chance of winning the UAE 2000 Guineas proper lies in his ability to get his own way out in front.

If the 2000 Guineas were to be run on dirt he would be an absolute certainty, but the vagaries of the synthetic surface at Meydan have rendered such confident statements redundant over the last few years, much to the detriment of serious-minded punters.

The only surprise in the success of Soft Falling Rain was that he is not trained by one of Godolphin's trainers, for they have dominated the Carnival so far. 

Of the 12 races that have been run the boys in blue have won five of them, and in terms of any Festival of racing anywhere in the world that smacks of domination and I suspect the trend is not going to change over the next few weeks. 

Godolphin clearly have a huge pool of horses to choose from and they are always going to have more winners than anybody else, but such domination could have ramifications down the line for the Carnival. 

Despite the high prize money levels that have traditionally attracted horses from all over the world it is just possible that trainers will begin to feel that there is no point competing against Godolphin. 

If this happens the dream of top class international competition in the UAE will be gone, an own goal from those whose brilliant concept the Carnival was in the first place. 

Today there are six Carnival races to get stuck into and they are all live on .

It will just be good to have some racing back on the channel after the recent spate of bad weather. The feature event on the card is the Cape Verdi, which is a Group Two for fillies and mares on the turf. 

There are eight runners, four of which will carry the blue of Godolphin and it is hard to see them not winning with one of them. 

Last year the race was won by First City and she returns to defend her crown, but last year Godolphin did not have a single runner. 

I will not be having a bet in a race that looks somewhat short on quality for the grade, but if you twisted my arm I would suggest that Saeed Bin Suroor's Sajjhaa may win. In truth this filly should have won her final start of last season at Doncaster, but was sent for home too early by jockey Silvestre De Sousa. 

He is on board again and will surely not make the same mistake. This filly was second at York in the Middleton Stakes to Izzi Top and in the context of today's contest that looks to be very strong form. 

I'm A Dreamer, the Beverly D winner, was back in third that day and if she was part of the line up today she would be odds-on. 

I know that Mickael Barzalona is riding Falls of Lora, but I am not going to let that put me off Sajjhaa, who boasts the best form in the race.

The rest of the card consists of handicaps and the only horse who catches my eyes in the opener is Art Scholar

This horse ran well last week behind Anatolian. In a race where it paid to sit close to the pace he found himself a long way back turning for home and did well to run on strongly to be sixth. He is a hold up horse and he does need plenty of pace to run at, and there does look to be enough pace in this race to play to his strengths. As long as he does not recoil from that effort last week he should go well. 

It promises to be another stellar day for boys in blue. If you can't beat them join them, I suppose. Time to get my only blue shirt ironed and join the party. Make sure you join us this afternoon from 2pm.





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