Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
|Thursday 22nd January 2015|
Back Tamarkuz with confidence
This week there are six thoroughbred handicaps and a Group Two in the form of the Al Fahidi Fort, run over seven-furlongs.
The races that are to be run on the dirt surface this week may take a slightly different complexion, as there has been significant rainfall in the UAE this week.
Essentially this means the track will tighten up and riders and trainers have said that the dirt has settled down a bit.
To be frank, I have no idea what this means. Yes, rain will tighten the track and it will ride a little faster, but it's still a dirt track and the principles that apply to dirt racing that I wrote about last Thursday still apply. There may be a little less kickback than normal, but be sure that it will still be evident and relevant.
My NAP on the card is Tamarkuz in the mile handicap on dirt at 5.05.
He ran a blinder at Meydan two weeks ago when blowing the start before charging through the kickback to be second to the unbeaten Faulkner. He steps up a furlong in trip, which should be no problem and he meets a field that does not contain as progressive a type as Faulkner. He has only gone up two pounds to a mark of 107 for that performance, which seems very fair and he must be backed with confidence to win this contest.
My next best is a tough call. I think the Al Fahidi Fort is a two horse race. Last year’s easy winner Anaerobio and last weeks easy handicap winner Safety Check should battle out the finish. Anaerobio just gets the nod, as he boasts better form outside of handicap company and while Safety Check was impressive last week and seven furlongs is his ideal trip he did only beat a modest bunch of handicappers in a steadily-run affair. Anaerobio was fifth in the Group One Dubai Duty Free last year to Just A Way and before that was a very good third in the Group One Jebel Hatta. He is the fastest horse in the race, which is a much-overlooked asset for some reason and I take him to win this race for the second year in a row.
There has been a lot written and said about Sprinter Sacre's defeat on his return at Ascot last Saturday. My thoughts are that if his weak finish was a result of him bleeding, then there is a big problem going forward. If it was due to a lack of match practice and sharpness then there is hope going forwards.
I would, however be very worried about the fact that he bled through the nose in the race, because there is no guarantee whatsoever that the same will not happen on Champion Chase day.
Of course a lack of peak fitness allied to having to put in maximum effort may have contributed to the bleed, but if the bleed occurred because of other pathological reasons, then the Henderson team face an uphill climb to get this horse back. In short I could not back him for the Champion Chase even at the 3-1 being offered by bookmakers right now.
Angus McNae's Thursday Dubai World Cup Carnival tips:
5.05 Meydan: Tamarkuz at 100-30 with William Hill
5.40 Meydan: Anaerobio at 9-2 with Coral