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1.00 - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes (1m)
A treat to kick things off with a pair of superbly-bred horses from the Gosden and Richard Hannon teams locking horns in Derab and Snow Lantern.
They were both second in one run last season, taking silver behind group-race performers and will have major aspirations of significant improvement.
Derab, a brother to Enable, found only La Barrosa too strong at Ascot (7f, good to soft) in September, a race that has thrown up four subsequent winners, while that form received another boost when the winner was second in the Craven this week at Newmarket. The Sea The Stars colt should have a major say.
SNOW LANTERN, a filly by Frankel out of another Classic winner in Sky Lantern, was also bridesmaid over 7f at Ascot (good to firm) in one start last July, beaten by Zabeel Queen. The winner acquitted herself well in Group races afterwards and, again, that Ascot race has thrown up multiple winners since.
There's precious little between the pair on paper and so the filly, entered in the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas next month, is taken to make the most of the 5lb she gets from the colt. They should probably fight this out, though debutants Saleymm and Masnoon certainly merit close inspection.
1.35 - Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (Group 3, 1m4f) (Registered As The John Porter Stakes)
Al Aasy is proving popular in the market for William Haggas and Jim Crowley. The Sea The Stars colt was a Group 3 winner over 1m5f at Newmarket last summer before failing under a penalty in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. He's almost certainly capable of better, though his best efforts have come with some juice in the ground.
There are plenty of dangers. Without A Fight progressed nicely in winning three times last season and ran a solid third behind Berkshire Rocco at Ascot in a Listed race when last spotted over 1m6f. He's low-mileage and can offer more.
Deja also improved last summer, going close at Royal Ascot over this distance on his return before landing Haydock's Old Newton Cup in July. He didn't fire in the Ebor afterwards but that is forgivable. This ground shouldn't be a worry for him and he's a solid contender with a very good record fresh.
KIPPS might be some value against that trio. Hughie Morrison's gelded son of War Command made a hugely promising start last summer when going close at Haydock and Royal Ascot in June. He continued to threaten thereafter in some top 3YO handicaps but couldn't get his head in front.
He was, however, sent off favourite for a C&D Group 3 in October, an afternoon when the heavy ground almost certainly wasn't in his favour. He needs to improve to win this, but he could well do that as a four-year-old and given he hit the ground running last term, he might be worth chancing at a decent price today.
2.10 - Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Fillies' Group 3, 7f) (Registered As The Fred Darling Stakes)
ALCOHOL FREE and Umm Kulthum finished first and third in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket when last spotted and have strong claims here.
Andrew Balding's filly is by No Nay Never and so speed is very much on the page for her. Will she cope with this increased trip? There was certainly nothing in that Headquarters success to suggest it will be a concern and she may be good enough to confirm the form.
Happy Romance was fourth in the same contest and had earlier defeated Alcohol Free at Sandown last term. Richard Hannon's string have made a solid start to the season and she cannot be crossed off easily.
Isabella Giles is another major danger to all concerned. She romped to victory in the Prestige Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last summer and followed up in the Rockfel at Newmarket before probably doing too much too soon in the Fillies' Mile back there in October. Good ground back over 7f will be ideal and she's a solid contender in a very congested field.
2.45 - Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes (Group 3, 7f)
Lots to like about Chindit last season as he impressed in winning his first three starts. He didn't live up to his billing in the Dewhurst on final start but that came on soft ground and he did enough trying to get into the race from the rear to warrant forgiving. He very likely resumes his progress this season and is a leading contender today. Alkumait was too keen in that same race but undoubtedly retains plenty of potential.
Once-raced Lingfield maiden winner Insomnia is going into deeper waters now, with the likes of Huddlestone Mac and Fundamental having achieved more.
The Lir Jet is interesting upped to this distance but preference is for the other Royal Ascot-winning juvenile, NANDO PARRADO.
The Kodiac colt landed the Coventry at massive odds last summer for Clive Cox but he emphasised there was no fluke to that win when twice finishing second in French Group 1s in the autumn. Those admirable runs came over 6f/7f and were on soft/heavy ground. The chances are he'll be much better suited on this surface and he's very capable of a big run. Chindit is a strong player but there's much more juice in the price for Nando Parrado.
3.20 - MansionBet Spring Cup Handicap (1m)
Raaeq was progressive last season, winning two of his first three over 7f/1m at Sandown and Ascot. He didn't reappear until late August, and perhaps four quick runs caught up with him as he failed to make all in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on Champions Day. He's up another 4lb now but has gone well fresh before and is a contender for Brian Meehan.
Troll Peninsula created a fine impression at Kempton on his recent return to action. He leaves behind novice company now back on grass but does very much look the type to do better again for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni.
Nugget has Ryan Moore for assistance and is another potential improver, while the unexposed National League is also considered.
JOHAN might be able to repeat last year's winning return over C&D. He showed a fine turn of foot to win that afternoon and mostly held his form after, save for a disappointing York run in August. Victories at Ayr and Chelmsford followed that run, however, and he may put his best foot forward on seasonal bow.
3.55 - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes (1m)
Counsel was second on debut at Newcastle on the all-weather in December, only pegged back late on, and John & Thady Gosden's son of Frankel rates a big player on that form with more to come now.
Alfaadhel, Bearwith and Professor Calculus are all newcomers that need to be monitored very closely but FOXES TALES makes sound appeal.
The Zoffany colt also finished second in one all-weather run back in December and did so to his credit, having started slowly from the gates and displaying plenty of greenness on the way around. He was very much getting the hang of things late on and could take a sizeable step forward now for Andrew Balding, Silvestre De Sousa and the King Power Racing team. His trainer tends to target a good one at this contest and he fits the bill.
4.30 - MansionBet Beaten By A Head Maiden Stakes (1m3f)
TITLE only just missed out on a winning debut over a mile on heavy ground here in October. Roger Varian's son of Camelot was held up and came with a strong late run, but just couldn't get to the pacesetting Aleas. He looks very much as though he'll improve for this increased tax on stamina, while the winner, fourth and sixth from that race here all went on to score next time out - ensuring the form looks rock solid.
Vino Victrix has finished second in both runs to date and should be in the firing line again, though there's a strong chance that newcomers Glen Savage, Into The Fire and Mandoob can have a say - with Frankie Dettori on board the Gleneagles colt for the in-form Gosdens.
5.05 - Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap (1m2f)
Top-weight Frontispiece has won over this trip and goes well fresh, but his three runs last summer all came over further so there is some room for doubt over this drop in distance. High Commissioner has thrived on the all-weather either side of a break and comes here in rude health, albeit with a career-high mark to defy back on the grass.
Spirit Dancer ran well in better races at Ayr and York back in the autumn and Richard Fahey's Frankel gelding could be a leading player from an unchanged mark given he's already shown he can bring his A-game fresh.
AADDEEY bagged a Nottingham novice over 1m2f on good ground on second start last season and ran a fine race in third afterwards in a 1m3½f Yarmouth handicap, failing to give weight to a pair of solid yardsticks. Simon & Ed Crisford's son of New Approach was gelded over the winter and could still have plenty more progress to come. He should give a solid account.