Dubai Hills is by no means a prolific winner on turf but does have a 31% strike rate for top three finishes and was only beaten a head by the progressive Taghreeb at Redcar last week. Although only second, he was over two lengths clear of third and races off the same mark today so should be capable of a big run again here.
Wistar comes in to this race with one win from one attempt over todays’ race distance but that was in June last year and he hasn’t been seen since. He showed a great attitude to get up on the line that day and could prove to be one to watch over the coming season if he stays fit but may just need the run today.
Express Himself is another who makes his seasonal re-appearance and is respected after signing off last season with a win at Nottingham. He is 3lbs higher for that win but could be in the mix if fully wound up after his break.
Dubai Hills (E/W if 5/1+)
Go Nani Go is the selection in this class four handicap. All five of his career wins have come over todays’ trip on good to firm ground. He should be race fit thanks to a couple of runs on the all-weather tracks last month and returning to turf, with conditions likely to suit, he could prove tough to beat here.
Previous course and distance winner Groundworker looks to be the biggest danger based on his two wins and two placed efforts last spring. He is only 1lbs higher than his last winning mark but will need to bounce back after disappointing on his final couple of runs last season, finishing well down the field on both occasions.
Cruise To Thelimit is another course and distance winner who could get involved at slightly bigger odds although the majority of his previous wins have been on either good or good-to-soft ground.
Go Nani Go (WIN)
An intriguing class four handicap is where we find our final selection of the day. Barizan is an interesting entry, having his first run on the flat since 2008. He was a multiple winner over jumps and even finished second in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2010 and the booking of Kieran Fallon further adds to the appeal.
Cosette recorded her only career win here over todays’ trip and although that was on soft ground she has also had a couple of placed efforts on good-to-firm and with a strike rate of 45% for top three finishes she must be respected.
Preference however is for King Calypso, who has a 50% win rate over twelve furlongs and won four from nine when being partnered by Cam Hardie last season. All these wins came on an all-weather surface but he does have a couple of placed efforts to his name on turf and if returning in the same form as last season he could be tough to beat here.
King Calypso (E/W if 5/1+)