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CBD banking on action-packed night at Meydan

The Commercial Bank of Dubai sponsor of Thursday’s fourth meeting of the season at Meydan Racecourse has been rewarded with a quality turnout throughout the six races, all on the All-Weather surface.

The CBD World Mastercard over 1900m, is one of three intriguing conditions races on the card and has attracted a field of eight. The weights are headed by the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Monte Alto who carries a penalty having won the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship in March.

Both his wins last season came on the Capital’s turf but he was placed in five Dubai International Racing Carnival races and Richard Hills elects to ride. He said: “This horse was amazing last season and established himself as a genuine Carnival/Listed horse. He does have to give weight away but should run his usual, sound race.”

Hills is retained by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum who also has Quartier Latin in the race. He will be ridden by Tadhg O’Shea and trainer Doug Watson explained: “He has yet to show us what we know he is capable of and this may be a last All-Weather run. If he does not fire we will look towards the Carnival turf races.”

One of Monte Alto’s Carnival defeats last season was when third to the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Kal Barg, and the trainer is hopeful: “He loves the All-Weather and pleased us when second on his comeback. He will have needed that so we have to be very hopeful.”

Oroveso, now with Eduardo Martins, was last seen in the UAE when unplaced in the UAE Derby for Pascal Bary. He has raced unsuccessfully in Europe since but Martins hopes a rest will have done him good: “He had a very busy spell but has been off since September now. He is going well at home and likes the [surface]. We will find out a lot about him this evening.”

The Attijari Al Islami Visa Infinite Card, a 1400m handicap sees Reynaldothewizrd return after his winning debut at Meydan last month. He goes up against 12 others, the weights headed by Selvaratnam’s Playfellow, who will run for the first time in the UAE. Barbecue Eddie, third in his last effort should not to be dismissed, nor should Al Raihe’s Game Stalker, who was pleasing in his last run.

Green Coast, runner-up in the Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup night, makes his return for Watson in the 1600m conditions race, the Al Dana Wealth Management. He looks likely to be hard to beat with the trainer saying: “This looked the ideal slot to bring him back. He goes well fresh but will certainly improve from the outing. Dubai World Cup night is again his main target.”

Jet Express won last season’s Jebel Ali Mile for Al Raihe but carries a penalty so stable companion Aamaaq, the mount of Hills, could be the main danger. Hills said: “Conditions are ideal as he has shown already this season. Green Coast is a tough opponent but we have race fitness on our side.”

Hills combines with Watson in the only Purebred Arabian contest, the opening 1900m Commercial Bank of Dubai, and has elected to ride Nirwan from three Sheikh Hamdan-owned contenders. The horse won the middle leg of the Maktoum Challenge last year and is penalised accordingly.

Watson also saddles Paris Gagner for the same owner and said: “They are two really nice horses and both very capable of big runs. It is a good race to start them off and there will be little between them over this trip as Nirwan does stay a lot further.”