Dubai/South Africa Preview: Kiefer, Zakouski favored for Meydan features

February 10th, 2022

The Dubai racing carnival continues to heat up Friday, with the seven-race Meydan card featuring three Group races and three Listed races.

Once again the card is subject to the TwinSpires Rest of the World Bet Back offer, where those who opt in can get up to $10 per race refunded for a win bet if the runner finishes second.

I will focus on the two major thoroughbred races at Meydan: the UAE 2,000 Guineas (G3) for three-year-olds, and the Singspiel Stakes (G2) for three-year-olds and up.

Race 3 – UAE 2,000 Guineas (G3), dirt, 1600 meters (about one mile)

In a competitive field featuring runners from six countries on four continents, the Guineas Trial winner #12 Rawy looks the likely favorite. Beaten in his first two starts, both at six furlongs, he appreciated the step to seven furlongs in the Guineas Trial, though he looked to be shortening stride a little at the finish.

Rawy was followed home by two South American runners – #2 Quality Boone and #1 Kiefer – and I’m going to suggest Kiefer can improve on what was his first run in Dubai and turn the tables on Rawy.

Another international to watch could be the unbeaten American-bred, Russian-trained #3 Azure Coast, a winner at home on debut who then scored at Meydan Dec. 16.

#13 Sadaaty, who beat Rawy in his only start to date, has to be respected, though whether the son of Munnings will be effective going up from six furlongs to a mile is questionable. One who is proven at the trip is #4 Bendoog, a Gun Runner colt who won on debut at Meydan Jan. 23; he faces a tougher task here but should be respected.

  • $10 win: #1 Kiefer
  • $20 show: #1 Kiefer

Race 6 – Singspiel Stakes (G2), turf, 1800 meters (about 1 mile 1 furlong)

Veteran #8 Lord Glitters gets a chance to redeem himself after disappointing slightly in the Al Rashidiya (G2) Jan. 21. However, it’s possible he may have been eased off after his victory in the Bahrain International Trophy (G3) Nov. 19, and he may be better for the run.

Al Rashidiya winner Desert Fire isn’t in this race but the two other horses that beat Lord Glitters that day, #10 Royal Fleet and #2 Art Du Val, are back and should be competitive again, as should the recent Zabeel Mile runner-up #1 Alfareeq.

However, the one to beat may be the lightly-raced #12 Zakouski. Though now a six-year-old, the son of Shamardal has run just 10 times, and ran only four times each of the past two calendar years. But he’s proved to be a Meydan specialist, winning three of his four races, including a pair of Group 2 victories.

The Charlie Appleby trainee will have the services of Godolphin number one jockey William Buick and he should go very close.

  • $10 win: #12 Zakouski
  • $30 show: #12 Zakouski


Kenilworth, Saturday February 12, Race 7

  • $10 win/$30 show, #1 Crimson Princess: Very consistent filly who should go close to a deserved win here.