Farraaj beat Robin Hoods Bay, Circumvent and the 2012 winner, Premio Loco, in last year's renewal but has disappointed in both subsequent starts. It's hard to know what to expect from him today while both Windhoek and Aussie Reigns will need to improve on their recent form in handicaps at Meydan. Listed winner Dick Doughtywylie and the in-form handicapper Rebellious Guest should both go well, but a few of these found Grandeur too good here last month. The latter is a cut above at his best and though today's high draw has made his task more difficult, Jeremy Nodesa's charge remains the most likely winner. However, there may be better value elsewhere including Mirsaale, beaten seven lengths in last year's Derby, but the French raider VODKATO rates a sporting selection. Stephane Wattel's charge is a multiple winner on the Polytrack at Deauville and could make the frame after running well in a hot conditions race on the all-weather at Chantilly earlier this month.
Anaconda (FR) 10-1 (9-0) Led, ridden and headed approaching final furlong, kept on one pace, 3rd of 10, 2l behind Grandeur (9-3) at Lingfield 1m 2f Listed stks (1) pol in Feb.
Aussie Reigns (IRE) 8-1 (8-11) 5th of 12, 1 3/4l behind Sanshaawes (9-1) at Meydan(UAE) 1m 2f hcp gd.
Chil The Kite 7-1 (9-3) 9th of 12, 4l behind Sanshaawes (9-1) at Meydan(UAE) 1m 2f hcp gd.
Circumvent 12-1 (9-7) Slowly into stride, took keen hold, held up and soon in mid-division on inside, headway on rails 3f out, ridden well over 1f out, stayed on well in closing stages, never quite going pace to challenge, 6th of 15, 1 3/4l behind Pasaka Boy (9-3) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Sep.
Dick Doughtywylie 5-1 (9-3) Dwelt headway on outer to lead 7f out, ridden 2f out, pressed inside final furlong, ran on, won at Lingfield 1m 2f Listed stks (1) pol in Dec beating Gatewood (9-3) by 1/2l, 9 ran.
Farraaj (IRE) 7-1 (8-12) Pulled,4wd 1/2,wkened, 11th of 13, 19l behind Game On Dude (8-12) at Del Mar(USA) 1m 2f fll stks Grp 1 (1) in Aug.
Grandeur (IRE) 4-5fav (9-3) Tracked leaders, switched right over 1f out, led approaching final furlong, ridden and ran on, won at Lingfield 1m 2f Listed stks (1) pol in Feb beating Modernstone (8-8) by 3/4l, 10 ran.
Mirsaale 12-1 (8-8) Took keen hold, tracked leading pair, went 2nd 6f out until over 3f out, chased leading pair until driven 2f out, soon weakened, 7th of 11, 10l behind Mandour (9-5) at Sandown 1m 2f Listed stks 3yo (1) gf in Jul.
Premio Loco (USA) 2-1 (9-9) Tracked winner, ridden and unable to quicken over 1f out, kept on one pace final furlong, 3rd of 5, 3 1/2l behind The Rectifier (9-2) at Kempton 1m cnd stks (4yo+) (2) pol in Feb.
Rebellious Guest 8-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, steady headway towards inside 2f out, chased leaders and pulled out well over 1f out, went 2nd over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, soon clear, ran on well, won at Kempton 1m 2f hcap (2) pol beating Uramazin (9-3) by 2l, 13 ran.
Robin Hoods Bay 7-1 (9-0) In rear, headway when not much room over 1f out, ridden and ran on final furlong, not reach leaders, 4th of 10, 2 1/4l behind Grandeur (9-3) at Lingfield 1m 2f Listed stks (1) pol in Feb.
Vodkato (FR) (8-11) 5th of 7, 1 1/2l behind Now We Can (9-4) at Chantilly(FR) 1m 1f 4yo stk.
Windhoek 3-1fav (8-10) won at Meydan(UAE) 1m 2f hcp in Jan beating Layali Al Andalus (8-5) by hd, 10 ran.
Tinshu (IRE) 33-1 (8-9) Towards rear, wide into straight 2f out, kept on, never nearer, 6th of 10, 6l behind Grandeur (9-3) at Lingfield 1m 2f Listed stks (1) pol in Feb.