After several local meetings, many of the big stables come out to play on the first day of the Dubai Carnival. Fityaan won this a year ago at 50/1 but hasn't been seen subsequently and is 6lb higher. His in-form yard are also represented by Rafeej, who has gone up 10lb for an impressive victory over 6f here three weeks ago. Mike De Kock has acquired the 2012 July Stakes winner Alhebayeb from Richard Hannon though he hasn't raced over the minimum since that victory. He had earlier been beaten narrowly by today's rival Hototo in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. AHTOUG had just one run here last season, beaten a couple of lengths by today's rival Take Ten, who was receiving 8lb. The former is 10lb better off here and, as he ended his UK campaign beating the useful Steps in the Shergar Cup Dash at Ascot, he looks the one to be on. Irish horses have an excellent record in sprints here and Nero Emperor, who landed a very strong handicap at the Curragh in September for Tommy Stack and had Red Dubawi behind there earlier, looks a threat to all. Monsieur Joe has his sights lowered after running in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on his last start here.
Fityaan 50-1 (8-7) won at Meydan(UAE) 5f hcp 0-110 fst in Jan '13 beating Temple Meads (8-11) by 1 1/4l, 16 ran.
Rafeej 7-1 (9-0) won at Meydan(UAE) 6f 3yo stks in Dec beating Tamaathul (9-0) by 1l, 9 ran.
Hototo (8-0) 3rd of 16, 1l behind Roi De Vitesse (9-2) at Dohar(QA) 6f Grp 3 (1) gd in Feb.
Take Ten 33-1 (9-0) 3rd of 9, 4l behind Muarrab (9-0) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 6f stks (3yo+) in Dec.
Alhebayeb (IRE) (8-11) unplaced Mshawish (9-2) at Deauville(FR) 1m 3yo lst stk (1) gs in Aug.
Bungle Inthejungle 12-1 (9-10) Chased leaders in 3rd stand side, pushed along over 2f out, soon weakened, last of 11, 14l behind Justineo (9-11) at Doncaster 5f listed stks (1) gs in Sep.
Monsieur Joe (IRE) 14-1 (9-13) Tracked leaders, ridden into straight, 4th 2f out, no room on inner 1f out, switched left and kept on well closing stages, 2nd of 7, 3/4l behind Timeless Call (9-8) at Dundalk 5f lst stks 2yo (1) pol in Oct.
My Propeller (IRE) 11-1 (9-2) Chased leaders, ridden in 6th 2f out, close 4th on heels of leaders when short of room and checked inside final furlong, not recover, 7th of 12, 3 1/2l behind Dutch Masterpiece (9-3) at Curragh 5f Grp 3 (1) gd in Aug.
Nero Emperor (IRE) 10-1 (9-10) Towards rear on outer, travelling well 2f out, headway over 1f out, ridden in 6th 1f out, quickened well inside final furlong to lead close home, won at Curragh 6f hcp gd in Sep beating English Deer (8-11) by hd, 24 ran.
Seachantach (USA) 20-1 (8-13) With leader, outpaced over 2f out, soon lost place, behind over 1f out, last of 7, 11l behind Taayel (8-9) at Doncaster 6f cond Stakes (3) gd in Aug.
Ahtoug 11-2 (9-6) Chased leaders on outside, disputing 2nd 2f out, ridden to lead and hung badly left over 1f out, ran on, won at Ascot 5f hcp 105 (2) gd in Aug beating Steps (9-10) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Racy 33-1 (9-0) Chased leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened approaching final furlong, 9th of 14, 9l behind Slade Power (9-0) at Ascot 6f Grp 2 (1) sft in Oct.
Red Dubawi (IRE) 8-1 (9-6) Tracked leaders and 3rd halfway, ridden early straight and no extra from over 1f out, 10th of 16, 7l behind Francis Of Assisi (9-5) at Leopardstown 7f Listed stks (1) sft in Nov.
Desert Law (IRE) 14-1 (8-8) 8th of 12, 6l behind Kavanagh (9-4) at Meydan(UAE) 6f hcp fst in Mar.
Roicead (USA) 10-1 (9-0) 5th of 9, 13l behind Rafeej (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 6f 3yo stks in Dec.