Mars, a close sixth in the Epsom Derby before dropping back in trip and finishing third to Dawn Approach in the St James's Palace Stakes, has his first start for Mike De Kock after transferring from Aidan O'Brien. He made a winning debut on Polytrack at Dundalk so the Tapeta surface shouldn't be a problem. He's taken on by the brilliant South Africa-trained VARIETY CLUB, who had 19 starts and won 14 including the last eight. Joey Ramsden's regular Group 1 winner has his first run outside his native country but is expected to prove up to the task. Snowboarder was in excellent form here a year ago with four placed efforts including when runner-up to Soft Falling Rain in the 2000 Guineas on this day. He'll ensure the South African's don't have things their own way as will his stablemate Fulbright, a handicap winner here before missing the break in a Group 2. Haatheq almost snatched a shock victory from Soft Falling Rain in the Godolphin Mile on World Cup night in March but hasn't been in that kind of form at Jebel Ali recently.
Snowboarder (USA) Evensfav (8-13) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, went 2nd over 3f out, switched right and shaken up just over 1f out, soon ridden and unable to quicken, one pace, 3rd of 4, 3 1/2l behind Tamarkuz (8-13) at Kempton 1m stks (3yo+) (4) pol in Oct.
Haatheq (USA) 2-1fav (9-0) 3rd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Forjatt (9-0) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 1m Group 3 stks (3yo+) (1) in Jan.
Mars (IRE) 8-11fav (9-0) Tracked leader in 2nd, ridden to challenge early straight, no impression under pressure inside final furlong, 2nd of 7, 2 3/4l behind Scintillula (8-11) at Leopardstown 1m 1f Grp 3 (1) gd in Jul.
Colmar Kid (IRE) 6-1 (9-0) 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Forjatt (9-0) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 1m Group 3 stks (3yo+) (1) in Jan.
Variety Club (SAF) 9-20fav (9-6) Too good again, won at Clairwood(SAF) 1m Grp 1 gd in Jun beating Beach Beauty (9-1) by 1l, 10 ran.
Empire Storm (GER) 25-1 (9-0) 11th of 16, 13l behind Prince Bishop (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 1m 1f Group 2 sks (1).
Fulbright 6-1 (9-0) 6th of 14, 6l behind Anaerobio (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 7f Grp 2 (1) gd in Jan.
Mufarrh (IRE) 12-1 (9-5) 13th of 16, 6l behind Mont Ras (8-11) at Meydan(UAE) 1m hcp gd.
Capital Attraction (USA) 25-1 (9-6) 3rd of 16, 3/4l behind Alexandra Palace (8-11) at Meydan(UAE) 1m hcp (0-110) in Jan.