Just 5lb separates top from bottom in this tight handicap. Ernst Oertel is on the way to clinching the UAE trainer's title again and the ultra-consistent Touch Gold has to be on the shortlist with his rider able to compensate for a 5lb rise in the weights. However, GENIUS STEP has also won his last two and they were both on this track so the lightly-raced and progressive five-year-old looks the one to beat. His stablemate Al Razi wasn't far behind Touch Gold last time and it will be a surprise if he doesn't get competitive as he likes it around here. Ebn Arab was contesting Group races as a juvenile but never fulfilled his potential though he hasn't had much racing. Dohasa has dropped massively in the ratings but does most of his racing at Jebel Ali while Odooj, who made a winning racecourse debut at Chester for William Haggas two years ago, has had a couple of races to put him straight and should go well.
Ebn Arab (USA) 16-1 (9-4) Slowly into stride, took keen hold early and held up towards rear, steady headway 3f out, chased leaders over 2f out, soon ridden, weakened and eased over 1f out, 11th of 14, 23l behind Short Squeeze (8-3) at York 1m 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Aug.
Mujaazef 16-1 (9-0) 5th of 11, 1 1/2l behind Take Ten (9-0) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 5f 3yo Listed stks (1).
Odooj (IRE) 8-1 (9-0) 4th of 7, 6l behind Sholaan (9-0) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 5f stks (3yo+) in Feb.
Fils Anges (IRE) 14-1 (9-0) Raced near side and always behind, 22nd of 27, 17l behind Breton Rock (9-4) at Ascot 7f (2) sft in Oct.
Qamar 14-1 (9-0) last of 7, 13l behind Sholaan (9-0) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 5f stks (3yo+) in Feb.
Ribaat (IRE) (8-13) 7th of 13, 2 1/4l behind Jawhar (9-4) at Abu Dhabi(UAE) 1m hcp gf.
Al Razi (USA) 6-1 (8-2) 3rd of 13, 1 1/2l behind Touch Gold (7-12) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 7f hcp.
Genius Step (IRE) 6-5fav (9-8) won at Meydan(UAE) 6f hcp in Feb beating Forevertheoptimist (9-8) by 2 1/2l, 10 ran.
Badr Al Badoor (IRE) 9-2 (9-5) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong, unable to challenge, 4th of 11, 1 3/4l behind Hoodna (9-7) at Kempton 6f 3yo hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Sep.
Brazen 20-1 (9-0) last of 11, 11l behind Take Ten (9-0) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 5f 3yo Listed stks (1).
Dohasa (IRE) 12-1 (8-10) 3rd of 8, 3/4l behind Need To Know (9-2) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 7f hcp in Feb.
Famous Warrior (IRE) 25-1 (8-8) 7th of 11, 4 1/2l behind Kilt Rock (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 6f hcp gd in Feb.
Mooqtar (USA) 16-1 (9-1) 9th of 13, 17l behind Touch Gold (7-12) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 7f hcp.
Touch Gold (IRE) 6-1 (7-12) won at Jebel Ali(UAE) 7f hcp beating Encipher (9-6) by 1 1/4l, 13 ran.