REYNALDOTHEWIZARD produced a brilliant performance to land the Group 1 Golden Shaheen on World Cup night in March by a neck from Balmont Mast with Krypton Factor about a length away in third, United Color close behind in fifth and Kavanagh well in touch in sixth. The winner needed his opening run last year but had scored first time out the previous two seasons so should be ready. The progressive Rafeej has the benefit of a previous run and hails from a yard that can do little wrong at present while Russian Soul was in good form here last year and had a fine campaign in Ireland in the summer culminating in a Group 3 victory at the Curragh when Farmleigh House, Balmont Mast and Hitchens were close behind.
Hitchens (IRE) 7-1 (9-6) Held up, ridden 2f out, never a factor, 6th of 11, 4l behind Valbchek (9-2) at Lingfield 6f Listed stks (1) pol in Nov.
Krypton Factor 8-1 (9-2) Held up in 6th on outside, pushed along 3f out, weakened 2f out, eased when no chance final furlong, 9th of 10, 11l behind Garswood (8-9) at Goodwood 7f Grp 2 (1) gs in Jul.
Reynaldothewizard (USA) 9-1 (9-0) won at Meydan(UAE) 6f fll stks Grp 1 in Mar beating Balmont Mast (9-0) by nk, 13 ran.
Rafeej 7-2fav (9-5) 7th of 15, 4 1/2l behind Ahtoug (9-2) at Meydan(UAE) 5f hcp std.
Kavanagh (SAF) 16-1 (9-1) Tracked leaders, driven 2f out, weakened final furlong, 10th of 15, 11l behind Tropics (9-1) at Ascot 6f Grp 3 (1) gs in Oct.
Russian Soul (IRE) 7-1 (9-5) Close up and almost on terms throughout, stayed on well under pressure final furlong to be just in front on line, won at Curragh 6f Grp 3 (1) gd in Sep beating Artistic Jewel (9-2) by ns, 13 ran.
Balmont Mast (IRE) 8-1 (9-0) Held up and behind, ridden 2f out, never on terms, 11th of 14, 9l behind Slade Power (9-0) at Ascot 6f Grp 2 (1) sft in Oct.
Farmleigh House (IRE) 20-1 (9-5) Close up throughout, 3rd for much, kept on well under pressure final furlong, just failed, 3rd of 13, hd behind Russian Soul (9-5) at Curragh 6f Grp 3 (1) gd in Sep.
United Color (USA) 7-2 (9-0) 2nd of 9, nk behind Muarrab (9-0) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 6f stks (3yo+) in Dec.