NINE REALMS had the useful Famous Poet just behind when landing a handicap at Ascot off a mark of 93 so appears to have got in lightly at just 3lb higher and can see off some better-fancied rivals in a tough race to call. Lehaaf is a bit of an unknown having won twice in South Africa last summer, though Mike De Kock will have him spot-on, while Godolphin's Validus won twice from three starts on Polytrack in the UK and has scope to do better as he's quite lightly raced. Regulation is a very tough handicapper who showed his liking for Polytrack at Dundalk last time while Counterglow has some smart form on this track, though he hasn't been seen for a year. Derbaas is a regular winner around here and has dropped to his lowest rating for some time so shouldn't be dismissed despite a big weight.
Derbaas (USA) 14-1 (9-0) 9th of 12, 1 3/4l behind Mushreq (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 1m 1f Listed stks (1) std.
Ocean Tempest 12-1 (9-6) 11th of 14, 8l behind Fulbright (9-4) at Meydan(UAE) 7f hcp.
Zain Shamardal (IRE) (9-2) won at Muscat(UAE) 1m 3yo stks, 10 ran.
Validus 3-1fav (9-2) Keen tracked leader, ridden to lead over 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, headed near finish, 2nd of 7, 1/2l behind Mabait (8-2) at Newmarket 1m hcp 105 (2) gf in Oct.
Van Rooney (USA) (8-8) won at Bahrain(UAE) 1m stks gf in Apr, 10 ran.
Counterglow (IRE) 16-1 (8-9) 3rd of 10, 1 1/2l behind Masteroftherolls (8-10) at Meydan(UAE) 1m 1f hcp gd in Jan '13.
Regulation (IRE) 15-8fav (9-7) Made all, ridden 2f out and soon challenged, kept on well under pressure inside final furlong, won at Dundalk 1m hcp pol in Nov beating Toccata Blue (8-7) by 1 1/4l, 4 ran.
Risby (IRE) .
Famous Warrior (IRE) 20-1 (9-3) 10th of 15, 22l behind Forjatt (9-3) at Jebel Ali(UAE) 7f stks (3yo+) in Mar.
Intrigo 20-1 (9-7) Raced far side, held up and behind, good headway over 2f out, chased leaders over 1f out, ran on to 2nd towards finish, not reach winner, 2nd of 27, 1l behind Breton Rock (9-4) at Ascot 7f (2) sft in Oct.
Alnashmy (FR) 33-1 (9-1) won at Meydan(UAE) 7f hcp in Dec beating Comicality (8-6) by 2l, 12 ran.
Lehaaf (ARG) 3-1 (8-5) won at Greyville(SAF) 1m hcp in Jul beating Blaze Of Fire (9-6) by nk, 15 ran.
Chilworth Icon 16-1 (8-11) In touch, weakened approaching final furlong, 15th of 17, 13l behind Intibaah (9-4) at Ascot 6f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) sft in Oct.
Robert The Painter (IRE) 16-1 (9-6) Prominent, ridden over 2f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, 7th of 19, 4l behind Graphic (9-5) at York 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Oct.
Start Right 14-1 (8-8) 3rd of 15, 7l behind Mushreq (9-1) at Meydan(UAE) 1m 2f hcp gd in Jan '13.
Nine Realms 33-1 (9-2) Led far side group, headed over 3f out, lost place over 1f out, 16th of 31, 15l behind Educate (9-9) at Newmarket 1m 1f hcp (2) gf in Sep.
Storm Ultralight (ARG) 33-1 (8-10) last of 13, 15l behind United Color (9-3) at Meydan(UAE) 6f hcp in Feb.