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Looking at the leaderboards very few (if any run pre-World Cup night) but the quality of horse they encourage to run at the Carnival thanks to races like the Al Shindagha, City of Gold etc. and the prize money on offer will encourage more of the top horses to try.
As for the handicap question that’s one of the main issues, i’d sooner see 8 conditions races over varying distances on the card with penalties per-Carnival win but that’s not likely to happen.
For this year Quijano certainly looks more than capable of taking a hand in the big 10-12f turf races in Europe this year and English Channel (one of the top turf horses, if not the top turf horse in the US is running there soon) along with a few Aussie’s, Pop Rock and possibly Delta Blues from the Far East. The carnival at the moment does look a touch weak bar a few weeks but all meetings start somewhere and I doubt British racing started out with 16 or so Group 1’s, numerous Group races and the rest handicaps.