Don’t write off Mubtaahij!

Don’t write off Mubtaahij!

February 05, 2016 / 4 years ago

Don’t write off Mubtaahij! cover image

Trainer Mike de Kock had a message for Mubtaahij’s supporters after the colt had failed to make the frame in Thursday night’s Gr3 Firebreak Stakes over 1600m on dirt at Meydan in Dubai: “All I can say is, please relax! Mubtaahij is being prepared for the Dubai World Cup, a race I believe he can win. What happens between now and 26 March is irrelevant!”

Mubtaahij, coming off a 243-day rest, stayed on for fifth, beaten 4.25-lengths by trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s Confrontation (USA), with One Man Band and Watershed in second and third respectively and Le Bernardin taking fourth.

Mike elaborated: “I said before the Firebreak Stakes this week that Mubtaahij was around 80-85% fit and that this would be a stepping stone to bigger things. We are very happy with the way he ran. Even if he was 100% wound up tonight, he wouldn’t have beaten the winner, who is a well-performed Graded miler from the US. This was a field of quality runners, mostly sprinter-milers. The fourth horse won a Gr2 mile here two weeks ago.”

Mike pointed to Mubtaahij’s runs at last year’s Carnival and said: “He was beaten once at Graded level when he went down a short head to Maftool over 1600m on dirt. Six weeks later he beat Maftool by eight lengths when unextended in the UAE Derby over 1900m. We’ll be going to the World Cup via the Maktoum Challenge (R3) on Super Saturday, in which he will already be a much improved runner.”

Mike said that the Kiaran McLaughlin runners had raised the bar at the Carnival: “The Gr1 USA form ads a new dimension.”