Mike de Kock full of praise for Meydan winner Mubtaahij
South African Mike de Kock opened his account for the season, at the first time of asking, with the smooth success of Mubtaahij in the opening 1600m maiden at Meydan last night.
Confidently ridden by Dane O’Neill, the two-year-old colt drove to the lead about 100m from home and pulled clear for a three-quarters-of-a-length win over Year of Glory, with a big gap to the rest.
“He is a nice horse and one we have always liked. It is not easy to take on your elders so we have to be very pleased,” De Kock said.
Dane O’Neill was then denied a quick double when the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Mooqtar failed to get past stable companion, Daar Zayed, who made all under stable jockey Silvestre De Sousa.
De Sousa’s mount had to see off several challenges in the straight but showed a great attitude to prevail. “She was very game there and had to battle hard. The horses are running really well at the moment and we have had a great couple of weeks,” he said.
De Sousa and Al Muhairi also landed a second 1400m handicap, the most valuable race on the card, with Atlantic Brave, winning for the first time since he was involved in a dead-heat at Jebel Ali.
“This horse is a real favourite in the yard and does not know how to run a bad race. It is great to get his head back in front and hopefully he has more victories in him,” De Sousa said. “It was a decent handicap and the fast early pace has suited him as the 1400m here would be his minimum stamina requirement.”
Also in double form was trainer Doug Watson with stable jockey Pat Dobbs aboard Diwaan, who made it three wins from three starts this season in the concluding 2200m handicap, the longest race to date on the new dirt track.
Twice a winner at Sharjah this season, he worked hard to deny Cry Joy in a driving finish that was a fitting conclusion to the last race of 2014.
Watson said: “He is a horse we always had high hopes for and he has really thrived this year. He loves the dirt and shown a great attitude today after an easy win last time.
“Hopefully he is improving and could make up into a Carnival horse.”
Stable companion, Muaanid, had won the previous event, a 1200m handicap, with Sam Hitchcott in the saddle.
The 1600m handicap went to Filfil, trained by Satish Seemar and ridden by stable jockey Richard Mullen, who hit the front with 200m left to run.
Mullen said: “You have to take your time with this horse who needs to be held up and seems to enjoy finding traffic problems and the kickback.”
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Published: December 31, 2014 04:00 AM