Musir's Super chance to impress for Dubai World Cup

The Cup favourite Bold Silvano misses out with bruised feet giving his stable mate Musir an opportunity make his return from injury good.

Musir will line-up in the third round of the Maktoum Challenge at Meydan Racecourse tomorrow night after Bold Silvano, the Dubai World Cup favourite, was found to have bruised feet.

Mike de Kock, the South African trainer, was keen to keep both of his Dubai World Cup prospects apart on Meydan's lucrative Super Thursday card but the injury has forced his hand.

Bold Silvano leapt to favouritism for the world's richest race when sauntering to a stunning success in the second round of the Maktoum Challenge on February 3.

"Bruised feet can take up to five days to clear up," said de Kock of the five-year-old's injury. "I'm hoping to run him next week in a handicap at Meydan, but I'm not too fazed about not running him as he's very close to full fitness and is very genuine on the racetrack."

Musir, last season's UAE 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner, made an impressive return after an 11-month layoff when finishing second to Skysurfers in the Listed Firebreak Stakes last month.

The Australian-bred colt was drawn wide in stall 13, and the time of the race, 1min 35.77secs, was a track record - 1.96 seconds faster than the 2,000 Guineas won by Splash Point on the same night. "I thought he ran a cracking race," de Kock continued. "He was always going to be a little tired after a year off. He's a much fitter horse, he's just about back to his racing weight and I'm very happy with him."

Despite being the second most successful trainer in terms of winners at the Dubai Carnival, de Kock has never won the Dubai World Cup. This year he has an embarrassment of riches for the US$10 million (Dh36.7m) event.

Irish Flame, last season's South African horse of the year, has not showed the form that saw him beat Bold Silvano in a Grade 1 contest at Greyville in June.

That race was over 2,200 metres on turf but, since arriving in Dubai, the five-year-old has been brought back to 1,800m. Irish Flame will join Musir tomorrow in running back over 2,000m.

"His best trip is a mile and half, [2,400m] and I'm still getting him ready for the Sheema Classic. I'm a little wary of running him on the turf too much. If I ran him in City of Gold it would have been two runs in a month on turf and the course is really firm. He's a soft-ground horse, so I'd rather prepare him on the all-weather

"If he goes really well maybe we'll enter him in the World Cup, too."

De Kock is also hoping that a World Cup invitation will be extended to Golden Sword, who finished second to Fame And Glory in the Irish Derby in 2009.

The five-year-old has been brought back to form this season, with jockey Christophe Soumillon employing patient tactics in his two victories.

"We've got Golden Sword and it looks like he is back to his best form. I'm also looking to get him into the World Cup."