De Kock expects big things from Mubtaahij
With two previous second-placed finishes in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, South African trainer Mike de Kock will be hopeful of finally landing the big one when Mubtaahij races at Meydan on Saturday.
De Kock has 12 previous winners on Dubai World Cup night - second only to Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor - but in the world’s richest race he has seen Asiatic Boy and Victory Moon finish second.
Both horses were four-year-olds and winner of the previous year’s UAE Derby so De Kock is following a tried and almost tested route with Mubtaahij - last year’s winner of the UAE Derby.
Despite not firing in two starts this year, De Kock expects big things from Mubtaahij this weekend.
“First time, in the Firebreak Stakes, we kept telling everybody he was 80 per cent fit and tackling a 1,600m trip too sharp for him,” said De Kock.
“Super Saturday was, on the face of it, disappointing but the more you look at the race, all the dirt races on that day even, there seemed a definite bias towards those on the pace.
“I can say he is spot on for Saturday and we expect him to run a big race.”
Meanwhile, newly-crowned UAE champion trainer Doug Watson is looking to add to his 56 victories when Polar River races in the UAE Derby on World Cup night.
He said: “She is in great form now and should run a massive race.”
DERBY DELIGHT: Mubtaahij wins the UAE Derby in 2015