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Reviewing the weekend of racing in Dubai

Musir (pictured below, courtesy EERC/Cedric Lane – buy this and more pictures via UAEracingpictures @ gmail.com) stamped himself a major player in the Dubai Duty Free with a solid score over City Style in a dawdling Al Rashidiya (G2).

Well, the Steven Burridge show continued when Dark Matter (below, left) scored his second win of the Carnival as many tries, taking a 1,400 metres turf event, defeating the highly regarded Albaasil and earlier Carnival winner Time Prisoner.

The team has indicated that Dark Matter will now be aimed at the UAE 2,000 Guineas over a mile as the campaign lumbers on, but this win, against multiple older winners, was very impressive, even in light of its narrow margin.

Godolphin’s Sarrsar and stablemate Capponi (below, right) dueled in an epic finish, where the former forged to the front and idled ever-so-slightly, allowing Capponi to surge back when the result seemed determined.  The win was the a reversal from the first race of the 2012 Carnival when Sarrsar went by, taking full advantage of a weight break.  On the level, these two did the handicapper proud.   Before the race, in an interview with Dubai Racing Channel, trainer Saeed bin Suroor indicated his hopes to get Sarrsar into stakes company soon enough.


It’s worth revisiting a nugget of data from last week’s racing at Meydan.  Courtesy of the Trakus timings, Mike de Kock trainee Mutahadee absolutely bolted home when winning a race over 1,800 metres on grass.  His individual sectional timings for the race are as follows:

400m – 27.73
800m – 52.35 (24.62)
1200m – 1:16.97 (24.62)
1600m – 1:39.45 (22.48)
1800m – 1:49.99  (10.54)

Yes, that’s right, Mutahadee finished his final 200-metre segment in a lightning 10.54 seconds when winning over stablemate Viscount Nelson, who came home in 10.67 seconds.  Both are absolutely stellar performances, especially if you considered them in light of the final sectionals for this week’s Al Rashidiya (G2).  Musir’s final 200-metre split went in 11.43 seconds over the same going but with a significantly slower pace at the 1,800 metres distance.


Both literally and figuratively, Treble Jig (pictured below) continues the climb up the rankings after three incredibly impressive wins in the UAE this season.  The son of Gone West landed his second consecutive stakes race of the campaign after taking Friday’s Jebel Ali Mile (Listed).  Under Wayne Smith again, he raced with prominence and held sway coming up the hill at Jebel Ali, where he had scored a rousing 10-length tally in the Jebel Ali Stakes (Listed) two weeks ago.  The plan is to find more races over ground at Meydan, with an aim for Dubai World Cup night.  Read more about Treble Jig from Gulf News.

Kilt Rock’s streak of wins ended at four when he may have hit the lead too soon and lifted, allowing the late running Kanaf, ironically ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, to come and catch him.  The final time for the race was, by far, the fastest 1,200 metres of the season at Jebel Ali, and should set both horses up well for the Jebel Ali Sprint (Listed) later in the season.


  1. There’s no getting around it. Musir has easily been the single most impressive horse for any yard so far at Meydan in 2012. IMO, flip a coin as to which of his 2 2012 Carnival wins was the most impressive? The Al Maktoum Challenge Rd. 1 on tapeta? Or the Al Rashidiya on turf? I think Mike De Kock is spot on pointing Musir toward the G1 Duty Free this year instead of another run in the G1 Dubai World Cup. For one thing, De Kock’s been proclaiming for sometime that Musir’s even better on turf than tapeta, and looking his last 4 starts in the Topkapi Trophy in Turkey, the Champions Mile in Hong Kong, the Hungerford Stakes in the UK, and the Al Rashidiya in Dubai, it’s not a stretch at all to believe that, IMO. But I don’t really think either surface would be an issue for Musir. But I do think the 9f trip in the Duty Free suits him a bit better than the 10f trip in the DWC does. With a potentially very deep field expected in this year’s DWC, I just think Musir’s chances of landing the Duty Free on turf outweigh his chances of landing the DWC on tapeta. Besides, Mike De Kock certainly isn’t hurting for horses with the potential to win the DWC for him in 2012. Since he’ll likely be sending Bold Silvano and Master of Hounds to post. JMO.

  2. Completely agree with the comments above!! Musir’s in a class all his own in Dubai right now. Also agree that what he’s shown on turf in HK, Turkey, the UK, and in Dubai makes me think turf or tapeta, this horse just knows how to win!! I also like that he’s being pointed for the Duty Free instead of the Dubai World Cup. Although his level of form thus far in 2012, IMO, would make him a viable threat to win either race. But I do believe Musir may be better over a 9f trip than a 10f trip? I also want to throw out a word about how well City Style continues to race every year he shows up in Dubai. He’s definitely been outrunning his official rating of late. City Style’s probably one of the most versatile horses, surface wise, at the Carnival. He’s proven he has the ability to win on any surface. Early in his career, City Style raced in America and broke his maiden in a maiden claiming race on conventional dirt at Lone Star Park. He followed that win up with a 2nd place effort in an allowance stakes at Louisiana Downs. Again on conventional dirt. Then he won the listed Sunday Silence Stakes on turf at Louisiana Downs before ending the 2008 season with a 4th place finish behind Donativum in the BC Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita. City Style then showed up at Nad Al Sheba for the 2009 Dubai Carnival and promptly won both of his 09′ Carnival starts on turf. Winning the GNB Plate and the Meydan Classic. He raced in the UK all of the 2010 season on turf, and had several solid run’s in conditions stakes, handicaps, and listed stakes, before coming back to Dubai in 2011 to win 1 of his 2 carnival starts on the tapeta surface, beating the highly praised Golden Sword in the Friday Handicap. When City Style won his 2012 Carnival debut on tapeta, he’d been off the track for nearly a year. He beat a game Bridgefield in that race, a horse who’s had solid tapeta surface form himself a year ago. But his 2nd place run behind Musir in the Al Rashidiya on turf was an outstanding run, IMO, if you consider how dominate Musir’s been so far in Dubai. Granted, Musir was hard held across the wire by Soumillon in the Al Rashidiya. But ended up beaten officially only a length in that race. I think he could end up being one of the surprise horses of this year’s Carnival if he gets to race a few more times? Much like how Golden Sword was a year ago when they took him off the turf and raced him exclusively on tapeta over shorter distances. JMO.

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