MUSIR (photo, right) and Masterofhounds will carry Mike de Kock’s flag in the Al Maktoum Challenge (Round 1), over 1600m on the all-weather track,Thursday night’s feature at Meydan in Dubai.
Musir (Christophe Soumillon) hasn’t raced since capturing a Gr3 event in Turkey last September, but he is preferred to Masterofhounds (Kevin Shea), who hasn’t seen a racetrack since last June, when he finished unplaced in the Belmont Stakes.
Mike said: “Both horses are well, both will improve with this run behind them. Musir, I’d say, has done enough to be competitive tonight.”
Reem (Soumillon), opens the evening for the stable in a 1400m handicap on the all-weather. Mike felt that she had a lot to do from an outside draw, but that she was well and expected to give a good account of herself despite her wide berth.
Enjoy Dubai (Shea) and Mickdaam (Soumillon) will line up in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial over 1400m on the all-weather. “Enjoy Dubai is not showing us much, the race will teach us more about him. Mickdaam needs further, but is showing potential and should run well. Both will come on with this outing.”
Happy Valley (Shea) and Hunting Tower (Soumillon) go to post in a 2000m handicap on turf, the last race on the night and Muike said: “As with the others, the pair will need the run. Happy Valley is a different horse to what he was last year, we’re keen to see how he goes tonight because his work is impressive. Hunting Tower should improve on his run last week.”
Mike has paid compliments to Tellytrack boss Ken Rutherford, who has arranged for the live feed from Meydan racecourse to be employed, instead of the SIS feed from the UK. Mike was “shocked” at what he termed the “appalling live feed” used for last week’s meeting and said: “I was in Cape Town for the Queen’s Plate and this was the first time I watched the feed beamed to South Africa. Everything was simply poor!”
Rutherford and Phumelela International director John Stuart got to work and viewers will be seeing the kind of quality feed they have become accustomed to, starting tonight.
“I’m impressed,” Mike said. “I addressed my complaints in a letter to Ken and he acted immediately. Impressive.”