THURSDAY’S meeting at Meydan was not a bad day at the office and Mike was more than happy with the results. “At the end of the day, their missions were not at this meeting and I think there’s a hell of a lot to come from them,” he said.
Bold Silvano was favourite for the Firebreak Stakes over 1600m on the all-weather and finished fifth behind Sandagiyr, beaten only 1.75 lengths by the winner.
Said Mike: “He found the race too sharp for him and he never really had a clear run down the straight at all. But he pulled up extremely well and will take his place in the Al Maktoum Challenge (Round 3) over 2000m on the all-weather on Super Saturday (10 March). And then the Dubai World Cup (31 March).”
Stable-elect Master Of Hounds had to be switched at a crucial stage and finished third behind Mendip in the Al Maktoum Challenge (Round 2) over 1900m. Hunting Tower led for much of the journey before compounding.
“Master Of Hounds had every chance,” said Mike bluntly before conceding: “He’s a delicate horse, so I haven’t been hard on him in training and I don’t think he’s at peak fitness yet. But we’re getting there.”
He added that Master Of Hounds would be switched to the turf track for a race in a fortnight. “I have a feeling he’ll be better on the turf.”
Mike was impressed with Mickdaam’s effort in the UAE 2000 Guineas. His charge carried 0.5kg overweight and was balked for a clear run 300m out before running on well to finish a neck second to Kinglet.
“That was an exceptional run,” he enthused. “And the further he goes, the better he’ll get. He’s still progressive and we have a nice future with him.”
Mickdaam’s immediate programme will see him taking in the Al Bastakiya over 1900m on Super Saturday and then the UAE Derby on World Cup night.
The final race of the evening, the Dubal Trophy over 1800m on the turf, was a triumph for the stable on a night dominated by Godolphin. Mike’s charge, Mutahadee, brought right to race along the outside rail, led a good 300m from the wire and kept rolling strongly to beat his stable companion Anaerobio by 1.50 lengths.
“Mutahadee was super-impressive. I still don’t know how good he is and he’s a very exciting horse. He will take his place in the Jebel Hatta over 1800m on the turf on Super Saturday and then the Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night.
“That was another genuine effort from Anaerobia. He’ll win a race very soon, in the right field.”
Quite of a few of Mike’s fans were a bit disappointed with Irish Flame’s fifth-place finish in the Potlines Trophy, but Mike was not unhappy with the run, saying: “He was blowing very hard afterwards. He really needed the run after being held up in quarantine for more than three weeks. He pulled up extremely well and will come on with the run.”
Mr Brock, he said, “just didn’t put it in, but he’s eight now and old horses do these things. He’ll be retired at the end of the carnival.”