MIKE de Kock hasn’t started his Dubai campaigns this early before, but he wasted no time opening his account for the 2014/15 season saddling Mubtaahij, his first runner of the season, to win the opening Maiden Plate over 1600m on dirt at Meydan, New Year’s Eve. This was Mike’s 150th winner in the UAE.
One of two juveniles among the 13 runners, Mubtaahij was ridden by Dane O’Neill and, having been slowly into stride, was soon stalking the pace.
O’Neill asked for an effort 400m from home and they led within the final 200m to win going away.
“He is a nice horse,” said Mike. “It is never easy for a two-year-old against their elders and we have to be very pleased with him.”
Mubtjaahij, by Dubawi, races in the familiar yellow-and-blue silks of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.