STEVE Haskin of Bloodhorse.com has placed Mike de Kock’s Mubtaahij at No.5 on his latest (Kentucky) ‘Derby Dozen’ log. He writes:
Mubtaahij is regarded as the unknown factor, but he may not be unknown at all, which makes him possibly the best value horse in the Derby and the most fun horse on whom to have a nice future book wager.
Dubai or no Dubai, he could very well be the best 3-year-old in the world. What I loved most about his 8-length romp in the UAE Derby was his electrifying turn of foot when Soumillon gave him the ‘go’ sign by merely flicking his wrists. Then just one short crack of the whip and he was gone in a flash, with Soumillon looking back twice and gearing him down in the final 100 meters. But will Soumillon’s inexperience in the Derby and at Churchill Downs be a factor?
Mubtaahij, attracting attention. (Andrew Watkins).
There obviously will be a divided camp as to whether this colt can build on that effort to the point of winning the Kentucky Derby. Some feel he didn’t beat anything and will find it tough journeying to America to compete at this level. But for those who are looking for a refreshing change from the number of babied horses we have running in the Derby, the only other horse to have run in two races longer than 1 1/8 miles going into the Derby was Canonero II, who scored one of the biggest shockers in Derby history, and he finished 11th in one of those races.
It is safe to say there will be no Derby starter fitter than this colt, who went into the UAE Derby having had four races in nine weeks and was running in back-to-back races at 1 3/16 miles three weeks apart. Yet he improved 10 lengths off his previous race, winning the UAE Derby with ease. Now he has five weeks to the Kentucky Derby and is trained by one of the greatest trainers in the world; a true master. According to Pat Cummings of Dubairacenight.com, he is scheduled to fly to Chicago April 16, where he’ll spend a few days at Arlington Park before shipping to Churchill Downs. Ignore him at your own risk.