MUBTAAHIJ worked a half-mile a little after 8:30 on Saturday morning at Arlington Park, reports MARCUS HERSH of drf.com. He worked with stablemate Umgiyo over a half-mile on an unseasonably cold, damp, blustery day.
Mike de Kock uses electronic tracking devices fitted in the saddle of his horses when they train. The devices feed information – speed, distance, time, heart rate, etc — into a computer and, in fact, de Kock was able to track the two horses’ works Saturday morning from South Africa. Even if the humans looking on from a couple hundred yards above could not.
Mubtaahij (Lisa Moncrieff), working at Arlington on Saturday morning. (Thanks to fourfootedphotos).
Mubtaahij completed four furlongs in 49.7s; the last three furlongs in 35.3s and the last furlong in 23s. Visually, Mubtaahij looked good, though not great, and in fact the best part of his work, in my opinion, came as he passed the wire and galloped out strongly around the far turn. Mubtaahij did not change leads in the stretch, but lead changes are not as heavily emphasized overseas as they are here, and his stride was fluid enough.
Watching the horse walk around the backstretch confirms what de Kock and Brown have said about Mubtaahij – that he is a happy, healthy horse who, after losing a bit of weight during the long ship here from Dubai, has taken his travel well. Once back in his stall, he dived into his hay rack before rider Lisa Moncrieff could even remove his saddle, and Mubtaahij is bright and energetic.
Brown said this work was “more intense” than the timed work Mubtaahij had Tuesday, a three-furlong move timed in 36.20 seconds. Mubtaahij broke off at a faster pace and was allowed to run through the wire and gallop out stronger than was the case four days ago.
Mubtaahij, post-exercise on Saturday. (Mike Wilkening on twitter, @mikewilkening).
Mike and Diane de Kock will fly from South Africa to Louisville on Sunday. Mubtaahij will have a light training session, and on Monday, he and Umgiyo leave here by van at 10 a.m. bound for Churchill Downs.
He said from Turffontein on Saturday: “Diane and I are hugely excited about the week ahead. Mathew will be joining us in Kentucky midweek. We’re looking forward to being a part of the build-up, the hype around this wonderful race. It’s a dream come true and all still somewhat unreal, but we’re not coming to take in the scenery and the vibe. We have a good horse with a chance, I am very happy with his work on Saturday, he is on target.”