MUBTAAHIJ arrived at Churchill Downs at about 6 pm on Monday evening after shipping by van from Arlington outside Chicago, reports Marcus Hersch of drf.com.
Many American trainers would have done no more than walk their horse the morning after shipping, but South African trainer Mike de Kock likes to keep his horses active, and Mubtaahij came out for a training session just after 830, exercise rider Lisa Moncrieff in the saddle.
Mubtaahij on the track at Chruchill Downs,Tuesday. (Thanks for photos, Diane de Kock).
His exercise was relatively light: a walk over to the front side of the track, a one-lap jog, and a one-lap gallop at a very slow pace. Mubtaahij moved just fine, but what was most striking about the colt was his bearing.
Mubtaahij is a curious horse, but he has no fear, no nerves, no anxiety. He looked over at the gathered throngs along the rail and in viewing stands passing the backstretch the first time, but appeared totally calm, and did not sweat at all. I watched Mubtaahij come off the track at the six furlong gap, and he had not sweated from the kidneys, a sign if anxiousness, at all.
“Amazing. All this for the first time, and it didn’t bother him in the least,” de Kock said a few minutes later.
Mubtaahij (Lisa Moncrieff) in the training paddock with Mike de Kock.
De Kock saw Mubtaahij for the first time in 12 days when the colt got in last night. He’s pleased with Mubtaahij’s weight and energy level, as well he ought to be. Mubtaahij might not prove good enough to win the Derby, but even after a demanding winter campaign and travel from Dubai to Chicago to Louisville, Mubtaahij won’t fail because of the way he got here.
“Mubtaahij enjoyed his canter on the track this morning. He is very well,” reported Diane de Kock.