MIKE de Kock, who arrived at Belmont Park on Monday, believes Mubtaahij will put up a polished performance in the Gr1 Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
A 16-1 chance for the third leg of the US Triple Crown, Mubtaahij has enjoyed a very good preparation for the race and Mike commented: “His has been a consistent prep, no interruptions and he is going well, I expect a much better run this time.”
Things didn’t go Mubtaahij’s way in the Kentucky Derby last month and Mike said: “Firstly he didn’t have the best of preps and then everything that could go wrong actually did in the running of the race.
“Our plan was get him out well and have him off the fence in a handy position. But he didn’t break well and ended up on the inside in all the kickback. In the end he had enough but considering nothing went his way, he did well to still finish ninth. After that run he was rated the 20th best horse in the world, and seventh on sand.”
Mubtaahij gets a splashdown after exercise at Belmont Park from Lisa Moncrieff and Trevor Brown. (Thanks to @JodiEfune on twitter)
Headline pic of Mubtaahij and Irad Ortiz courtesy of NYRA.