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Trainer Mike de Kock has been dominant at the Dubai International Racing Carnival over the years and the South African handler is keeping up the good work this winter.
Musir was one of his stars at Meydan in 2010, when this sharp son of Redoute's Choice won all his three starts and put up an excellent performance in the 9.5-furlong UAE Derby (G2) on World Cup night. This year, he will go for the big one.
Having won the 2,000 Guineas Trial (LR) over 1400 metres, and the 2,000 Guineas (G3) over 1600 metres (in each outclassing Frozen Power), he clashed with the equally impressive Al Bastakiya (LR) winner Mendip in the Derby. It looked a two-horse race on paper but, while Mendip ran a bit below his best, two of Mike de Kock's four runners produced career best efforts. de Kock saw Musir come with a smooth run from off the pace to win the Derby by 1 ¾ lengths from the filly Raihana, with Mendip 1 ¼ lengths further adrift in third spot. Raihana, a winner of the UAE Oaks (LR) on her previous start, passed Mendip with about 200 metres to go, but she had no answer when Musir drew upsides 100 metres from the winning post. Both these runners were bred in Australia. Musir won the classic with great authority, looking very much like a horse who would relish a stiffer test of stamina.
He did not, however, not confirm that he stays when getting his World Cup prep in the Al Maktoum Challenge III (G2) on Super Thursday. Musir started favourite for this event, run over 2000 metres, and he enjoyed a good run – but Twice Over outstayed him to win by 2 ¾ lengths. Musir looked a big danger 200 metres out, only to tire a bit in the closing stages. He was a nose ahead of the third placed Gitano Hernando. Whether Musir did not quite stay the trip or simply needed the run is hard to say. He remains an interesting World Cup contender.
Musir had made a most promising seasonal debut three weeks earlier, when second, 1 ½ lengths behind Godolphin Mile contender Skysurfers, in the Firebreak Stakes (LR) over 1600 metres. Coming from off the pace over what was a distance on the short side for him, he was a game runner-up and passed the post 5 ¼ lengths clear of the third placed Imbongi (who had been 2 ¼ lengths behind Mendip on his previous start).
Musir's sire, Redoute's Choice, is a successful stallion responsible for other high profile runners like Miss Finland, a G1 winner from 1200 to 2600 metres, the very smart sprinter Snitzel (himself now a leading young sire) and the incredible filly Melito, who won two G1 events and was placed in another five as a 3-year-old.
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Last update: 2011-03-04 06:09:32 (First published: 2011-02-23 06:41:48 )
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