Mike de Kock’s UAE specialist, Musir, winner of round one of the Al Maktoum challenge earlier this month and a three-time winner at last year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival, ran out an easy winner as the 4-7 favourite.
He looks set to be campaigned for the Dubai Duty Free after romping home in the Group 3 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 on Thursday night.
Musir seems back to his best following what for him a disappointing last season when he finished seventh in the2011 Dubai World Cup.
The Group 2 contest looked like a potential thriller beforehand but main rivals Presvis, appearing at his fourth carnival, and the ex-Freddy Head-trained Rajsaman proved bitter disappointments.
Musir, trained by Mike De Kock, looked as good as ever when defeating stablemate Master Of Hounds earlier in the month and was in similar form as Christophe Soumillon steered him to an easy three-length victory in Thursday’s 1,600m Tapeta contest.
Last year’s winner Presvis, who went onto land the Dubai Duty Free, failed to pick-up from his midfield position on his first run since May.
“Christophe has been saying since he got back that he’s been doing better,” said the South African. “I think I’m going to get him back on the turf and run him in the Dubai Duty Free rather than have another shot at the World Cup.”
Soumillon warned there was more to come.
“This horse is a superstar,” He said. “He’s a really amazing horse. It was amazing how he won the Derby [in 2010]. He’s very strong this year and he’s going to get better.”
De Kock scored a one-two with new acquisition, Master of Hounds, formerly an Aidan O’Brien inmate, ridden by Kevin Shea crossing the line behind the 2010 UAE Derby winner.