The 2016 Dubai World Cup runner-up Mubtaahij will not have to face California Chrome in the 2017 renewal of the third richest race in the world at the end of March.
The son of Dubawi finished just over three lengths behind the US champion and Horse Of The Year last year.
Mike De Kock is back in charge of the globetrotting 5yo Mubtaahij and is likely to give the son of Dubawi a run at Meydan this month in advance of his end of March date.
De Kock has yet to win Dubai’s showpiece race since it was inaugurated in 1996, but the ante-post market suggests he will have a strong chance of ending that wait this year.
Arrogate is favourite in some lists but is not considered a likely runner at this stage.
Mubtaahij has been mixing it with some of the best horses in the world for two years now.
The biggest win of his career so far came at the 2015 World Cup meeting, when he landed the UAE Derby in spectacular style. The winning margin was eight lengths, which left many pundits tipping him up for success in the 2016 Dubai World Cup.
His next run was in the Kentucky Derby, when he finished eight of 18 to American Pharoah. He was then fourth in the Belmont Stakes when Pharoah completed his Triple Crown.
After his runner-up finish at Meydan last year, Mubtaahij transferred to U.S. trainer Kiaran McLaughlin for an American campaign.
He ran third in the Gr2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park in July, then was beaten by a head by Shaman Ghost (who was second to Arrogate in the Pegasus last Saturday) in a four-way photo for the Gr1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga in September.
Back at Belmont in October, he was a disappointing fourth in the Gr1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes behind Hoppertunity, who had finished third in the Dubai World Cup.