16-1 Al Muthana: The Dark Horse?

WSB Gr1 SA Classic at Turffontein - off time 15h35

Today’s Gr1 SA Classic will be a sharp rise in class for Al Muthana (Deep Field-El Daana, by Redoute’s Choice) with the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum-owned colt having won only once in his five starts to date.

Australian-born Al Muthana won on debut as a juvenile over 1160m at Turffontein and showed plenty of promise when fourth in the Gr2 Dingaans Handicap as an early 3YO.

Al Muthana – has shown ability and could enjoy the 1800m (Pic – JC Photos)

Coming off a fourth placing last start, the Mike de Kock-trained colt will be stepping up sharply in distance to 1800m. He is quoted at 16-1 with Hollywoodbets.

His dam, El Daana (Redoute’s Choice), won the Gr2 Edward Manifold Stakes and at stud, she’s already left Al Muthana’s Gr2-winning half-sister Wawail (Lonhro).

The dogs were barking before and after Al Muthana’s debut.

He went off at 22-10 and coasted to a comfortable four-length victory under Callan Murray

There are a lot of things one can debate about the performances of horses but the one thing no one can argue about is the time of a race. Al Muthana completed the 1160m in a class record 66,85sec, the fastest time recorded by any runner on the day.

It was an amazing effort for a two-year-old having his first run.

“Look, he’s a very nice horse,” said De Kock at the time. “This is a horse that when he goes round the turn – a mile, whatever – I think he’s got group potential.”

Al Muthana was not all that well away but he quickly moved into contention and once Murray asked him for an effort, he charged past his opposition to beat Nourbese. Catch Twentytwo was third with Harrys Secret, who eventually went off as the 15-10 favourite, beaten six lengths into fourth spot.

Since exported to the UK, Nourbese went on to win a Gr2 in KZN, while Catch Twentytwo was labelled by De Kock as ‘a possible problem’ when looking at anything to beat his stable elect and race favourite Malmoos in the Gr1 SA Classic on Saturday.

Speaking about the debut win performance of Al Muthana, Murray said: “He went down pretty green and was slightly slow – not too bad – but I liked the way he got into stride. He quickly got into a good rhythm and accelerated off that well.”

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