De Kock Threesome Set for Al Fahidi Fort
by Myra Lewyn
Date Posted: 2/19/2013 4:19:30 PM
Last Updated: 2/21/2013 2:19:50 PM

Musir won the 2012 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I at Meydan.
Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins

While trainer Mike de Kock's lone representative in the Balanchine (UAE-II) on Feb. 21 at Meydan is South African star mare Igugu, he sends a three-prong attack for the $250,000 Al Fahidi Fort Sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-II) two races later on the card.

The threesome for the 1,600-meter (about one mile) turf race includes two campaigned by Igugu's majority owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum--Musir and Master of Hounds--as well Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum's Mushreq.

Musir, who was returned to training after proving infertile at stud, has won half his 10 starts in Dubai, including back-to-back victories last season in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round I (UAE-III), defeating Master of Hounds; and Al Rashidiya (UAE-II), defeating City Style. The 7-year-old Redoute's Choice horse followed a sixth in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) with a seventh-place finish in the BMW Champions Mile (HK-I) last May at Sha Tin and launches his comeback in the Al Fahidi Fort, for which he is the 2-to-1 morning-line favorite.

Master of Hounds has been unplaced only once in six starts in Dubai, including his runner-up finish in the 2011 United Arab Emirates Derby (UAE-II) on the all-weather surface. After unplaced finishes on dirt in the 2011 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I), he returned to the all-weather surface at Meydan in 2012, finishing second and third in the first two rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge and third when switched to turf in the Al Fahidi Fort. He scored his first and only Meydan win to date in the Jebel Hatta (UAE-I) on turf last March.

The 5-year-old Kingmambo horse subsequently shipped to Turkey and won the International Topaki Trophy in September. He enters the Al Fahidi Fort aiming to make amends for unplaced finishes in the QIPCO Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot and Hong Kong Mile (HK-I).

Mushreq, a 5-year-old by Flying Spur who is group I-placed in South Africa, tallied his first Meydan win Jan. 31 then finished sixth to Hunter's Light in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (UAE-II) on Feb. 7.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor sends out Sheikh Hamdan's Do It All, who set a one-mile track record in an optional claiming race at Del Mar in 2011 and won the Zabeel Mile (UAE-II) last season at Meydan. In his most recent start going a furlong farther, the 6-year-old by Distorted Humor   showed speed to lead early in the Al Rashidiya on Jan. 31 but was headed 600 meters out and faded to last behind winner The Apache.

Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni saddles Mandaean for Godolphin. The 4-year-old Manduro colt won the 2011 Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) and enters off a win over Al Fahidi Fort entrants Don't Call Me and Iguazu Falls in a one-mile handicap at Meydan on Jan. 24.

For entries and free past performance data, visit www.amwestentertainment.com.



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