Musir Cruises to Victory in Maktoum Challenge

Musir Cruises to Victory in Maktoum Challenge
Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins
Musir pulls away to win the Al Maktoum Challenge-Round 1.

Musir took the lead in the stretch and drew off to an easy three-length victory in the $200,000 Al Maktoum Challenge-Round 1 Sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-III) at Meydan Racecourse Jan. 12. The race was the featured event on the third night of the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

Ridden with confidence by Christophe Soumillon, the 6-year-old son of Redoute's Choice rated comfortably in fourth as Xin Xu Lin shot to the front to set the pace under Mickael Barzalona. The Godolphin colorbearer quickly opened up a one-length lead on the rest of the field, speeding through the opening stages.

Xin Xu Lin continued to hold a slight advantage over Kavango and Secrecy as the field entered the far turn. Musir edged closer to the lead from fourth as his stablemate, Master of Hounds, began to close steadily from far back while sweeping wide on the turn.

When the field hit the top of the stretch, Xin Xu Lin began to fade along the rail and Secrecy grabbed the lead under Kieren Fallon. Musir continued to make steady progress, moving into second and setting his sights on the leader. With just over a furlong to go, Musir cruised past Secrecy and took command.

Master of Hounds closed strongly to take second, giving trainer Mike de Kock an impressive one-two finish. Secrecy held on for third, finishing a length behind Master of Hounds. Mendip, who won this race last year, was another half-length back in fourth.

The final time for the eight furlongs over the Tapeta was 1:35.85.

The victory improved Musir’s overall record to seven wins in 13 starts, with the $120,000 winner’s share bringing his total earnings to $2,217,481 for owner/breeder Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum. In addition to the Maktoum Challenge, Musir also sports victories in the Zulu Kingdom Golden Horseshoe Stakes (SAf-I), International Topkapi Trophy (Tur-IIT), and the UAE Derby (UAE-II).

Musir was bred in Australia and is out of Dizzy De Lago, a stakes-placed daughter of Encosta De Lago. He hails from the immediate female family of Japanese champion King Kamehameha and grade I winners The Deputy, Husband, and Alwuhush.

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