x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Musir keeps up perfect record at Meydan Racecourse

The Dubai royal family-owned horse wins by a length as Presvis, who will defend his Dubai Duty Free crown against Mike De Kock's stable star in March, finished fifth.

DUBAI // Musir powered to victory in the US$200,000 (Dh734,640) Al Rashidiya at Meydan Racecourse last night, claiming the Group 2 contest for his trainer, Mike de Kock, for a fourth time.

The Meydan specialist, who is to be campaigned for the World Cup night $5m Dubai Duty Free, is now two from two in the UAE this season.

De Kock, the most successful international trainer at the World Cup Carnival, was not at the track yesterday, but his assistant, Trevor Brown, witnessed the stable star's victory.

Christophe Soumillon, the Belgian jockey who steered Musir to victory, was happy with the manner in which the 2010 UAE Derby winner had claimed the race.

"There was no pace in the race and he was drawn wide so I am pleased that he was able to race prominently," said Soumillon who had slotted Musir into second place behind leader, Marcret, in the early stages. After the final bend, Soumillon asked Musir to quicken and the five-year-old shrugged off the competition to win by a length from Marcret.

"When you have one of the best horses in the race and he's drawn outside in quite a slow race you have to find a way to get out of trouble," he said. "This horse generally likes to run covered up but he has a very big turn of foot."

Presvis, the confirmed hold-up runner who is set to defend his Dubai Duty Free crown against Musir in March, could not contend with the lack of pace, finishing fifth.

At the beginning of the evening, Dark Matter made it two from two in the UAE, when snatching victory from Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Albaasil.

The winner of the 2,000 Guineas Trial came off best in a photo for jockey Ted Durcan and Singapore trainer, Steven Burridge.

The colt refused to be beaten, just pushing his nose over the line to maintain his unbeaten record.

"He's a really tough horse," said Durcan. "He just gets his head down and does what he needs to do."

Mick Lockett, assistant trainer to Burridge, said the 1,400m Tapeta sprint represented Dark Matter's toughest race to date.

"That was the hardest he's run," said Lockett.

A much-refreshed Krypton Factor put smiles on the faces of his trainer and jockey in the opening 1,200m sprint.

The consistent runner clearly enjoyed a drop in trip and a switch from turf to Tapeta.

He earnt rider, Kieren Fallon, his first win of the UAE season and handler, Fawzi Nass, his first training victory at Meydan Racecourse.

Last week the dark bay had been found wanting by a length-and-a-half in a 1,600m turf contest which was won by Iguazu Falls.

But ridden prominently by Fallon, Krypton Factor proved more than up to the task at the shorter distance, winning by a length-and-three-quarters.

"He's a cracking horse," said Irish star Fallon. "He had a tough race last week in a tough field and he's come back very well."

Nass, who has had success in the UAE as an owner, was celebrating his first training victory.

"It was about time really," said the Bahraini trainer. "I have been knocking on the door for a few years.

"He's a good, tough horse. I think we always knew he would come back to six [furlongs] eventually. Obviously we know where he belongs now."