After lengthy consultations with the guru, Mike de Kock and partner Barry Clements, a decision was made this morning to send Mullins Bay after his greatest challenge yet. He will be lining up alongside seven Gr1 winners on Saturday in one of the world’s top ten furlong contests, the Emirates Airlines Champion Stakes (Gr1), over Newmarket’s storied Rowley Mile course.
An old injury has meant that his genius trainer has had to work against the odds all along, in an attempt to find a balance between keeping the horse sound and getting him fit, and this is reflected in his racing weight at various points since he first donned the Summerhill silks. His excellent third in the $1 million Godolphin Mile at the Dubai World Cup meeting, where he tired in the dying stages at a distance short of his optimum, was run off a weight of 522kg.
On Saturday he will strip a much fitter horse at 508kg, and Mike de Kock tells us he’s put in two very good pieces of work in the past ten days, earning his place alongside the elite racehorses of Europe in Saturday’s line-up.
“I’ve always believed he’s a Group One horse and this is the fittest I’ve been able to get him. While it may not be his absolute top, I believe he’s talented enough to be competitive, even though he may be taking on some of the best in the world.”
As one of the world’s most expensive yearlings of his year and sporting as distinguished a pedigree as you can imagine, a bold showing from Mullins Bay on Saturday will set him up perfectly for his stallion career, when he will stand alongside the exalted likes of Kahal, Muhtafal, Malhub, Solskjaer etc. Champion jockey Jamie Spencer has asked for the ride and everyone at the farm will be glued to their televisions come Saturday, as Mullins Bay sets out on his biggest assignment yet.
What a precursor for the son of Machiavellian, to be lifting the curtain for South Africa’s assault on the Rugby World Cup, as they take on our former colonial masters in what could be termed a re-run of the Battle of Isandlwana later that evening. No doubt our English friends will be hoping it will turn out to be another Rorke’s Drift!