Today marks the beginning of the big Summerhill “exodus”, as six of the team depart, some for the first time, for the fabled sands of Dubai. Their purpose? Attending the Dubai World Cup race meeting is in itself an auspicious happening, but the 2007 version marks the first time the Farm will be represented by a runner carrying the silks that adorn the main entranceways to the Stud Office.
Head Stallion man, Greig Muir and Stallion Sales Manager, Linda Norval are joined by Heather Morkel (head of Sales and Marketing at Vuma Feeds) and Sales executive, Catherine Hartley, on the early flight, with Mick and Cheryl Goss bringing up the rear. In Dubai, the MULLINS BAY supporting cast will be completed by Australian part owners, Barry and Liz Clements, who’ll be rooting for the strapping son of Machiavellian as he takes on multiple Group One winning miler, COURT MASTERPIECE, among numerous luminaries for the laurels in the US$1 million Godolphin Mile.
The world’s best performed son of Machiavellian in 2005, MULLINS BAY’S preparation has been anything but smooth, leaving him sidelined for all but two starts in the past 18 months, (where he was twice 2nd in Group Two company.) An old injury kept popping up, and this was the reason he was withdrawn from his last engagement, the third round of the Maktoum Challenge, where he was a well fancied favourite to grab the spoils, as well as the big bonus for the best performed competitor in the series.
While a mile is probably short of his best trip these days, with a career record of only one unplaced run (5th in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Mile at Ascot, beaten only 3 1/2 lengths by Starcraft after making the pace), his work in Dubai suggests he’s on his way back, and a big effort in his final work this morning will serve as a timely reminder to the Godolphin team that Court Masterpiece’s crown will not be secure until the Fat Lady has had her say.