It’s Super Thursday in Dubai this week and in a blow to South African interests, the powerful son of Machiavellian - Mullins Bay - will not make a start in the third round of the Makotum Challenge for the De Kock stable.

Ironically perhaps, it had been a race that his trainer had tipped him to win.

“He is a horse with terrific pace and stamina,” reports Mike de Kock. “His work on the track has been excellent.”

In his first start in Dubai three weeks ago, Mullins Bay ran second in a 14-horse field in the Gr 3 Al Maktoum Challenge. It was a good blow-out for the horse who was in need of the run, and given his work since that date, the stable had anticipated a good performance this Thursday.

Only a fortnight ago Mike reported the horse to be working as well as the best horses in Dubai this season and considered him “a serious contender for the World Cup” where he would be lining up against the likes of Horse of the Year Invasor and unbeaten UAE Derby winner and Eclipse Award finalist Discreet Cat.

Sheikh Hamdan’s Worldwide Racing and Bloodstock manager Angus Gold, who was in Dubai last week with top jockey Richard Hills, and who witnessed one of Mullins Bay’s workouts, was equally effusive, commenting not just on the quality of the workout he witnessed but also proclaimed Mullins Bay as “the best looking son of Machiavellian I have laid eyes on”.

Without Thursday night’s run under his belt however, Mullins Bay’s connections are querying the potential race fitness of the horse for the 10 furlongs of the World Cup. This means the Godolphin Mile may well become the more likely option.

“Mike feels that this horse has plenty of speed as well as the stamina to be competitive at the mile if that becomes our option,” reports co-owner Mick Goss. “Whatever happens it’s disappointing, yes, that he may not run in the World Cup itself in light of what he has shown us on the track, but either way it is an unbelievable privilege to be involved in a meeting of this stature. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for us to express our gratitude to the Maktoum Family who have been such staunch supporters of our farm - and South African more generally - over the past 17 years.”

Mullins Bay is jointly owned by Summerhill Stud and South African born (Australian resident) Dr Barry Clements. In addition to Dr Clements and his wife, several members of the Summerhill team will travel to Dubai for World Cup night including Mick Goss and his wife Cheryl, stallion manager Greig Muir, and nominations manager Linda Norval.