UAE Derby Post Race Analysis - Super Screener
Super Screener

UAE Derby Post Race Analysis


UAE Derby

Mubtaahij did not disappoint as the odds-on favorite in the UAE Derby as he took it to a field of suspect rivals and soundly defeated those foes with an impressive open lengths victory. What I found most impressive was that he accelerated in the stretch to draw away without ever changing leads!

He finished the race in a throttled down 1:58 1/5 on the new dirt surface at Meydan (about 2 seconds slower than the time established at that distance in the Dubai World Cup run several races later in the day). For comparison sake, last year’s UAE Derby winner and second place finisher in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classice, Toast of New York, won in a final time of 1:57 4/5. The last serious Kentucky Derby contender coming out of the UAE Derby was Master of Hounds back in 2011. His final time in the UAE Derby was 1:58 4/5.

Now, before we get too excited, we need to consider that Mubtaahij enjoyed what was unquestionably the perfect trip which is unlikely to be duplicated in the Kentucky Derby. He sat on the favorable inside portion of the track behind a wall of four seriously weaker dueling rivals before being maneuvered outside the survivors to draw away for the convincing victory. In addition, if you look at the past performances of the other horses in the field, none had submitted a subpar 1:36 for the mile distance in previous races.

What makes Mubtaahij more interesting than past UAE Derby winners is that his connections started thinking about the Kentucky Derby as a target earlier this year. He will be shipping stateside by mid-April which is far earlier than previous UAE Derby contenders which provides this colt with an acclimation advantage over previous Dubai shippers. In addition, he has a conditioning advantage having shown acceleration going just over 12.5 seconds for the final 3/16ths of a mile in this 1 3/16 miles event.

His primary challenge in the Kentucky Derby is that he will be joined by several other presser types that will generate a pace scenario very unlike what he contested in the UAE Derby. It will be much more pressured and his stamina conditioning will be tested.

While somewhat of a mystery horse, he does appear to be the best UAE Derby prospect since Master of Hounds to take a serious run at the Kentucky Derby.