02/22/2011 12:52PM

Mahbooba looks formidable in UAE Oaks


Mahbooba appears to have her six rivals in the Group 3, $250,000 UAE Oaks over a barrel at Meydan on Thursday night. The Australian-bred Mike de Kock-trained Mahbooba whistled three weeks ago when taking the UAE 1000 Guineas by 3 3/4 lengths. At 1 3/16 miles, the Oaks is 3/16 of a mile longer than the Guineas, but that should only work to the advantage of Mahbooba, a daughter of Galileo.

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The second- and third-placed fillies in the Guineas, Reem and Chocolicious, are bypassing the Oaks, making Mahbooba’s job all the easier. Guineas also-rans Empire Rose, Abtasaamah, Quick Val, and Amica would have to improve beyond all recognition to trouble Mahbooba, who will go off as the odds-on favorite with Christophe Soumillon aboard.

One of two new shooters in the UAE’s 3-year-old filly division could provide a challenge. That is Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor-trained Khawlah. The choice of Frankie Dettori over 1000 Guineas fifth Abtasaamah, Khawlah is a Cape Cross filly who won her maiden in September going a mile at Newmarket. She dropped back to seven furlongs next time to finish third in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes. Ed McMahon will saddle Electric Waves. By the Australian sire Exceed and Excel, she has won four of her last five starts in England, taking Ascot’s five-furlong, Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes versus males last time on Oct. 9. She has, however, never been farther than five furlongs, 34 yards, so the step up in distance may be beyond her powers.