08/12/2004 12:00AM

Mubtaker going for third Freer


Mubtaker, second in last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, makes his first start since then on Saturday in an attempt to win his third consecutive Group 2 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

Only three will line up against the 7-year-old Mubtaker, who, at 132, is rated behind only Doyen by Timeform among all European horses in training. They are Dubai Success, a Group 3 winner; Compton Bolter, a six-time listed winner; and last year's Epsom Derby runner-up, The Great Gatsby, who will wear blinkers for the first time.

Never out of the first three in 17 career starts, Mubtaker has run just six times since November 2001. He had been sent to Italy this winter by trainer Marcus Tregoning to have a warm weather preparation for the Dubai Sheema Classic, but never made the trip to Nad Al Sheba, having come down with tendonitis

Richard Hills will have his usual place aboard Mubtaker for the 1 5/8-mile, 61-yard race, which is worth $182,000.