03/29/2010 12:00AM

Musir gives De Kock another UAE Derby win


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Age, experience on two continents, and a crafty ride by jockey Christophe Soumillion gave Musir an expected victory in the $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby.

Musir, an Australian-bred 4-year-old, closed from last in a field of 14 to win by 1 3/4 lengths over the 4-year-old filly Raihana. Musir ran about 1 3/16 miles, or 1,900 meters, in track record time of 1:57.44. Saturday's program was the 10th day of racing at Meydan, which opened in late January. Musir paid $5.40 in the U.S.

Mendip, a nominee for the American Triple Crown, finished third in his first start in a group race.

The Group 2 UAE Derby was open to 3-year-olds from the Northern Hemisphere and 4-year-olds from the Southern Hemisphere. Musir and Raihana were foaled in August 2006, so are essentially 3 1/2 years old.

The first two finishers are owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum of Dubai and trained by Michael de Kock, who splits time between Dubai and South Africa. Musir gave de Kock his fifth win in the UAE Derby, and third in the last four years.

Musir has won 5 of 6 starts and $1,427,301. He has won four consecutive races since last July, including a Group 1 race in Australia last July.

De Kock praised Soumillion's ride and the way he brought the colt between horses along the rail in the final furlong. "Christophe knows where he is in a race," de Kock said. "He's one that can read a race very well."

Not everyone else was impressed. Jockey Willie Supple, who rode Izaaj to an 11th-place finish, confronted Soumillion near the jockeys' room and the two had to be separated.

The race was marred by a severe breakdown suffered by Timely Jazz on the final turn.