Last summer’s Triple Crown exploits of his stablemate Malmoos kept Al Muthana well beneath the radar, but when trainer Mike de Kock’s young gelding emerged from winter hibernation he suddenly bleeped loudly on every punter’s scanner.
Al Muthana returned to action after a seven-month hiatus, in a non-descript 1450m Graduation contest on the Vaal Classic track, and was hardly off the bridle in a 4.75-length destruction of the opposition.
It was the Australian import’s second career win from six starts and the form reveals he tended to find trouble in his losing efforts. Older and wiser at four, Al Muthana looks headed for the very top.
Certainly, De Kock thinks so as he has him entered for next month’s Summer Cup at Turffontein – the most important race on the Highveld calendar.
But, before that, at the Vaal Classic on Tuesday, Al Muthana has a date with some racy rivals in a 1500m Pinnacle Stakes event.
Seldom caught napping, the bookmakers have the gelding chalked at even money and he will be a banker choice for most Pick 6 backers.
De Kock’s Randjesfontein neighbour Sean Tarry saddles five of Race 7’s 10-horse field – all preparing for the rich pickings of summer that lie ahead and all capable of causing an upset if Al Muthana encounters difficulties in the scrum on the Classic band.
Tarry stable jockey Lyle Hewitson partners sparingly raced mare Seeham, while freelancer supreme Gavin Lerena is on honest gelding Shango.
Candice Dawson sends out two well-proven horses, Eliud and Approach Control, who are musts for Trifectas and Quartets.
But the De Kock machine is revving loudly right now and it’s difficult to foresee anything other than a win for Al Muthana.
7 Moya Wa Laliga, 9 Baby Don’t Hurt Me, 3 Angel Of War, 4 Averni Warrior
4 Lucy English, 5 Eastern Belle, 1 Captain’s Run, 2 Gifted Gal
4 Motown Magic, 5 Wave Warrior, 6 Leshawes, 10 Motor City Hitman
1 Stunning Kitten, 4 Tuuletar, 6 Bass Line, 5 Wisteria Avenue
2 The Sash, 1 Un Deux Trois, 3 Smiley River, 8 Zazu
2 Evening Rise, 8 The Cambo, 5 Grand Escape, 7 Procrastinator
8 Al Muthana, 2 Eliud, 4 Approach Control, 5 Seeham
8 Monsoon Kenny, 5 Master Of Law, 4 Waqaas, 3 My Kingdom
4,5 x 1,4,6 x 1,2,3,8,9 x 1,2,5,6,7,8 x 8 x 1,2,3,4,5,7,8 (R1260)
4,5 x 4 x 1 x 1,2 x 2,5,8 x 8 x 4,5,8 (R36)