Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa has enjoyed a marvellous season with Australian bred gallopers in South Africa and Dubai and he unearthed another smart type when Mahbooba won the G2 Debutante (1200m) at Scottsville on Tuesday.
Mahbooba (2f Galileo – Sogha by Red Ransom) had coasted home on debut over 1300m at Greyville on March 17 and she doubled up with another eye-catching victory at the Pietermaritzburg course yesterday.
Mahbooba is trained by Mike de Kock and he also prepares Aussie bred three year-olds Raihana (Elusive Quality) and Musir (Redoute’s Choice) for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa. They were both feature winners in South Africa before travelling to Dubai to complete the UAE Oaks – UAE Derby double at Meydan in March.
Mahbooba is already looking for further than the Debutante distance of 1200m. She made heavy weather of getting on terms at Scottsville but gradually warmed to the task of reeling in the leaders. She defeated another Aussie bred filly Big On Broadway (Fusaichi Pegasus) by just under a length even though jockey Kevin Shea eased up before the line.
Mahbooba is by former Coolmore shuttler Galileo from the Kris Lees trained mare Sogha. The dam won races at Scone (2) and Muswellbrook before retiring to stud. Second dam Marple (Diesis) is a half-sister to Slew The Red (Red Ransom). He was a G3 winner at Longchamp and Deauville before retiring to Summerhill Stud in South Africa.
Sogha foaled Mahbooba first-up and a Fusaichi Pegasus filly followed in 2008. She was then covered by Dylan Thomas and exported to Argentina in March 2009. Raihana’s dam Esubooh (Sunday Silence) was on the same flight.
In other South African news, Champions Day at Turffontein was called off for the second time due to inclement weather on Tuesday. Originally scheduled for Saturday, April 24, it features three G1 events and five G2 events. Officials have postponed the meeting to this Saturday, May 1.