Mshawish ‘better on the dirt’

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March 23rd, 2016

“I think he’s better on the dirt than the turf, for sure,” declared Mshawish’s exercise rider Nick Bush.

That’s saying something for a horse with such strong international formlines on turf, and a giant vote of confidence ahead of Saturday’s Dubai World Cup (G1).

“When we first got him, he was very difficult. He was strong and hard to handle,” Bush told Michele MacDonald in a Dubai Racing Club feature.

“He’s a very aggressive horse. He’ll go out there and, if you knock him around, he’ll knock you back,” Bush said. “He is not going to take anything off anybody.

“Every time I work him on the dirt now, he gives me 100 percent. He’s going out there and he loves it.”

“Now that we are figuring him out, he is unreal. He’s versatile. He’s solid. He has a good foundation under him.

“He’s one of the best I’ve been on; I’ve never seen anything like him. He’s a big horse to watch (in the Dubai World Cup). I’m thinking this is our chance to win.”

According to the Wednesday notes, trainer Todd Pletcher was happy to see Mshawish doing so well at Meydan.

“He looks exactly like I hoped he would, and like (assistant trainer) Ginny (DePasquale) and (exercise rider) Nick (Bush) have been describing and sharing in videos they have sent,” Pletcher said. “We’re really pleased with the way he shipped and the way he settled in and with the way he looks and the way he is moving. He enjoys his job and it’s good to see his energy level and his enthusiasm equal to what it was at home.

“I think he is doing as well as he can do, and the trip and everything has gone as smoothly as we could hope for so we’re excited about our chances.”

Bush gets the last word: piloting Mshawish back from yet another powerhouse gallop, he said, “Wow!”

Photo courtesy Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins.