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Sheikh's Stars Join Payne Stable For Cox Plate Campaign

Tuesday, 25th May 2010

Trainer David Payne's star international recruits Musir (Redoute's Choice-Dizzy De Lago, by Encosta De Lago) & Raihana (Elusive Quality-Esubooh, by Sunday Silence) "emerged from quarantine in Sydney yesterday" to begin campaigns aimed at the Gr1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October, reported The Daily Telegraph. Musir & Raihana (owned by Dubai royal Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa) ran the quinella in the UAE Derby in Dubai on World Cup night in March. Both 3YOs were bred in Australia before being sent to South Africa where they were trained by Mike De Kock: Musir was champion 2YO in South Africa before winning the UAE 2000 Guineas-Derby double; Raihana won the UAE 1000 Guineas. Sheik Khalifa then arranged for the pair to return to Australia & for Payne to prepare them for an assault on the Cox Plate. Payne confirmed: "My plan is to keep them here in Sydney for the early spring & set both for a race like the George Main Stakes & then head to Melbourne for the Cox Plate. They are both very impressive young horses. Musir is a lovely, big, strong horse, he's 16 hands & a real nice type. He looks the goods. Raihana's a nice filly, too. It's exciting to be training 2 such top-class horses for the spring carnivals."

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