Mat’s views on Classic Day

Mat’s views on Classic Day

HERE are Mathew de Kock’s comments for the graded races on 2018 Classic Day at Turffontein, Saturday:

 GR1 SA CLASSIC, 1800m:

Like A Panther has been working very well. He’s drawn well and I’m very happy with him. He was not all that happy in Cape Town and is a much better horse in Joburg. I would have liked one run but he’s not short of work. I have a slight preference for him out of our five runners.

“Everything has gone well with Noble Secret. He has a good draw again and will be suited to the extra 200m. Everything looks positive. Royal Crusade is in exactly the same boat. The extra 200m is right up his alley but he will probably be at his best in the Derby. He did show in the Guineas that he is competitive in this company.

“We’re trying blinkers on Alshibaa this time and are hoping for improvement but maybe he’s a little outclassed here.”


 “Everything has gone smoothly between the two races for Takingthepeace – other than the draw. Last time she did come from last and passed the whole field so that is one positive way to look at the draw. Her work is good, we’re happy with her and 1800m shouldn’t be a problem based on the way she won the Guineas. As far as running her in the Oaks is concerned, if she wins on Saturday we’ll think about it.

“Silver Thursday still had some meat on the bone when she ran in the Fillies Guineas so she will improve. The further she goes the better she’ll be. She will be fine over the extra distance but she is our Oaks runner. She’s drawn No 10 but I suppose it’s not the worst draw.”

“It will be very difficult to beat Legal Eagle but Nother Russia is very well in with the rest of the field. The Empress Club Stakes is her main goal. We’ll see how Orchid Island fares against Group 1 males but she does tend to run well when she gets the sex allowance. Maybe we will skip the Empress Club with her and go for Premier’s Champions Challenge. She is likely to retire at the end of season but maybe we’ll give a bash at a few races in Durban. We’ll play it by ear.”

 GR 3 MAN O’WAR STAKES, 1100m:

“Mustaaqeem is doing well at home, we’re very happy with him. The concern is that he is giving weight to the whole field. We will see how he goes over 1100m and that will tell us where to go next. Alwahsh is doing very well and I expect a big run.”


“Zaheed is a smart colt. Not easy first time out in a feature but I don’t think he’ll be disgraced.”


Dagmar showed you never know how good they are until you run them. She had a good win in the Ruffian Stakes on debut. She’s had a good prep and we’re happy with her. It’s hard to be confident but she’s doing well.”