Two winners and change

MIKE de Kock performed some rare pre-Christmas duties, saddling at Turffontein on Saturday, normally an indication that he doesn’t expect to go home empty-handed.

Mike left with two winners, a second and a third from seven runners and was generally pleased with what had transpired.

Armstrong (blue silks), top win from a wide draw.

Armstrong (blue silks), top win from a wide draw.

Armstrong, properly up against it from the widest of draws, and racing in a competitive field, stayed on strongly to edge out Over Sharing and Gold Lightning in Race 3 over 1400m. Mike said: “He’s a leggy horse, a nice sort with potential. If he was drawn well, I’d say he would’ve won this as he liked. Gavin Lerena rode a good race from his outside position.”

Bred by Hemel N Aarde Stud, Armstrong is by VAR from a mare by Galileo, which should give the stable some distance options on his pedigree. Having won his Maiden the hard way against some hard knockers, his owning partnership can look forward to fun with this one. Mike, Arun and Mrs Chada, Dr John and Mrs Amanda McVeigh, Noeline Malherbe, Gary Grant and Chris Haynes put down R260,000 to acquire him at the National Sale, it could be a smart investment.

Atyaab (nearest camera), ran on well late to collar Protea Paradise.

Atyaab (nearest camera), ran on well late to collar Protea Paradise.

Stable mates Protea Paradise (Dynasty)and Atyaab (Dundeel) fought out the finish of Race 7, an Assessment Plate over 2000m – the latter gaining a later verdict under improving young rider Diego De Gouveia.

“They’re two nice three-year-old to have in the yard. They stay well and will win their way through the divisions,” Mike said.

Atyaab races for Sheikh Hamdan of Dubai.

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