AFTER Irish Flame won the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 at Greyville on Saturday trainer Mike de Kock admitted he was not exactly sure where to gowith the son of Dynasty in his build-up to the Vodacom Durban July, writes JACK MILNER of The Citizen’s Racing Express.
De Kock commented that as a result of the season having to be changed around due to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, it had become quite difficult to plan an appropriate path forward. It is interesting to note that Irish Flame is one of the entries for the Canon Gold Cup (Grade 1) to be run on Saturday 26 June.
The Gold Cup usually takes a month after the Durban July but this year it is a month ahead,as the Durban July will now be run on 31 July. De Kock is unlikely to want his charge to race in a 3200m event and then drop to a 2200m race five weeks later.
As a result Irish Flame may not end up in the final field for the R1.2-million event, the only Grade 1 race in the country over the marathon trip. De Kock is more likely to make Ancestral Fore, an impressive winner of the Grade 3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup last Saturday over 2400m at Greyville, his chief runner in the Gold Cup, while La Foce, second on Saturday, should provide able back-up.
When the nominations came out there were 28 entries for the Gold Cup and it does include some of the best stayers in the country. Mike Bass has entered Golden Parachute, Grisham and Thanks John, who has done remarkably well recently in races from 1800m to 2800m.
Joey Ramsden has Omaha Beach and improving stayer Predestination while Dominic Zaki has put in three-year-old Winning Leap, who has come on in leaps and bounds since running over distance and surprised when winning the Gold Bowl at Turffontein over 32000m in May, in heavy conditions.
There is, however, no sign of last year’s winner and runner-up – Mokaro and Noblewood respectively – both trained by Stephen Page, or fourth-placed Santa. Supplementary entries close at 11am on Friday morning so they may still end up in the final field.
Declarations close at 11am on Tuesday 15 June.
NOMINATIONS CANON GOLD CUP (G1) R1.2-million 3200m
17 ANCESTRAL FORE (M F De Kock)
21 BEDLOE’S ISLAND (S G Tarry)
18 BOLD WONDER (D C Howells)
12 CHICO AZUL (J S Roux)
15 GOAT (P V Lafferty)
13 GOLDEN PARACHUTE (M W Bass)
3 GRISHAM (M W Bass)
27 HOSPITALITY (JMT Stewart)
4 IRISH FLAME (M F De Kock)
5 LA FOCE (M F De Kock)
24 MOKARO (S H Page)
6 MR. ESPLENDID (G S Kotzen)
22 OMAHA BEACH (J Ramsden)
23 PRECEDENT (P F Matchett)
14 PREDESTINATION (J Ramsden)
2 RECONCILE (G S Kotzen)
10 REFINED IN FIRE (Y Bremner)
16 ROBINSON CRUSOE (G S Kotzen)
26 ROYAL CAPTIVE (S G Tarry)
7 SANGRIA GIRL (G W Ennion)
8 SANTA (O A Ferraris)
9 SPEED FOR GOLD (D R Drier)
20 SPORTS FACTOR (P V Lafferty)
28 STARZENE (W H Marwing)
1 STRATEGIC NEWS (H J Brown)
25 THANKS JOHN (M W Bass)
11 VERTICAL TAKEOFF (S G Tarry)
19 WINNING LEAP (D Zaki)