CHARL Pretorius of racingweb.co.za reviews the 2010 Durban July and explains how Mike de Kock’s teamapplied a true pace, one of the oldest tricks in the book, to control the race from the very first hoof that landed on the Greyville turf. They had SA’s greatest race as good as in the bag even before the runners entered the home straight.
MIKE de Kock’s vast international experience helped him to secure his third Durban July Handicap when Bold Silvano (Anthony Delpech,13-2) stormed to a terrific win over stablemate Irish Flame (33-10) in the 2010 Durban July over 2200m at Greyville on Saturday.
With 100% faith in the fitness of his seven runners and unwavering in his belief that a true pace would produce a true result, De Kock had this renewal of SA’s greatest race all figured out long before the runners left the paddock.
The strong, robust Bold Silvano keeps Irish Flame at bay in the race to the line.
When jockey Ian Sturgeon sent the stable’s natural front-runner Red Rake out galloping at full throttle from the moment the pens opened, the picture quickly and by then predictably unfolded the way SA’s training supremo had foreseen it.
Red Rake raced away at a scorching clip to make the pace – to the naked eye one of the fastest seen in this race in years. The filly Love Is In The Air found herself in second spot in the back straight with De Kock’s pair of aces Bold Silvano and Irish Flame just behind her and the rest further back. River Jetez, Fort Vogue, Aslan and Pocker Power were racing in or just off midfield.
Sturgeon puts foot, again!
Instead of slowing the clip, Red Rake actually geared down and picked up the pace another notch around the far bend, Dubai-style, bringing several chasers off the bit before the home turn and arguably exposing a few jockeys and horses accustomed to crawling along merrily in races of lesser quality.
At this point De Kock already had the race in the bag. Red Rake had done his job like a soldier and got hastily out of the way for Bold Silvano and Irish Flame, waiting in the wings with their riders well aware of the game plan.
The 2010 grandstand duel was as good as confirmed for South Africa’s two best three-year-olds before the last few runners had swung fully into the bend. The only question was, “which one of the two would win?“
A proud moment for Mike de Kock and his family!
Bold Silvano, first into stride, surged forward and headed for the inside rail with Irish Flame immediately in pursuit. Irish Flame was momentarily beaten by Bold Silvano’s pace.
Kevin Shea must have realised fully 300m out that his only chance of beating his stablemate was to rush Irish Flame right up to his girth in the hope that Bold Silvano would see who it was and and throw in the towel.
Shea, with guns blazing, wasted no time in steering Irish Flame vigorously from the middle of the track in the direction of his free-running stablemate. They loomed menacingly close and Irish Flame valiantly tried to extract some energy from his vast reserve of natural talent, but Bold Silvano was quick to draw the weapons from his own arsenal, delighting 50 000 racegoers with his tenacious desire to win.
The son of Silvano stuck gamely to his task under a copybook ride from Delpech. His marginally superior turn of foot at the breakaway made the difference on the day. He kept Irish Flame at bay to win by a length.
In what seemed like another contest altogether, Orbison fought off Service Ace and Happy Valley for third, fourth and fifth respectively. The first older horse past the line was River Jetez in sixth, beaten almost six lengths and providing full confirmation of the unusual class and strength of the 2010 three-year-old crop.
”This is fantastic,” said De Kock after the race. We were beaten in the World Cup and this was a sweet consolation. This is home sweet home, the only difference is that dollar signs are replaced by rand signs!
Delpech called the trainer a “genius” and said: “Bold Silvano is a very good horse. We were travelling sweetly and I didn’t want to lose the advantage of our draw, so I got him going early. Irish Flame was moving well close to us, but Bold Silvano showed his mettle. He’s great!”
Bold Silvano is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Gill Thompson, who sold half a share of the horse to De Kock’s Dubai patron earlier this year. He was bred by Dr Ashley and Mrs Rose Parker’s Ascot Stud and is by Silvano from Bold Saffron, by Al Mufti.
Bold Silvano is set for a campaign in Dubai and is likely to be aimed at the Dubai World Cup in 2011. Irish Flame will be pointed at the Sheema Classic.
Diane and Mike with Equiparada (Delpech)
It was always going to be one of those days at which little could go wrong and Sheikh Mohammed’s three-year-old filly lEquiparada ooked like she’d “jumped into the race“ about 250m from home in the Grade 2 Mercdes Benz Gold Vase over 3000m.
She rallied clear to win from older geldings Golden Parachute and Royal Captive and Mike said: “Once again a win for a three-year-old in strong open company. She’s a good filly and will be heading for Dubai.”
The stable’s treble came along in the Grade 1 Garden Province Stakes in which Delpech once again rode a fine race. He brought Here To Win with a storming run from 10 lengths off the pace to win going away from Imperious Star.
“That Here To Win didn’t make the final field for the July was a blessing, because the Garden Province turned out to be an ideal race for her. She might also make the trip to Dubai, we’ll make a decision in due course.“
Here To Win is owned by the partnership of Norwegians, Erik Lobben and Morten Myhre.