He writes: There is an old idiom that states “nothing succeeds like success” and trainer Mike de Kock is living proof of those words. He has been a key player in putting South African racing on the international map and has often said we could be leaders in this market.
De Kock has already sent a number of horses abroad to compete in next year’s Dubai Carnival and World Cup night but he still has an abundance of talented runners at his Randjesfontein yard. With the Highveld summer season well underway and the Western Cape season in its early stages, De Kock gave some of the Phumelela Publishing staff a tour around his stable and commented on his runners and their plans for the next few months.
MOTHER RUSSIA: She’s top class. I was hard on her last season and she needed a rest. I think her best trip is around 1800m, but off a 109 merit rating I’m quite happy to take my chances in the Sansui Summer Cup. I think she is better than 109. I know about her second run after a layoff and all those things. After that I would love another crack at the Met. I think the Kenilworth 2000m suits her. So we’ll probably go Queen’s Plate and then the Met.
ALDERRY: We are going for the Summer Cup with her. She proved in the Charity Mile that she is a top filly. I was very happy with the win – hopefully it’s given her a bit confidence. In the past we’ve been racing her too handy and I think this filly wants to be dropped in.
PERANA: He’s a naughty bugger but I believe he’s a Group 1 horse. We’re going for the Summer Cup with him. In his win in the Victory Moon last week he actually ran to a 110 merit rating. However, they could not lift him higher than a 102 unless I agreed to it, but I elected to remain at 102. They can catch up with him later. In theory we will be under sufferance but we were under sufferance in the Victory Moon as well. As far as his future is concerned, I will take it one race at a time. Let’s see how he performs in the Summer Cup and we’ll make up our minds after that. I would be happy to give him a break afterwards and go for three-year-old Classic races. Fortunately, in Larry Nestadt and Bernard Kantor, I have owners who understand the game and have confidence in me.
RUDRA: We decided to geld him as he’s not going to be a sire. I was disappointed with his run in the Charity Mile but was unable to run him in the Victory Moon because final declarations were too early. We’ll take our chances in the Summer Cup and see what happens. He’s rated 112 and I can’t see him giving Mother Russia weight.
ZIRCONEUM: She’s coming along well and she’s handily weighted off 107. We’ll see how she does in the Summer Cup.
GIBRALTAR BLUE: Her performance last Friday night was mind-boggling. She’s gone the mile but she’s devastating as a sprinter. In the SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville she was beaten, but seven months down the line she is so much more mature. Friday’s performance threw me out. For a filly to do that time (55.91sec), with that weight (63.5kg), against those top sprinting fillies is unbelievable. The Queen’s Plate is still very much in the back of my mind but I may need to have a rethink.
LINK MAN: His run over 1000m was a cracking performance. It was too short and I’ve still got a feeling he will go a mile. He’ll only go overseas next year and I’m looking towards Hong Kong next December, something like the Cathay Pacific Sprint.
IGUGU: I have her nominated for the Fillies Mile on Summer Cup day, the Ipi Tombe the following week and the Cape Fillies Guineas but I haven’t decided which way to go as yet. She is probably at her best over 1800m to 2000m.
KAVANAGH: Top performer. At this stage he will take his place in Dingaans and then probably the Cape Guineas – and then we’ll think about the Queen’s Plate. If he draws badly in the Guineas we may move straight into the Queen’s Plate.
SIDERA: We’re aiming for the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes at Kenilworth with her. She’s grown, is looking better, and it looks like she’s going the right way. We’ll prep her in the Ipi Tombe and then raid on the Cape.
GLUWEIN: She’s disappointed me in her comeback. She’s not quite where I want her to be but I think she’s on her way.
WOROOD: I hope she can stay a bit of ground, say around 1400m. She pulled in the race against Miss Zummerudd, which is why she got caught late. She is a filly with ability.
BURMESE CAT: He was an above-average two-year-old. He has been gelded because of a twisted testicle.
JET LEGEND: He’s JJ The Jet Plane’s full brother. He needs to improve to take on the better horses.
THE ASSAYER: I was thinking of the Dingaans with him but he has his problems.
BADGER LAKE: We bought him from Stan Elley. I think he’s a lot better than his exposed form suggests.
ATLANTIC OAK: Very immature filly and I sent her to the farm for a while. Top stayer material but there are not too many races for staying fillies.
WATCH THE WEATHER: He’s a three-part brother to Jet Master. He still needs to improve.
FLIRTATION: She can run. I always rated her as a three-year-old.
IRISH MAY: She’s a full sister to Irish Flame. She has a bit of class about her.
HEADSTRONG: She’s still immature but she’s a good filly. I see her as Listed and Group 3 class.
IMMELMAN: Listed class.
PENNROCK: She has ability but is problematic.
STORM CROSSING: He only seems to be effective on the sand.
SWEETIE PIE: She’s a nice filly. I thought if she did well in the Victory Moon I would try her in the Summer Cup but that did not work out.
CANDY SINGER: She’s not going to Hollywood but she holds her own.