MIKE put his feet up in his stable office at Randjesfontein on Tuesday after his six 2010 Sansui Summer Cup contenders had wrapped the largest part of their preparation programmes for the big race during fast workouts at the track at 5am.
He is pleased as punch with the condition and fitness of every one of Rudra, Mother Russia, Zirconeum, Alderry, Flirtation and the favourite, Perana, and looks well on target for putting a ninth Summer Cup title behind his name on Saturday afternoon.
Mike was joking around for most of the morning with jockeys Muzi Yeni and Anthony Delpech, who reported for work on what is traditionally Mike’s most important execrise day before a big racemeeting. (Excercising the horses, that is).
Abram Makhubo and Muzi Yeni.
Anthony was impressed with Perana’s final fast gallop before the big race and seemed quietly confident along with Perana’s regular work rider Abram Makubo, who told that the “naughty” Australian import didn’t pose the problems on the work track the general racing public would expect after witnessing his antics in the Victory Moon Handicap.
Muzi and John Buckler.
“He’s only full of himself in the paddock around the other horses, and when he walks out to the track,” said Abram. “I like this horse a lot, he is very well.”
Muzi Yeni reported an exceptional workout from Alderry and Mike echoed his sentiments that she’s a serious contender on her recent win in the November Handicap. “She won well that day, she went away from her opposition and she wasn’t stopping,” said Mike.
Assistant trainer John Buckler threw a spanner in the works by whispering that he liked the two other fillies, Mother Russia and Flirtation, and that he expected 2008 Cup winner Rudra to put up a run more becoming him.
Mathew de Kock seemed to lean towards Mother Russia, and posed for a photo while her grooms, Richard and Steven, were preparing her breakfast after her sunsrise gallop.
Matt with Mother Russia and grooms Richard (left) and Steven.
Matt also mentioned how fond he was of stable 21, just a few doors down the barn from Mother Russia, where one Igugu resides!
Another assistant trainer Debbie Le Roux checked on the well-being of Dingaans-fancied Kavanagh, who looked relaxed and well in his stable.
Kavanagh, with Debbie, seems in a good frame of mind.
A photo crew arrived with a model for a few snap shots, as they tend to do at this time of year, and it was a real fine morning in the end.