“MY Sansui Summer Cup runners are all going into the race with good form,” Mike de Kock told Racing Express on Thursday afternoon. SA’s Champion trainer will be bidding for his ninth victory in Johannesburg’s biggest horse race.
“I would have liked to have given Perana, Mother Russia and Flirtation another run but we have a long season ahead. Their training at home has been excellent. Alderry is as well as ever. Muzi Yeni came up on Tuesday to gallop her without my even asking. I was impressed by his dedication.
“Flirtation has done everything right in training. She’s well handicapped, although badly drawn.
“Mother Russia went into the Victory Moon with an iffy coat. She’s come on with the run, took it well and her coat is now perfect. The second run after a layoff doesn’t normally worry me but every now and again it comes up to bite you. I’m happy with what she’s done in training.
“I would like to see Rudra in better form, but he’s never run a good race in blinkers so I’ve taken them off. He has come down in the ratings but has not run anywhere near even the new rating for a long time. Perana has had a great preparation, although I would have loved another run. He’s done everything right in training. I was impressed by the way he won his last race, especially the courage he showed. He’s a young and immature horse with a lot to do, but does have Group 1 ability.
” Zirconeum was a bit wide and out of her ground in the Victory Moon. She is another I would like to have seen with better form coming into the race. It’s taking a while to get her back to a peak since coming back from Dubai but I think she’s pretty well handicapped.”
Mike also commented on his other Cup day runners:
”Kavanagh (Investec Dingaans) was badly cut into in the Graham Beck Stakes and it cost him a week’s work. I couldn’t risk it in case the stitches pulled out. So his preparation has been less than ideal but he has put in good work over last two weeks. I would have preferred a better preparation for a big race, but he needs the run to go into the Cape Guineas.
“Link Man (Hertz Merchants) is doing well. I’m happy with the horse and he has come on well after his last run. He’s a straightforward horse – works, eats and runs. He’s up-and-coming, an improver and I’m looking at Guineas – but over 1200m he is competitive.
“I think Happy Archer (KIC Fillies Mile) is very hard to beat. Checcetti was given a rating of 100 for beating Silver Lace – Happy Archer got hers winning a Grade 1!
“It’s not a given Rocks Off, Ilsanpietro or Elusive Model (Defy Racing Association Handicap) will stay the 3200m. Ilsanpietro was doing his best work at the end in his last race over 2450m, so he should see it out. Until they’ve run over the distance you never know, but Rocks Off has always given me the impression he will stay and he has the cardiovascular of a staying horse.
“Pero Valiente (Race 1) is quite a nice little horse but would probably prefer further. He’s a nice sort and is not out of it.
“This is too short for Frozen Fire (Race 9). I had him in Dubai where he was pretty disappointing. His merit rating is too high. Candy Singer (Race 9) has come on since her last run but will probably need another run.”
Image: Delpech, De Kock and Perana: Is this the winning team?