ELEVEN Mike de Kock runners will go to post at the Meydan race meeting of Thursday, 3 February, the fourth evening of the 2011 Dubai Racing Carnival.
They include 2010 Durban July winner Bold Silvano (photo), the powerful son of Silvano of whom Mike de Kock said on 30 December in an early report filed from the UAE: “Bold Silvano is impressive, in good shape and we’re very pleased with him. We intend switching him from grass to the all-weather track at Meydan. His mission is the Dubai World Cup and we’re planning his campaign via the Maktoum Challenge Races.”
As planned Bold Silvano, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Gill Thompson, makes his Dubai debut in the Group 3 Maktoum Challenge (Round 2, $US200 000), a 1900m race on the All Weather, sponsored by Dubai’s mobile service provider, Etisalat. Christophe Soumillon gets the ride.
Mike commented on Tuesday: “Bold Silvano is where we want him to be, well on target and still impressive. He makes the move to the All Weather and he’s short of his best, I’d say 85% ready, but we’re expecting a big run.”
Mahbooba (Soumillon), Reem (Pat Cosgrave) and Empire Rose (Kevin Shea), will face the starter in the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas ($250,000) over 1600m on AW. Mahbooba is 3kg better off at the weights with his stablemates after their 1400m encounter last month in which Reem led from start to finish for a close win. “Mahbooba is favoured but they’ve all improved, the other two fillies should run very well too,” Mike assessed.
Versatile Star Empire (Soumillon), takes a big jump in distance from 1900m to 2485m in a handicap on turf and Mike said: “He’s versatile and strong and we think he’ll see it out. There are only nine runners in the field and it’s the right company, we don’t know if it’s the right trip yet but it’s worth taking a chance for the prize money on offer. Star Empire ran on strongly last time and he’s fit and well.”
Our Giant, an impressive winner over 1200m on the All Weather a fortnight ago, returns to the course and distance for the Al Shindagha, a Group 3 sprint with a $200 000 stake. Frosty Secret, the seasoned Carnival Campaigner, returns from a long break under Shea for a pipe-opener.
“We’d like to try Our Giant over further,” Mike said, “but he’s doing superbly well and we’re very happy with him, so we’ll give him another another sprint and on his work he’ll run a big race again.”
Solid Choice (Soumillon) and Warsaw (Shea), will race in a handicap over 1400m on turf. Solid Choice came back to his best with a victory when Soumillon got him to relax for a sustained run last time and the same tactics are likely to be employed. Warsaw is better off at the weights and looks to have a place chance, but Solid Choice is the stable elect.
Hunting Tower, Absolute Heretic and Here To Win are the last three runners on the evening, set for a tilt at the Etisalat Wasal over 2000m on turf. Hunting Tower made some improvement last time but is unlikely to be competitive, Absolute Heretic has his first Dubai start and will improve, but Here To Win is expected to fight out the finish. “The Vikings from Norway will be trackside again to support their filly,” Mike quipped.