THE Mike de Kock yard has 20 runners on Vodacom Durban July day and the stable’s connections commented on all of them yesterday at Summerveld.
Anthony Delpech is bullish about the chances of the July favourite Igugu, whom he said was special and doing very well.
He rated Atlantic Oak, Mushreq and Fisani as his others with good chances on the day and also mentioned Noble Legend.
He said, “If there’s any horse that is going to beat Dancewiththedevil in the Garden Province, it is Fisani. She’s doing very well and this is one of my favourite races. I’ve won it six times.”
Assistant trainer Nathan Kotzen added, “Fisani tries very hard and is very well and fit.”
Kotzen said that Ilsanpietro would be a “big runner” in the Grade 3 Schweppes 2200 Challenge, although Delpech added that it would be a “preparation run for the Canon Gold Cup.”
Kotzen said that it was a “very hard card” but that all of the yard’s runners had been working well.
In the first they have useful sprinter Kentucky Express, who must jump from a wide draw in what Kotzen described as a “very competitive field.”
He said that both Big Boy Wild and Noble Legend, that run in the second, a Juvenile Plate over 1900m, would stay the trip.
Noble Legend is by Victory Moon out of an Enforce mare that won over 1600m and as a big, galloping looking sort he looks likely to relish the trip, having run a far from disgraced six lengths fifth behind the top class Gimmethegreenlight and other good horses over 1300m on debut.
In the Grade 1 Durban Golden Slipper over 1400m de Kock has two horses that have shown plenty of potential in Amanee and Salsabeel, although they will have tough tasks beating the highly impressive Princess Victoria from the Glen Kotzen yard.
Delpech has ridden both of them and now has the ride on Amanee, who looks the yard choice, but Kotzen added, “They have very wide draws and are going to need a lot of luck from there.”
De Kock said earlier in the season that the best of Amanee would be seen when she goes a mile and she was very impressive when winning over 1450m at Clairwood last time, getting the better of another fine looking prospect in Stern Line pretty comfortably with the rest of a decent field well beaten.
In the Grade 1 Zulu Kingdom Golden Horseshoe over 1400m the Justin Snaith-trained Gimmethegreenlight also looks hard to beat, but Kotzen said, “I make Mushreq our best in this race. He was very green last time and seems to need further, but he will definitely be in the money.”
The de Kock yard also thinks highly of reserve runner Genepri, although Kotzen said he also seemed to need further.
He also said, “Second Tycoon shows very good work”.
Kotzen said of Beaches, who runs in the ninth, that he had ability but seemed to “need things to go his way.”
Kevin Shea is very happy with his July mount Galileo’s Destiny, whom he only managed to pull up by the Drill Hall after his July gallop last Thursday.
Shea was outspoken about his chances on Irish Flame last year, but this year appears to be quieter in his confidence.
Kotzen’s order of finish for the yard’s July runners was Igugu, Galileo’s Destiny and Flirtation.
He said, “Flirtation is a top filly. I don’t know too much about Captain’s Wild, but I’m not sure he will be suited to the course as he’s quite a big striding, galloping type, although he will be running on at the finish.”
Kevin Shea added that he reckoned Safwan, who is many people’s idea of the pacemaker, would beat home more horses than beat him.
Shea gave his mounts Salsabeel and Second Tycoon chances in the two-year-old Grade 1 races and concluded by saying, “Copper Parade in the eleventh has a very good chance. “
Shea rode the Joey Ramsden-trained Copper Parade to victory in his penultimate start over 1200m at Scottsville and said, “I was quite impressed with him.”