MATHEW de Kock saddled four winners from five runners for the stable at Turffontein’s inside track on Saturday to the delight of Mike, who has returned from a brief trip to the UK.
“It’s all team work. Days like this don’t come around often,” Matt told mikedekockracing.com. “We have four head grooms, namely our veteran stable hand Job, Vengi, Themba, who came to us from Charles Laird and David, who was formerly with Penny Kimberley. And of course there is Peter Dunias, our farrier. Things are running smoothly.”
Boylan Blaze, pillar to post under Tshwaro Appie. (JC Photos).
Matt added that the new Polytrack at Randjesfontein has been a joy to work on. Surprise winner Boylan Blaze is one runner who has shown clear benefits of exercising on this quality track. He won at 15-1 for the Haynes family, Gary Grant and Mike de Kock and the young assistant commented: “Boylan Blaze’s grass form is very good, he ran close to horses like Happy Valley and Star Empire, who won in Dubai this season. He was well weighted because his grass rating is low and only had to produce half his best to win.”
Boylan Blaze scored from start-to-finish over 1800m under apprentice Tshwaro Appie. “Tshwaro has been very loyal to us,’’ said Matt. “He’s there every day and does anything I ask of him. If I ask him to come on Sunday, he is there. He deserves the opportunities he gets and he is an underrated jockey. I think he has a bright future.’’
Ebtehaaj (Abram Makhubo), easy winner.
Champion work rider Abram Makhubo brought home 28-10 second favourite Ebtehaaj in Race 1 over 1800m. “She’s well bred, by Rock Of Gibraltar from a Zabeel mare, and she stays well. She didn’t beat anything of note, but I think the further she goes, the better she’ll get,” said Matt of Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s filly.
Dansili Express, ridden by Anthony Delpech, took the lead shortly after the start in this Maiden Plate over 1800m and the result was never in doubt. Once in the straight the 13-20 favourite kicked clear and won unchallenged by three lengths from Carnaby Street.
Dansili Express, hands-and-heels only!
“He ran well last week and he’s come on from that run,” said Delpech, who rode his mount confidently, hands-and-heels. “He’s got more improvement in him, he’s an nice type of horse.”
Chill Factor closed the day on a high note. He drifted to 2-1 from 15-10 but managed to hang on in a tight finish to give the stable its fourth winner. Chill Factor looked an easy winner inside the las 200m but ducked badly at the 100m mark. “My heart was in my throat,’’ Matt tells. “Chill Factor shows us plenty of ability and he is still improving. We might fit him with blinkers next time.”
Headline photo: Chill Factor (Anthony Delpech), hangs on to win from Beta.