MIKE de Kock’s stable is in tremendous form and the team put no less than 14 winners on the board from Sunday to Sunday, 2-8 October.
These include victories in both feature races at Turffontein’s inside track on Saturday. Gibraltar Blue recorded a scorching success in the R200,00 Gr 3 Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m and Welwitschia (headline photo) was similarly impressive with her commanding win in the Gr Joburg Fillies and Mares Challenge over 1450m.
Gibraltar Blue won in dashing style!
Anthony Delpech, who partnered the two Graded winners, added Dunraven to his tally of wins and booted home two winners for other trainers, while Weichong Marwing (Frontino Gold) and Tshwaro Appie (Amur Affair), rounded off Mike’s own five-timer on the day.
The De Kock wins included the four Jackpot legs for a return of 345 to 1 and Mike said: “We’ve had five winners at one meeting a few times, but I can’t recall winning the Jackpot with our runners before. It was a brilliant day and thanks to my team for their dedication and hard work.”
Gibraltar Blue(11-10) won in her favourite fashion, leading from pillar to post, and Mike confirmed that he has earmarked the 2012 Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth for the daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar. He said: “She’s sound of late and we’ll see how she pulls up. We might go for the November Handicap in the run-up to the Queen’s Plate.” Delpech commented: “She’s very talented, a true class mare with a top cruising speed. “
Frontino Gold, bright future.
Welwitschia (14-10) had an outside draw to contend with and didn’t have the best of breaks, but Delpech shook her up and brought her across to the inside fence without much fuss. She moved out for running room and kicked into gear with 400m to run, proving 2.25-lengths too good for champion filly Dancewithedevil when they crossed the line.
“Welwitschia has caught up with with her rivals, she’s physically stronger than the last time she raced against St John Gray’s filly,”Mike said.
Gibraltar Blue is owned by Klawervlei Stud (nominee John Koster), and Klawervlei’s Marketing Manager Grant Knowles was on hand to lead her into the winner’s enclosure. Welwitschia, by Oasis Dream, is owned by Mary Slack and Mike pointed out that she will be another excellent addition to the broodmare ranks of Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud. Both were bought at the Goffs Sale in Ireland.
Amur Affair (Tshwaro Appie) liked the extra.
Markus and Ingrid Jooste have enjoyed a super spell of winners recently, too, and they have a serious Emperors Cup contender in Frontino Gold, who showed the benefit of being fitted with blinkers when he broke his Maiden over 1450m. Last week the Jooste-owned Red Barrel also staked an early claim for the 5 November spectacle. They were purchased at then 2010 Emperors Ready To Run Sale for which this year’s public gallops takes place at Summerhill Stud this coming Friday.
“Frontino Gold is looking for much more ground and is a nice horse for the Derby, but we had to push him and race him over a distance short of his best bit to make sure he gets into the Emperors Cup. It’s a R2 million-race and he’s talented, we’re excited about him. Weichong Marwing reckons he’s headed for big things,” Mike enthused.
Dunraven finished strongly to win.
Dunraven and Amur Affair were considered to be short of peak fitness and that both won impressively would have given their connections much hope for their races that lie ahead. “Most of our runners are coming off periods of rest and vaccinations. We give them time off after the Durban winter season and it works wonders. They invariably come back fresh and well. “
Two Gun Kid (9-2), had to work hard for a short-head debut win at Clairwood on Sunday, but he’s one for the notebook and Mike said: “He’s a good prospect with a nice action.” Two Gun Kid is by Toreador from the former good race mare Trading Up. He’s owned by the partnership of Mike, Tony Moodley, Larry Nestadt and Greg Blank and was raised at The Alchemy Stud.
Two Gun Kid: Rattled gamely. (Gold Circle).