ANTHONY Delpech, in top form, booted home another double for Mike de Kock’s yard at Turffontein’s inside track on Saturday, winning on popular Pick 6 bankers Earl De Grey (Race 4, 2600m) and Europa Point (Race 7, 1450m).
Some would consider both Mike’s formbook plums to have been the proverbial armchair rides, but there are jockeys in town who get pipped on “pointers” like these because they try to look ultra-professional on their mounts by waiting until the last possible second to let them go. Delpech, however, can be counted upon to be on the positive side of split-second timing and punters are turning profits on his 20% success rate.
Earl De Grey did everything right in coming to the front 400m from home, travelling smoothly, but 20-1 shot Vas Vites stormed up from nowhere with a powerful challenge. He was about to “climb all over” Delpech’s mount with 200m to run. But with supporters of Earl De Grey gasping for breath, Vas Vites, green, shifted sharply and lost his momentum. This allowed Earl De Grey to streak well clear and impressively too.
Mike and Anthony in the winner’s enclosure with the RA girls after Earl De Grey’s win.
Earl De Grey is by Grey’s Inn from a Jet Master mare and was bred by Graeme Koster’s Rosedene Stud. He is owned by Mike, Warne Rippon and Tony Moodley.
Mary Slack must be licking her lips in anticipation of the exceptional quality of broodmares due to come off Mike’s conveyor belt in the next few seasons following the retirement of Mother Russia to Wilgerbosdrift Stud. They include the likes of Headstrong, Gorongosa and Europa Point (headline photo), who packed too much class and ability for her rivals in a MR88 Handicap over 1450m.
Europa Point is a daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar from a Woodman mare who herself is a half-sister to stallion, Kabool. She’s won four of eight starts, this latest one from the widest of draws and over a distance short of her best. She could have a feature win in her this summer.
Mike was also delighted with the performance of Perana, third to Soul Master in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1800m. Perana was having his first run in 131 days and Mike told Racing Express: “He did everything right today. He didn’t pull, he behaved at the start and he ran on well. The inside track is not ideal for him so this was an excellent effort. He will go into the Victory Moon Stakes and then into the Summer Cup.”