MIKE de Kock holds a powerful hand in the feature races to be staged at Turffontein on Saturday, including five runners in the Gr 2 R600,000 Charity Mile.
Kavanagh and Welwitschia are both likely to be stretched over a mile in the charity race, but Mike gives both good chances and said: “Kavanagh is well drawn and we’re happy with him. He’s a more sensible horse these days and we’re hoping he can produce a top run over the full 1600m. Welwitschia is at her best over 1400m but she has plenty of speed and class and we’ll be holding thumbs.”
Rudra, Empenoso Henn and Flirtation complete the yard’s formidable assault and Mike commented: “Rudra is being prepared for the Summer Cup and he has improvement to come, but I am very happy with him, you can never leave him out. Empenoso Henn has been destroyed by the handicapper, in my view, and has a tough task. Flirtation is doing really well and is one of my early fancies for the Summer Cup. We’re expecting a good run despite her draw, she runs on well.”
For distance suitability, Mike seems to lean towards Red Barrel, one of four stable contenders in the Emperors Cup. He said: “Red Barrel is a beautiful animal. He’s had his niggles, but we make him a big runner. It’s on the short side for all of Frontino Gold, Dansili Express and Saucy Savannah, but they’re all nice horses and in good shape. It’s a R2-million race so we’ll take our chances.
Comments on other runners:
Race 2: “MERHEE has done enough to be involved in the finish. He’s a half-brother to Musir and the 1160m is too short, but he should run well and is one to look out for, he will be decent when he goes over a mile.”
Race 3: “FAUSTINA has a good draw, she’s battling somewhat but has a shout.”
Race 5: “LIGHTNING BIRD is well related, she’s a full-sister to Mythical Flight. She was doing her best work at the finish in a race against colts last time and while she’s not well handicapped must have a shout.”
Race 8: “AMUR AFFAIR is badly drawn and this will be a test of her class. BLUROUTE has impressed me but this too, is a race that will test her class.”
Race 9: “RIGHT BEAUTY is fit and he’s a Classic type of horse. I’m concerned about the distance, but he’s improved after being gelded and will be running at them. CHILL FACTOR is doing well, this is his right trip and we’d like to see how he shapes in this league. We’re throwing TWO GUN KID in at the deep end and he’s a nice sort, another we’d like to test in this class.”
Race 10: “This is not the strongest Golden Loom sprint I’ve seen, KENTUCKY EXPRESS gives of his best and should be involved in the outcome.”
Photo: Right Beauty is one to watch in the Graham Beck Stakes.