THREE-year-old colt Merhee, who fell prey to his own inexperience when fancied to win what was to be his 1160m debut at Turffontein on 5 November, made no mistakes on his return to the track, Tuesday evening.
Merhee, who had dislodged jockey Anthony Delpech and was declared a non-runner last time, looked in a class all of his own as he powered away to a 9.50-length win under Weichong Marwing, not extended in any way (headline photo).
A 13-20 chance with bookmakers, this half-brother to international star Musir settled quickly into his stride and showed the kind of composure and galloping action that had on-course experts waxing lyrical.
Assistant trainer John Buckler said about Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s latest prospect: “He was uptight on his debut but relaxed tonight and this was a super win. He will improve as he goes over more ground.”
Atlantic Oak (Anthony Delpech), easy winner. (JC Photos).
Mike de Kock has for a few weeks been hinting that Singspiel’s daughter Atlantic Oak would win soon and her opening odds of 11-10 looked like professional punters’ value before Race 7 over 1600m. That was snapped up before the runners reached the parade ring and the five-year-old mare eventually started at 7-10.
She took up the running 400m from home and won by 1.25-lengthgs.
Atlantic Oak is owned by the partnership of De Kock, Dr John and Mrs Amanda McVeigh and Noeline Malherbe.