SILVER FLYER has been nominated for the Grade 1 Cape Premier Yearling Sales Guineas on 17 December at Kenilworth after his excellent win in Saturday’s Dingaans at Turffontein.
He is problematic to train and the stable fancied Merhee and Mushreq above him in a powerful line-up, but the 15-1 shot again delivered his best on the day and won with the kind of ease that had ‘class’ written all over it.
Silver Flyer (headline photo) ducked out after the winning post, almost dislodging jockey Glen Hatt, who said: “He was ducking and looking for company, very green, but won well. He’s a smart horse and it was good to ride a big winner in Johannesburg again.”
Hatt had to nurse Silver Flyer along, his ears were back and he wanted to ‘dig his toes in’, but he responded to a professional ride from the Cape-based jockey, who placed him in a gap and got him to quicken into daylight.
Silver Flyer beat the useful Whiteline Fever by 2.50-lengths, followed by Straw Market and Pomodoro.
Europa Point, hands-and-heels win.
Mike commented: “Silver Flyer is very naughty, he refuses to go to the track so we’ve been working him on the treadmill. We were going to geld him after the race, but now we’ll have to live with his tricks going into the classics.”
Golden Chateau ran on nicely for fifth, but Mushreq disappointed finishing 7.50-lengths adrift. “I think Mushreq was still a run short of his best, he’s better than this,” Mike said.
Merhee, too, didn’t live up to expectations. “We threw him in the deep end and he’s clearly not battle-hardened yet,” Mike said. “I still believe he’s a horse who will win races, so don’t discard him.”
The De Kock team sent out two other winners on the day in Europa Point and Gorongosa, both owned by Mary Slack, whose sizzling Saturday run started at Scottsville when Quest of Speed won her Maiden.
“Europa Point is deceptively good,” Mike said of the Rock Of Gibraltar mare with the purple pedigree who cruised in over 2000m under hands-and-heels only from Anthony Delpech. “I think we’ll win a feature race with her somewhere along the line,” he predicted.
Gorongosa, improving still. (JC Photos).
The Grade 3 J&B Reserve Stayers on Met Day is a possibility for Gorongosa after Delpech brought her with a well-timed finish to win Racing Association Handicap over 3200m. “She’s by Montjeu and stays all day, and she’s getting better,” Mike said.
Delpech, who finished the day with a treble and leads the National Jockeys Log with 53 winners already in the bag, said: “There won’t be much that can go with her in staying races this season. Thanks to Mike and Mary for their support!”