MUSHREQ crowned another good week for Mike de Kock and his team with a runaway win in a Novice Plate over 1800m at the Vaal on Saturday (headline photo).
The meeting was moved from a wet Turffontein but it was neither here nor there for Sheikh Hamdan’s charge, who won unextended under Anthony Delpech and rewarded his followers who’d been scratching their heads after his below par run in the Gr 2 Dingaans.
Assogia Wood quickened well to win.
Mike commented: “We fitted Mushreq with blinkers and tried him over extra ground, both factors clearly making a difference. I still believe he is a horse that will win races and can be followed.”
He also has hopes for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Atyeb, who stayed on courageously to win a 2600m MR80 handicap under 62.5kg. The lighter-weighted runners came challenging over the last 200m but Atyeb, who had been sent about his business early, fought them off doggedly.
Atyeb is a smart looker and he’s turning the corner. Mike said: “He’s smart and he’s putting things together. Now that he’s won again I think he’ll have the confidence to take it further.”
Raymond Koedyk’s Assogia Wood, a winner over the straight 1400m in MR94 company, falls in the same category. He quickened well for apprentice Tshwaro Appie and kept running to hold off a late surge from Across The Ice.
“We’re not sure yet what Assogia Wood’s perfect distance would be, he seems versatile though and should win a few more.”
Mozart’s Giovanni was a fluent winner on his 1200m debut for Lammerskraal Stud at Scottsville on Sunday, adding to Delpech’s growing tally with a 2.75 length win. He’s a smashing grey and assistant trainer Nathan Kotzen said: “Well done to Sally Jourdan from Lammerskraal. She told me this would be a nice horse from the moment he joined us. He’ll come into his own over further.”
Another impressive Maiden winner was Big Boy Blue, who came storming home to score by 3.50-lengths after a downpour of rain just before his 1600m contest.
“I think he’ll win in any going,” commented Kotzen. He’s still weak, but getting stronger and he can win again.”
Big Boy Blue, by Right Approach, was bred by Dave Black who owns a share of the bay gelding who races in Mike de Kock’s red-and-white silks. Mike and Chris Haynes own the other shares along with “Curly” Grant.
Big Boy Wild, getting stronger.