MIKE de Kock has often said, “You’re only as good as the team behind you”. In his absence from Turffontein on Tuesday evening, long-time assistant trainer John Buckler saddled three winners for the stable. Nathan Kotzen, meanwhile, prepared another winner on Mike’s behalf at Scottsville earlier in the day.
John is not overly keen on being interviewed – he is one of those individuals who believes that actions speak louder than words – but three different jockeys paid tribute to him on Tellytrack during the course of the meeting.
Tshwaro Appie, who rode highly promising two-year-old Soft Falling Rain to victory for Sheikh Hamdan in Race 2 over 1000m, said: “(John) turned this horse out beautifully. Soft Falling Rain is top class, he was the best horse in the race and I could ride him confidently.”
Soft Falling Rain (1-3), by National Assembly, looked mature beyond his years as he raced to a 4.75 length win and Appie added: “He loves it down the straight.”
Markus and Ingrid Jooste’s Second Tycoon (5-1, headline photo), who’d dead-heated with up-and-coming sprint star Unannounced in July, posted a similarly impressive win in Race 5 over 1000m, clocking 56,32s.
Jockey Gavin Lerena said: “I think when Second Tycoon matures he will be effective over further. He gave me a good feel. Thanks to John Buckler and the team for turning him out so well.”
Derrick David booted Jet Legend (5-2) to a smart win in Race MR94 Handicap over 1600m and expressed similar sentiments towards Buckler and his Randjesfontein team.
This was a second winner for Sheikh Hamdan and Jet Legend never looked in a any danger of defeat, confirming the stable’s high opinion of him. “He pulled hard during the race but when I asked him to go there was more to come,” said David.
Owner Raymond Koedyk’s Reign As Kings (13-10), won his second race from three starts, cruising home over five lengths ahead in a 1100m sprint at Scottsville under Anthony Delpech.
“I am happy for Ray, who is an old friend of mine and has started to invest again in the game,” Mike said from Dubai.