LINK MAN has been gelded, is back in training and Mike de Kock feels he is better than ever, reports JACK MILNER in Racing Express.
The five-year-old son of Toreador is among the entries for the Grade2 Emerald Cup over 1450m on the Vaal sand on Saturday 22 September but De Kock says he is looking at an alternative race.
“There is also a 1000m race (the Listed Hampton Handicap) at the meeting and I think that could be a better alternative. The draw is so important in the Emerald Cup and they are only doing the barrier positions after announcing the final field. I would not be keen to run him from a bad draw,” said De Kock.
The 2011 Grade 2 Gauteng Guineas winner was strongly fancied to run a big race in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth in January but bled badly and was off for a few months. He returned in the Grade 1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint over 1200m at Scottsville at the end of May but trailed in at the back of the 16-runner field, beaten 17.05 lengths by Delago Deluxe.
“I was very resistant to geld him because he is such a beautifully conformed horse and I think he would have made an excellent stallion. But after he bled in the Queen’s Plate he became more and more difficult so we were left with no choice,” said De Kock.
“Since he’s been gelded he has come on nicely. If all goes well the plan is to run him on Emerald Cup Day in one of the two events, then we’ll look at the Grade 3 Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m on the Turffontein inside track next month and then into the Grade 2 Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile over 1600m in November.”
Final declarations for the R600,000 Emerald Cup close at 11am on Wednesday and a live draw for barrier position will take place on Wednesday evening.
EMERALD CUP BETTING 6-1 MR TOBIN 7-1 ACROSS THE ICE 8-1 CAPTAIN`S SECRET 10-1 RIGHT BEAUTY, WAR HORSE 12-1 IN A RUSH, MEADOW MAGIC, THE MOUSEKETEER 14-1 LINK MAN 20-1 CALANISH, FOLLOW THE PIPER, JET JAMBOREE 25-1 APPROACHABLE, ASTRO NEWS, EASTERN COBBLER, PRIME MOVER, PYLON 33-1 ALWAYS AL, BEACON FLARE, BOB `N WEAVE, KISS AGAIN 40-1 AND UPWARDS OTHERS.