SHEA SHEA (photo), the 2011 Gr 1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint winner, will make his international debut in the $US175 000 Dubai Excellence Trophy over 1000m on turf at Meydan on Thursday evening.
Shea Shea (Christophe Soumillon up) is one of seven Mike de Kock runners to contest various races at this, the fourth meeting of the 2013 Carnival.
Mike is happy with Myron Berzack and Brian Joffe’s sprinter and told mikedekockracing.com on Tuesday: “Shea Shea has shown us a lot of ability, he is a talented horse. This is a good race to start his campaign, he has a chance, but he will need the run being one of our runners that had to travel. The race will bring him on and he will be giving plenty of weight to his rivals. We expect major improvement to come.”
Much anticipated too, is the debut of The Apache (Soumillon), another former South African star, who will face the starter in the $USD200,000 Al Rashidiya over 1800m on turf.
Mike said: “He has not been a straight forward horse to train and he is not at his best, but we’ve done as much as we can to get him to race fitness and we’re expecting a decent run from him, he’s another who needs the outing to improve.”
Mushreq (Paul Hanagan) and Anaerobio (Pat Cosgrave) will go to post in a handicap over 2000m on turf and while Mike had high hopes for Mushreq, he was very concerned about this one’s inside draw.
He explained: “We’ve decided to drop him out, race him from off the pace and this could pose a problem since there is no false rail. I believe things should be as fair as possible but for some reason there is a resistance here to the false rail, the cut-away, the elbow, call it whatever you like.
“Mushreq was terribly unlucky last time, he’s got to be a huge runner being fit and well but the draw is not in our favour. Anaerobio is doing well, he is at his best now, stays the trip and has a place chance.”
The stable has a high opinion of Rerouted, who will race in the hands of Soumillon in a handicap over 1400m on the all-weather track.
“We had to back off Rerouted when he pulled up shin sore after his last run, but he’s fresh and looking well and he’s a horse I think a lot of, he can run a bit. We want to run him in a mile, which we believe will be his best trip, bit the 1400m will have to do for now. He has a shout here,”Mike said.
Kava nagh (Johnny Geroudis) and Final Button (Cosgrave) will carry the stable’s hopes in a 1400m handicap on turf, to close off the meeting.
“”Kavanagh had a massive blow last week, he ran well and he’s a 1400m specialist, so we left him in this race, but the inside draw is again a worry. Final Button has been most disappointing, we’ll be fitting him with blinkers and hopefully that will do the trick.”
It would be interesting to know the reasoning behind the resistance to using a false rail, but under the current circumstances the jockeys have to get their horses off rail as early as possible in the back straight and turn slightly wider into the home straight, unleashing their finishing run toward the inside middle of the home straight. It is a slightly longer route to the line, but it is far better than getting trapped on the rail and waiting for a gap to open, as this allows the competion to get first run on you and the horse temporarily loses momemtum especially if the front horses are not accellerating