“If the racing world doesn’t sit up and take notice of the value of South African bloodstock after this Dubai World Cup meeting, they never will!” said Mike de Kock after the stable had saddled two South African-bred winners on the night. Seven other De Kock-runners earned stake cheques at the globe’s richest race meeting.
Three-year-old Soft Falling Rain (by National Emblem), produced a scintillating run under Paul Hanagan to win the Gr2 Godolphin Mile ($US1 million) on the all-weather, remaining unbeaten after seven starts, and star sprinter Shea Shea (National Assembly, Christophe Soumillon) bettered his own course record when winning the $US1 million Al Quoz Sprint (Gr1).
Christophe Soummillon holds up the South African flag after his win on Shea Shea. (Andrew Watkins)
“This was a wonderful meeting for the yard and we were on the world stage at this huge occasion. We enjoyed incredible support from the South Africans who flew over with Phil Georgio, who arranges the annual supporters trip to Dubai. It was overwhelming and brought tears to our eyes.”
Mike noted that trainer Paul Lafferty was among the visiting South Africans and congratulated ‘Laff’ on his first Gr1 win, recorded in the SA Classic at Turffontein on Saturday.
Mike completed the 2012/13 Dubai season with 15 winners and 41 places from 89 starts and said: “I am very proud of what my team has achieved here this year, we’ve had big results. “
The stable has the firepower to compete in the UK and elsewhere over the next several months and Mike commented: “Soft Falling Rain and Shea Shea will be aimed at Royal Ascot and we have others like Igugu and The Apache who are good enough to race in England too.
“We may aim a horse like Await The Dawn at the Singapore Cup and The Apache could go for the QEII Cup in Hong Kong. We’ve also bought a number of two-year-olds for English season, so we’ll be manning our Newmarket base later this year.”
Headline photo: Shea Shea, the South African-bred, in the winner’s enclosure with his South African connections. (Andrew Watkins).