LONDON – Patience has been the key word for Soft Falling Rain this summer and Mike de Kock can see that “softly softly” approach reap dividends with victory in the Group 2 Joel Stakes over 1600m at Newmarket on Friday, reports GEOFF LESTER in Racing Express.
A G1 winner in his homeland, Soft Falling Rain enjoyed a lucrative Carnival in Dubai, winning both the UAE 2000 Guineas and Godolphin Mile, but he took time to acclimatise when arriving in Britain and connections decided that Royal Ascot would come too soon.
However, Soft Falling Rain ran a terrific race on his belated return in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last month, beating all except super-fit Gregorian, and the form was given a boost when Tawhid (third) won back at Newbury last Saturday.
De Kock, who has won the race before with Eagle Mountain, is adamant that Soft Falling Rain has improved since the Hungerford and is now at his peak and I expect him to go one better here. He said on Wednesday afternoon: “Soft Falling Rain is well and he’s come on fitness wise since his last run. This is a competitive field, a good test on a tough course.”
Montiridge, who was found to be sick after disappointing at Haydock last time, is the one for the Exacta.
Nayef Joel Stakes Field here: