EL ESTRUENDOSO (ARG ), second in the Meydan Classic Trial over 1400m at the Dubai Carnival in 2013 (headline photo), is considered to be one of Mike de Kock’s better runners on the opening night of the 2014 Carnival on Thursday night.
The lightly-raced son of Giant’s Causeway will have Christophe Soumillon aboard in a handicap over 1900m on the all-weather (Race 3) along with his stablemate Specific Gravity (Pat Dobbs).
Mike commented on Wednesday evening: “As always at the start of the Carnivals, my runners need their outings and will improve for it, but there are a few that are fit enough to be competitive and El Estruendoso and Specific Gravity are two of them. I have a preference for El Estruendoso, we’ve always rated him. He ran second as a rig last year and he had surgery, he’s come back well from it and he’s had a good bit of work, he’s well for the race. Specific Gravity is perhaps better on turf, but he’s also doing well and he has fairly good form. He will come on with the run, but should give a good account of himself.”
The first De Kock runner is Al Alhebayeb (Race 2, 1000m, turf, Dane O’Neill). This grey colt is a recent acquisition from Sheikh Hamdan. He has won over 1000m and is Listed-placed over a mile in the UK. “He looks a nice sort and needs further, he has potential,” Mike said.
Also sent from Sheikh Hamdan is four-year-old Mutin (FR), who has a Listed Mile behind his name and returns with a run on the all-weather over 1400m. Paul Hanagan gets the ride and Mike said: “Again, I feel the 1400m is too short for this one, he will improve with this run behind him.”
David Livingston, who won a Listed event over 2100m for the stable during the 2013 flat season in the UK, steps out in the Listed Singspiel Stakes over 1800m on turf (Race 5, Soumillon). “He’s fresh after a good break and looks a happy horse,” Mike assessed. “He’s not at peak fitness but considering his current shape I fancy he will run well.”
Stablemate Mushreq, Mike said, will need a few starts to come to his peak. “I do have him fitter than he was at the same time last year,” he added.
Daddy Long Legs (Soumillon) and Rerouted (Andrew Nienaber), will go to post in Race 6, Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge over 1600m on the all-weather.
“Daddy Long Legs is perhaps the fittest of my runners on the night. He’s recovered from a throat operation and he’s well. He ran very well in his last UK run, close up in Listed company and should go well here. Rerouted is perhaps in a league just above his ability, he is better suited to handicap class but he’s game and won’t be too far off.”
Royal Ridge (Hanagan), Anaerobia (Soumillon) and Disa Leader (Johnny Geroudis) are entered for a 1400m handicap on turf, which concludes the evening.
“The same comment for all three, I’d say – they will need it and improve. If I have to stick my neck out, Royal Ridge will be my marginal pick.”