SIX runners from Mike de Kock’s stable notched Graded places on Vodacom Durban July day – three of them getting within a length of the winner in respective features staged during the first half of the meeting.
Durban July contender Espumanti was not among Saturday’s top-level earners but it just wasn’t to be her day and she faded out to last after failing to settle during the running of the race.
Mike commented: “Espumanti fought Anthony Delpech for 1000m off a very slow pace and this didn’t exactly help her. But she also pulled up lame after the race. The condition of the track was diabolical. Espumanti is lame all over. We’ll have to evaluate her future.”
Muzi Yeni (Alboran Sea, red cap) and Anthony Delpech (Pine Princess, far side), look across at Weichong Marwing, who raced up with a powerful run on Bilateral to win the Gr1 Golden Slipper.
While Mike was excited about the results yielded by his other contenders on the big day, he was troubled by the state of the turf at Greyville, saying: “Most of our horses are sore after this meeting, they’re very lame. In all my years in racing I haven’t ever had so many runners return so lame after a race day. It was a shock, I’ve seen some of mine lame before, but not to this degree.
“There will be other trainers with lame horses in their stables after this July meeting, I hope they report the post-race condition of their runners and their views on the track surface.”
The stable was encouraged by two-year-old fillies Alboran Sea (2nd) and Pine Princess (3rd), who were on the heels of surprise winner Bilateral in the Gr 1 Golden Slipper over 1400m. “Alboran Sea was slow off and with more luck might have held on to win. Pine Princess ran a big race from her wide draw.”
Another filly One Fine Day justified the confidence of her connections with a second place to the unbeaten Afrikaburn in the Golden Horseshoe, the equivalent race normally contested by mostly colts and geldings. Her stablemate Anjaal plugged on well in fourth, himself not far off.
“One Fine Day ran an exceptional race just a length off the winner. She’s got some class to go with her speed. I believe this season’s two-year-old fillies are better than the colts overall. Ours have good prospects, they’re an exciting bunch.”
One Fine Day (blue silks, near left, Delpech), acquitted herself with distinction in the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe. Anjaal (Bernard Fayd’Herbe, right), showed his own potential in fourth.