MIKE de Kock has supported Phumelela’s annual Christmas Charity at Turffontein for the last several years and at Tuesday night’s 2014 renewal of the event he bagged the first prize in his own sponsored MR88 sprint handicap with Tiger Territory (7-1), ridden by Julius Mariba.
Tiger Territory, who had won his first race for the stable in a hard-fought duel over 1000m on sand at the Vaal three weeks ago, followed up over the same distance on turf and having to knuckle down to work hard for victory again.
Tiger Territory (Julius Mariba) clung to his narrow lead to win under lights at Turffontein.
That Tiger Territory came out on top switching to turf, under 60.5kg and after another challenging contest showed that he is blessed with a good measure of fighting spirit and Mike and his team were pleased for the gelding’s owners Ivan Snyman, Mike Whittstock and Andrew Mikhail.
“Ivan and his partners have been patient with Tiger Territory, he hasn’t been a straight forward horse to train but he’s game and I hope we can keep him going so he can win more,” Mike said after Tiger Territory had held off a late rush from two outsiders to win by a diminishing quarter-length.
Tiger Territory is considered a pure sprinter, he’s won five races over 1000m and one race over 1160m from 22 starts. Four successes have come on sand, including the Lightning Stakes (for trainer Leon Erasmus).
Mike suggested that Tiger Territory’s higher sand rating was justified and said: “I do think he is better on sand, he beat a decent sort in Blazing Al at the Vaal last time and the form was franked when Blazing Al finished third in a Gr2 sprint here last Saturday.”
Jockey Weichong Marwing used his pick-up ride on Mary Slack’s Wisdom Stone to full advantage, completing a double for the yard in a MR72 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1400m.
Five-year-old Wisdom Stone (IRE) won’t ever be Mary’s best racer, but she has a pedigree that holds potentially good value for Wilgerbosdrift Stud where in due course she will retire as a broodmare. Wisdom Stone is by 2003 Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Dalakhani from a Sadler’s Wells mare – a mating of stout parents which could produce some interesting offspring for the mare herself considering the fair amount of speed she’s shown.
Good news for Wilgerbosdrift is that Dalakhani, as a new broodmare sire, has already produced near 30% stakes performers from his first runners in Europe. The young stallion’s potential in this division was not known in 2011 and means that the €48,000 spent on Wisdom Stone at the Goffs Orby Sales is beginning to look like another shrewd investment secured by Jehan Malherbe of Form Bloodstock and the wise men who like to accompany him to horse auctions of the world.
Read also: Wisdom tends to rub off.