MIKE de Kock has reported back on last Thursday’s meeting at Meydan, highlighting aside from Vercingetorix winning the Al Rashidiya, the run of Almoonqith in a 2000m handicap on turf.
“Almoonqith stepped up from an 85-plus handicap to a handicap in which the top rating was 112. That high rating belonged to the winner, Hunter’s Light, who is a good horse indeed. Almoonqith encountered some traffic problems, he got caught in between runners and couldn’t find his way through which makes this even more impressive. He was beaten under two lengths, just missing the first four and now that he’s shown he can gallop with some of the better handicappers he can be watched in similar company this Carnival.
“Mushreq may have looked like he just gave in late under his big weight, but I have a feeling he is best up to 1800m, he has won over 2000m but is probably at his most effective from a mile to 1800m, he ran a good race in fourth. He remains in good form.”
Banadeer and Fountain Of Youth made their first appearances at Meydan in a strong sprint handicap over 1000m and while more was expected, Mike wasn’t fazed by both finishing among the backmarkers.
Mike commented: “Banaadeer and Fountain of Youth both needed their runs perhaps more than we thought they would, they showed pace and just faded out when the pressure mounted over the last 200m.They were beaten under five lengths, so I am not concerned at all. We’ve seen that our SA runners, especially, have needed some racing to come on for it. We’ll see better from this pair as the Carnival progresses.”
He raved about Vercingetorix and said: “It’s such a privilege to have a horse like this in the yard. He pulled up well after his win, he is sound and we’re all very excited about him. Sanshaawes ran to form, Mujaarib too, they are not as good as Vercingetorix so acquitted themselves well and can earn again this term.
Alareef, close-up in fourth in a dirt handicap over 1600m, was also just a margin short of his peak and is another for the notebook.