MIKE de Kock expected something very unusual as well as enriching during his week in the USA preparing Mubtaahij for the 2015 Kentucky Derby. He’s travelled around the world and has trained Group winners in seven countries but the hype, sheer excitement and media attention around the De Kock camp and its travelling horse truly astounded our jet-setting racing ambassador.
Life’s great moments: Posing for a photo at Churchill Downs, post Kentucky Derby are Mike and Diane de Kock, Trevor and Jo Brown; Warne and Wendy Rippon, Andrew Bon, Mathew de Kock, Mackenzie Kirker-Head, Pat Cummings and Sophie Soumillon (right) with her and Christophe’s kids Mika and Charlie in front.
“This was a life experience, a week unequalled in my career. We met many wonderful and knowledgeable racing people and were treated like royalty, we were overwhelmed. The public interest in the Kentucky Derby and their love for horses is fascinating. We’d like to thank our hosts, the media and the public for making us feel so welcome and assisting us every step of the way. And not forgetting Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum for making all of this possible for us. We had a marvellous time,” Mike said on Tuesday as he and Diane were preparing to fly back to South Africa.
An Irish-bred, Dubai-owned, South African-trained horse, Mubtaahij was something most unusual for Derby fans this year and he became a favourite among US racing lovers, who took to the social media platforms in appreciation.
Mike’s twitter account (@mdkracing) grew to 1360 followers within two weeks and here are some of their most recent comments:
“Mubtaahij I will be following your career and wish you the best of everything!”(@DanielleGibso15)
“Thank You guys!! So glad he will be staying! Love Moobie!!!” (@pagemc46)
“One of the most precious moments I’ve captured in horse racing. Thank you, Trevor and Mubtaahij.” (@p_oldham)
“SO SO happy to see you’re staying around. Will meet you in New York. Carrots & Peppermints on me!”(@backstretchbuzz)
“who who who … I’ll jump on a bus if Mubtaahij goes @BelmontStakes” (@jujubajan)
“Mubtaahij and MdkRacing awesome! (@thorofan)
Now then, on to Belmont Park!