RACING has more lows than highs and Saturday was one of those days Mike de Kock will probably want to “take on the chin” and move on.
After the late scratching of Majmu from the Gr1 Woolavington Stakes over 2000m at Greyville her understudy Pine Princess ran her heart out only to be caught in the last few strides by Smart Call. A little while later Ertijaal, too, had the winning post well within his sights in the Gr 1 Daily News over the same trip but succumbed late to a powerful burst from the talented French Navy.
The game Pine Princess (far side, second to Smart Call), will live to fight another day.
Earlier in the day, fancied newcomer Gain Ground found one too good in Melliflora, beaten just three-quarters of a length, while at Turffontein Kosova came storming through late to win a Merit Rated Handicap but had her victory taken away in the boardroom after an objection.
Somewhere in the mix, however, Evercell (headline photo, orange silks) brought some balance to a frustrating afternoon with a nice Maiden win over 1600m on the Greyville Polytrack. Muzi Yeni brought this son of Kahal with a well-timed finish to win going away and while he didn’t beat much, Evercell looks to have another win or two in the tank for his Hong Kong-based owners, Michael Tang and Ms SMC Au.
With all reportedly hunky dory with Majmu after her spiked temperature on Friday, Mike would have taken heart, as well, from the gallant performances of both his Gr1 runner-ups. Pine Princess is still improving and with her courageous spirit could pick up another big win in the near future. If Ertijaal stands his ground and things fall into place he could come into the competitive Durban July with a handy weight and a chance to dance.
It’s all about momentum, something the stable is never short of.