THE stable rounded off the weekend with a Sunday double at Scottsville courtesy of Maiden winners Gain Ground and Way Of Escape, the former owned by Mike de Kock and partners and the latter by Mike outright. Both were ridden by Anthony Delpech.
Gain Ground: Good win for late foal.
Gary Grant, a partner in Gain Ground, had to miss one of his regular gourmet dinners when odds-on chance Sharp Princess got beaten near the line on Friday evening, but Gain Ground got the Equine Group’s own Gordon Ramsay back onto the Fine Cousine Route.
Grant told on Sunday evening: “After scratchings decimated the field, lack of pace was always a concern. Anthony elected to take Gain Ground to the head of affairs and was made to work hard to get her maiden win under the belt. Certain partners were a tad twitchy after Sharp Princess’ defeat, but, but this one eventually got the job done!
Gain Ground was bred by the “usual suspects” Mike De Kock, Jehan Malherbe, John McVeigh, Chris Haynes and Grant in partnership with Rennie Price’s Wicklow Stud. She was a November foal, and was immature at the National Yearling Sale last year. At R260k Mike, Chris and Gary elected to buy their partners out.
Way Of Escape won well from a deep draw.
Grant added: “Andrew Haynes was instrumental in coercing his Mt Edgecombe buddies to come into the filly. We now have a very enthusiastic partnership that includes ex -pringbok rugby player Stefan Terblanche, Rainbow Farms supremo Miles Dally and racing enthusiast Marc Tostee. Everyone in the partnership not only love racing, but celebrating too – win, lose or draw! I can hear the corks a popping!”
Gain Ground is by Fort Wood and from a staying family, her dam being a half-sister to former Equus Champion Stayer, Long Dollar. It is surprising that Gain Ground has come out and won as a juvenile, which must augur well for the Poenjabi Four, Mike, Chris and Gary. There should be some fun to be had come next year!
As for Way Of Escape: She won at only her second attempt, beating the widest of draws in a large field. Mike will be looking for a few more successes from this daughter of Grey’s Inn bred at Graeme Koster’s Rosedene Stud.