MIKE de Kock is hoping a long rest and a good preparation will do the trick for Wild One in this year’s R1.25-million eLAN Property Group Gold Cup over 3200m at Greyville on Saturday, reports JACK MILNER.
Wild One finished second in last year’s race, beaten just 0.50 lengths by Wavin’ Flag. The five-year-old son of Mogok was not seen in action again until the Grade 3 Cup Trial over 1800m at Greyville on 6 June and ran a cracker, flying up late to finish a 1.25-length second to Punta Arenas. The winner franked the form by running a 0.75-length second to Power King in the Vodacom Durban July.
Wild One came out again in the R1-million KwaZulu-Natal Breeders Million Mile (Non-Black Type) over 1600m, also at Greyville, and this time showed good pace to run a 0.25-length second behind Bezanova.
“He’s not the soundest of horses,” said De Kock yesterday. “I was always patching him up and sending him out, so I decided to give him a solid rest and it certainly has made a big difference.
“I think he has had a fantastic prep. He’s a lot better with the rest than he was last year without it. I specifically stayed away from the features on July Day because I wasn’t looking for a penalty and I think he’s had two great races since he’s come back.”
De Kock also has Kingston Mines in the race and he puts the son of Archipenko very much in the same league in that De Kock avoided large penalties by keeping him out the stayers’ races on July Day. Kingston Mines was bred in the UK and is six months younger than his South African counterparts, having only turned four on 13 March this year.
“At the end of the day Kingston Mines is not guaranteed to stay 3200m. He seems to find that last 200m a bit too much at this stage of his career. But he is still an immature horse and he will get a lot better.
“As far as Anthony (Delpech) goes, he probably made the right choice going with Wild One.”
De Kock only has one other runner contesting the Grade 1 races on the day and that is Persian Rug who runs in the Thekwini Stakes over 1600m for two-year-old fillies. The daughter of Ideal World is unbeaten in two starts and looks to be a classy performer.
“Persian Rug is a smart filly but unfortunately has had a troubled prep,” said De Kock. “She has been battling with respiratory infections and as a result has missed out on quite a bit of work. She’s not at her best at the moment but is massively capable.”
De Kock also confirmed Estidraaj will be having her final run when she contests the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet over 2000m. “She’s quite a temperamental filly and will be going to stud after this.”
Headline photo: Kingston Mines (blaze, blue cap): Not guaranteed to see out 3200m.