MIKE de Kock will be upbeat about the chances of Toro Rosso after the announcement on Wednesday of the final field for the R1-million Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday 31 October.
The Brazilian-bred son of Elusive Quality has proven his ability on the turf and comes into this Grade 2 event drawn No 1 and with just 54.5kg on his back. Anthony Delpech gets the ride.
De Kock also saddles Flying The Flag who will be having his first run in South Africa, and Mitraad. Flying The Flag was formerly trained by Aiden O’Brien and joined De Kock last year. The son of Galileo has raced five times for the yard and won his penultimate start over 2000m in Dubai.
He is drawn No 10 for the Charity Mile and will be ridden by Marco van Rensburg.
The draw for charities and celebrities was made at a function at Emperors Palace yesterday. This year the charities will receive a record R1-million, with the charity who draws the winning horse receiving a whopping R150,000 with the second-placed runner earning R100,000 for their charity. Even the horse who finishes last will bring R50,000 into the fold for the charity.
French Navy, winner of the Grade 1 SA Classic and the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 tops the weights with 60kg but Sean Tarry’s charge has landed up with No 16 draw. Regular jockey Raymond Danielson is in the irons. Tarry also runs Halve The Deficit and Whiteline Fever but was disappointed that 2013 Vodacom Durban July winner Heavy Metal is only in as the second reserve runner.
Alec Laird saddles two runners in Bouclette Top and last year’s winner Bezanova. Bezanova has one just once since last year’s event but he comes back carrying just 0.5kg more than last year and jumps from barrier No 4.
Another runner of interest is Deputy Jud, a facile winner of the Supreme Cup over 1450m on the sand. Mike Azzie’s charge is proven on the turf but jockey JP van der Merwe will have to contend with No 13 draw.
ML Jet came back to form with a win over 1600m on the inside track recently and with just 54kg to carry and jumping from No 5 draw, the Gavin van Zyl-trained runner has to be a contender. Keagan de Melo takes the ride.
Justin Snaith saddles two runners in Ultimate Dollar and Dynamic but both drew wide. Fortunately he has engaged two top jockeys with Piere Strydom on Ultimate Dollar and Weichong Marwing on Dynamic.
Vee Moodley, Phumelela’s Betting Executive, has already pulled a couple of rabbits from his hat. There will be a Pick 6 carryover of R900,000 with an estimated pool of R4 million, while R100,000 will be injected into the Quartet on the Charity Mile itself and a pool of R700,000 is predicted.
Final field for the R1-million Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile (Grade 2) over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday 31 October
1 – 16 FRENCH NAVY (S G Tarry) R Danielson 60.0 – 113
2 – 11 BOUCLETTE TOP (A G Laird) G Lerena 58.0 – 108
3 – 10 FLYING THE FLAG (M F De Kock) M V’Rensburg 58.0 – 108
4 – 4 BEZANOVA (A G Laird) …………… 57.5 – 107
5 – 13 DEPUTY JUD (M G Azzie) J P v’d Merwe 57.0 – 107
6 – 6 RAMPANT ICE (W H Marwing) I Sturgeon 56.5 – 106
7 – 14 BOLD INSPIRATION (C Laird) …………… 56.5 – 105
8 – 19 HALVE THE DEFICIT (S G Tarry) C Zackey 56.5 – 105
9 – 12 MAC DE LAGO (W H Marwing) S Khumalo 55.5 – 104
10 – 9 WHITELINE FEVER (S G Tarry) A Marcus 55.5 – 103
11 – 1 TORO ROSSO (M F De Kock) A Delpech 54.5 – 102
12 – 15 ULTIMATE DOLLAR (S J Snaith) P Strydom 54.5 – 102
13 – 17 DYNAMIC (S J Snaith) W Marwing 54.5 – 101
14 – 5 M L JET (G H Van Zyl) K de Melo 54.0 – 101
15 – 2 THE CAPTAIN’S TUNE (G V Woodruff) …………… 53.0 – 99
16 – 18 MITRAAD (M F De Kock) R Simons 52.0 – 97
17 – 7 SARATOGA DANCER (D C Howells) Reserve 1 52.0 – 95
18 – 3 HEAVY METAL (S G Tarry) Reserve 2 55.0 – 100
19 – 8 KILLUA CASTLE (G V Woodruff) Reserve 3 56.0 – 104
Same Trainer: (1,8,10,18) (2,4) (3,11,16) (6,9) (12,13) (15,19)
Photo: Flying The Flag (orange silks), first South African run.