TANNAAF (IRE) shared the Qatar Derby honours with Rogue Runner (GER) after a dramatic finish to this Class One feature over 2000m at Al Rayyan Racecourse in Doha on Wednesday night.
The original call was victory by a nose to Rogue Runner but this was amended to a dead-heat after Mike de Kock’s charge had finished fast and wide under Wayne Smith and at the post was the width of the course apart from German trainer Mario Hofer’s gelding, ridden by Eduardo Pedroza.
A re-examination of the photo-finish print with the trainers involved concluded that the two horses could not be separated – giving the South African a success in an eighth country.
Mike de Kock receives the winning trophy for Tannaaf. Jockey Eduardo Pedroza rode the dead-heater, Rogue Runner.
“It was really impossible to split the pair,” commented Mike. “A dead-heat was considered the fairest result to all and it was graciously accepted by Mario Hofer. Interesting was that the jockey on Rogue Runner also rode Paolini who dead-heated with our Right Approach in the 2004 Dubai Duty Free,” Mike said about Pedroza, the four-time German Champion Jockey.
Mike praised the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) for a “pleasant experience” and said: “The Club is upgrading its international status and they’re making good progress. The quarantine protocol is always the first hurdle to international competition and the facilities here are good. We were in and out quickly, the process was smooth and this alone bodes very well for future international racing in Qatar.
“Our special thanks must go to Nasser Al Kaabi, the General Manager of QREC and his assistant Patricia Musial who made our arrangements. Naaser is a professional administrator who made this an easy and worthwhile trip. They’re planning another international meet here in February and we’ve pencilled in a 2400m race on the night for Tannaaf. We hope to be back.
“Also thanks to the IRB’s Adrian Beaumont and Alistair ‘Duck’ Donald for their help. International racing won’t be the same without them! A number of South Africans are plying their trade in Qatar, it was nice to see former Randjesfontein track Manager Bradford Smith and his wife Lou again, also Ryan Skelton and Dave McGilliveray – what a loss he was to SA racing!”
Nasser Al Kaabi (QREC).
Tannaaf (High Chapparal), a 280,000gns Tattersalls October yearling purchase by Form Bloodstock for Mike’s long-time patron Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum of Dubai, was last seen placing a close third in the Listed Fairway Stakes at Newmarket May 30. A debut winner there late in 2014, Tannaaf was fourth in both the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket on April 16 and the G3 Chester Vase on May 7 2015, respectively.
Mike explained his game plan: “Tannaaf was immature and after his good runs at high level in the UK I put him away for several months, I felt that his rating was high enough to afford him the necessary time off. Congratulations to Sheikh Mohammed, Tannaaf is a smart horse, he is bound to be competitive at the 2016 Dubai Carnival. It will be interesting to see how the Qatar form holds up.”