MIKE de Kock will be aiming his Australian-bred three-year-olds Dame Eleanor and Al Fahad at respective forthcoming features after the pair remained unbeaten with commanding second wins apiece, at Turffontein on Saturday.
Dame Eleanor (Anthony Delpech) quickened up the middle of the track and made up good ground to win a MR91 Handicap over 1450m going away. The filly by New Approach races for Jessica Slack and Marsh Shirtliff, who will be holding thumbs that she can take another step up from here.
Dame Eleanor, quickened well.
Mike commented: “Dame Eleanor’s rivals looked on the weak side so it’s hard to gauge the merit of her win, but she certainly is progressive. She doesn’t show too much in work but, like Al Fahad, has scope in her pedigree. She was impressive in the way she finished off the race, this is something I like in a horse. She needs further and we’ll look at the Starling Stakes on Charity Mile day for her next.”
Al Fahad, the good-looking colt by Redoute’s Choice, also rallied well and used his big stride and good action to draw clear. He raced a little green late but seems to enjoy racing and is one to keep a keen eye on.
“We’ll look at the Graham Beck Stakes for Al Fahad, who beat what looked like a quality field, the fourth horse is a Listed winner. Al Fahad, unlike Dame Eleanor, has always showed us his ability in work. He gives a lot at home and there is plenty to like about him.
Al Fahad, plenty of scope.
“We will be taking a string to Cape Town and he could be aimed at the Guineas and the Derby via the Dingaans at Turffontein, we’d like to believe he is in that league, but there is also the Selangor Cup to consider after the Graham Beck Stakes.”
Al Fahad, raised at Yarraman Park Stud for the Shadwell Operation, races in the colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.