MIKE de Kock saddled his second winner from as many 2016/17 Carnival meetings at Meydan in Dubai on Thursday evening when three-year-old Fawree (ARG) skated clear in a Maiden Plate over 1600m on dirt in the hands of Bernard Fayd’Herbe. Stablemate Mazeed finished third.
Mike has noted a few times that Fawree is a difficult customer, but he’s a talent all the same and looks like a realistic UAE Derby prospect for this season.
Mike said: “Fawree is nuts, especially at the pens. He goes in with the hood on, but once they pull it off he goes mad, so they have to jump immediately. He was loaded last and he jumped quite well, again, so our thanks go to starter Shane Ryan and his team of assistants who have put a lot of effort into Fawree. One can have a good horse like this but if he doesn’t start, it all comes to nothing.”
Mike thanked Fayd’Herbe, who enjoyed himself out there partnering a popular and easy winner in front of a big crowd and made it look easy, but of course the hard work was done behind the scenes.
“Bernard has been working with Fawree for weeks, riding him in work and persisting at the pens where he has been a real handful. He’s a jock with balls.”
Fawree, by Candy Ride, was bought at the Ocala breeze-up sale in 2016. He races for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who will be holding thumbs that his new acquisition will turn out to be a runner in the same league as his previous Derby winners Asiatic Boy, Honour Devil, Musir and Mubtaahij.
“Jehan Malherbe, Joe Brocklebank and I bought Fawree at the breeze-up sales in the US last year on an experimental basis and it’s so far so good, a good team effort,” said Mike.
Stable jock Christophe Soumillon himself is known to have no fear when it comes to race riding, but even Christophe would have been shaken after almost twice coming off the stable’s promising filly Tahanee (ARG) between the 400m and the 200m marks in Race 5 over 1600m on turf.
There was no official stewards’ report available at the time of writing and at least two jockeys appeared to err on shifting mounts causing interference to a well-travelling Tahanee, who was forced to ease three times before she reached the post.
Mike said late on Thursday that one jockey had admitted guilt at a post-race inquiry, but that no further details were known.
He commented: “It was frustrating to watch. Tahanee was very well, in the right place and ready to strike when she was cleaned up. We fully expect her to win shortly, but this shouldn’t have happened.
“I have actually given up on trying to analyse how the stewards here in Dubai read races. What I see and what they see are often two different things. Sometimes they term clear interference as a “race incident” and vice versa. At times what I would deem a clear race incident is described as “interference”.
“I have asked for years that a false rail, a cutaway, a spur – call it what you will – be used in races on turf at Meydan. It will make races safer and fairer to all. Every single trainer and jockey I have canvassed agrees with me, but the officialdom here has its own view of things.
“One must be posing the question, if a false rail will make things safer and fairer, what would be the reason for their resistance?”