MIKE de Kock was disappointed, but philosophical after Light The Lights was beaten into second in Thursday night’s Gr2 Al Rashidiya over 1800m at Meydan.
Light The Lights was half a length adrift of Godolphin’s Promising Run (USA) at the line after having to make the pace and Mike said: “There was no pace on so Christophe had to do it himself on Light The Lights, which wasn’t ideal.
“But we were beaten fair and square and I think that Light The Lights simply wasn’t good enough. He ran his heart out but was beaten. I’m not sure he will be good enough for the Dubai Turf either.”
The stable’s highly-regarded filly Tahanee was also forced to make the pace from a wide draw, racing in the Gr2 Cape Verdi over 1600m. She was beaten just over two lengths into fifth and Mike commented: “She’s a talented filly and she also ran a game race, but she was beaten by four higher-rated fillies and again, I have to say, as good as she is, she wasn’t good enough.”
Mike added: “We don’t have the firepower to be as competitive as usual at this Carnival, we just haven’t got the stock at the moment, our older horses are well in their place and the competition gets stronger every year.
“Things are not looking that good for the rest of the term, barring Mubtaahij, Fawree and perhaps Noah From Goa we’ll be lucky to have runners on World Cup night.
“Racing here on sand is also impossible without the right horses. You can’t come from behind to win. Without a speedy horse to race on the pace, you have little or no chance.”
Mike again lamented the export protocols and said: “Megnaas was one of the horses who arrived here late from South Africa, he was here for exactly 30 days before having to race last night. He had trouble at the start, but finished way back.
“We have this type of problem with the travellers every year and there is still no progress despite all the lip service being paid. We need to get our government in South Africa in touch with the relevant other governments. This is a government-to-government problem, not an administrator-to-administrator problem.”