“WE’re chipping away to get to 3000 winners,” said Mathew de Kock after yesterday’s 2997th winner, in a countdown that’s taking a bit longer than expected, but that’s racing!
The stable has 14 runners on Guineas Day at Turffontein, and if the weather holds there is a chance of a few winners, perhaps this is the big day!
Here are Mat’s runner comments made to Jack Milner of Racing Express:
GR2 BETTING WORLD GAUTENG GUINEAS
“Heavenly Blue is not at his peak on Saturday. His two main races this autumn are the SA Classic and SA Derby. However, on paper he has the best form in this race. Hopefully he’s got the class to win but as he gets older he seems to want further. Janoobi is the most ready of the runners and he is at peak fitness. He has the form to win this race and he’s come back very well from Cape Town. He also travelled well.”
Headline photo: Janoobi (JC Photos).
GR 2 WILGERBOSDRIFT GAUTENG FILLIES GUINEAS
“We could have run Ektifaa against the colts but there is a question mark over the ‘mile’ and we felt she would be better against her own sex but the wide draw is a concern. She has won her last four in a row and she’s fit and well. Orchid Island can stay all three distances. This 1600m is probably at the bottom end of her scale but there is a big field and there should be a good pace. I’m happy with Al Hawraa’s last run. She made up some good ground, has the benefit of a good draw and I think she will give a good account of herself. Belle Rose won a nice race last time. I know it was a handicap but she was impressive. Another one with a bad draw and I think she will be better in the next two legs of the triple Tiara. If Biblical Susan runs I think she will put up a decent showing.”
HAWAII STAKES (Grade 2)
“We checked with the handicapper and confirmed Rafeef can only get five points (2.5kg) for running a place and we’re willing to take that if he gets beaten. He’s lightly raced and I think more suited to this distance. He is well drawn so can race his own way.”
ACACIA HANDICAP (Grade 3)
“Nother Russia is another with a bad draw but she’s been working really well and if she had a good draw I would be really confident. If Shaama sees out the ‘mile’ she’s probably the best weighted filly as she holds a lot of them on form. We’ve aimed her at this race and hopefully she can produce.”
AQUANAUT HANDICAP (Listed)
“Kingmambo’s Legacy is a little bit in and out but he usually seems to run a place. A similar effort is expected. I believe his merit rating is a true reflection of his ability and that is why he tends to run better in handicaps. We brought Smart Mart back from Cape Town and freshened him up but he may be in need of this run. He’s an honest horse and should do his best.”
“Like A Panther is another with a wide draw. If drawn nicely I thought he would run a good race. He is putting in good work at home.”
“Rumbavar tries 1400m for first time but I think she will enjoy it. She puts in good work at home and if she reproduces that in this race I make her a big runner.”
“Sultry’s last run was disappointing. She was coughing afterwards so just put a line through that. Her work has been good and I expect a much better effort.”