DARKEST Hour (14-1), trained by Barend Botes, staged one of this season’s biggest upsets when he came to grab Mike de Kock’s 1-3 favourite Sir David Baird near the line in a Three-Year-Old Handicap (MR94) over 1400m at Turffontein on Thursday.
Darkest Hour was beaten over six lengths by Sir David Baird when they met over 1200m in August and Botes said: “On form we couldn’t win it and we didn’t expect to win anyway because Darkest Hour needs further. He will only come into his own over 1600m and further.”
In any event, Botes quipped, we “stole” the race and it was an unexpected bonus.
Mike de Kock said about Sir David Baird: “He’s a horse that has to be scrubbed along to keep his momentum so Callan Murray’s looking around near the end didn’t help. He was over-confident, we shouldn’t have lost and he knew it. He came back pale as a ghost and I let him have it!
“Callan’s a young jockey though, this is how they learn and if he doesn’t get time from the stipes, he will get time from me. Jockeys are paid to keep their heads down and win, not for antics. Punters hate this. But the sooner this happened for Callan, the better. It’s out of the way now, he won’t do it again!”