MIKE de Kock and company secured two Listed winners from two runners in different centres on Saturday afternoon.
First, Sir David Baird made Greyville look like the battlefield in a war epic in which he was the sole survivor and his rivals were left for dead in the Listed KZN Guineas Trial. Next, Kinaan made his super fitness and well-being count as he plundered the Lanzerac Le General Kenilworth Cup over 3200m at Kenilworth.
Mike de Kock himself did duties in the Last Outpost while deputy Mathew de Kock made the flight to the former Dutch Colony to saddle Kinaan. In a period of roughly 15 minutes, they produced a pair of exciting winners to stay secure in third place on the National Log with 40 winners and without the season’s major features having started.
Gavin Lerena controlled the pace on Sir David Baird, like Rhys van Wyk used to do so often in his prime and Piere Strydom has perfected since. He settled in front, slowed things down and then let rip in the home straight to leave his rivals flat-footed.
“He rallied at the 650m mark and then I knew it was as matter of how far,” Lerena noted.
Mike said that the stable was disappointed that Sir David Baird had been beaten twice over 1400m. “It’s is a difficult distance. Some horses run well over 1200m and a mile but battle over 1400m. But Mr Rattray (owner, Mike) has left us alone since we bought the horse. He is above average and this good win will get his confidence back.”
Mike also praised Vaughan Koster at Cheveley Stud for breeding a nice horse and said: “Mr Rattray gave us a budget to buy one good horse which wasn’t easy in a full catalogue, but we chose well!”
Sir David Baird was a R1,3 million National Yearling Sale buy by Mike and Form Bloodstock’s Jehan Malherbe. He has won 2 of his 4 starts with a place and stakes of R181 325, and will now make the trip to Kenilworth for the Cape Guineas on 16 December.
Kinaan was well ridden by Callan Murray, who was embroiled in a long and gruelling tussle with Three Balloons when he won the Kenilworth Cup on the stable’s Smart Mart last year, but had a far easier time of it this time round.
Kinaan strode beautifully at a steady cruising speed and just kept it up for 3200m – the other stayers couldn’t match his well-being on the day and, sent clear with 400m to run he went on to win by 1,75-lengths over Master’s Eye.
“Kinaan is by Galileo and he’s getting better with age,” Mike commented from Durban.
Kinaan races for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Al Adiyat South Africa and he’s won only 3 of 23, but he’s found the physical and mental space that can produce another win soon. The marathon normally staged on Met Day could be an option.