“NOT all King Midas’ Gold would give him hope over the last 100m, but he got there,” enthused proper race caller Alistair Cohen after Yakeen had managed to do what looked impossible in the closing stages – he won the Gr3 Jubilee Handicap over 1800m by a nose from Tilbury Fort, a win that will probably secure him a spot in the Vodacom Durban July on 7 July.
“He showed a world of heart,” added Cohen about Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s lightly-raced three-year-old son of Teofilo who is now four from six, still improving and starting to shape as a good prospect indeed.
Mathew de Kock asked Muzi Yeni to give Yakeen a chance in the race, to let him come from off them, but Yeni had to race close-up and said: “He was keen, he over-raced and I was worried that he was pulling too hard. But he was resolute, I got him to change legs and I saw Lyle (Hewitson) had headed us, but Yakeen came again to win.”
Mathew said: “It will be hard to leave him out of the July now.”
Earlier, Mathew had to scratch another July hopeful Cascapedia from the Jubilee as she had a spiked temperature. She has already qualified for the big race and Mathew said: “This is a setback as we’ve missed two prep runs with her, but this won’t change our plans. She’s already better, her blood’s not quite right yet but she will be fine. She has been doing really well in her work and we’ll give her a public gallop if needs be.”
The stable racked up four other winners on a great day out – following a Listed double at Scottsville on Saturday, one last Sunday and one midweek – a total of nine winners in the calendar week!
Muzi rode Yakeen, but the stable’s number one rider Randal Simons brought the other four home in his easy style. Soqrat (AUS) started the action, winning a Juvenile Plate over 1400m as he liked. Mathew said of Sheikh Hamdan’s import: “He’s a machine, he reminds me of Musir.”
The filly Nafaayes (AUS) completed a quick double for Sheikh Hamdan, keeping on strongly to hold off a challenge from Running Brave. Mike de Kock said in a recent column that both Soqrat and Nafaayes will improve with racing experience and they already have, now promising feature action. The pair will be in the mix for July day features along with yesterday’s Listed winners Firdoas and Barahin, depending on draws, though Socrat looks the type who can win even if he draws in Musgrave Road!
Jessica Slack and Marsh Shirtliff’s Dame Eleanor (New Approach) has always shown ability, but she has her tricks, not always delivering her best. She came to light, however, to beat a talented field in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1400m. Mathew said: “We fitted her with her with pacifiers today and that made all the difference. She is a talented filly.”
Last of the handful was Mambo Model, a daughter of Mambo In Seattle, who is enjoying a good run for Moutonshoek Stud. Owned by George Ragunan, Mike de Kock and Noeline Malherbe, Mambo Model enjoyed the mile on the standside track and won by nearly three lengths in the style of one that will win again.