MIKE de Kock will have just four runners participating at this year’s Vodacom Durban July meeting at Greyville on Saturday, and two of them will be running in the Grade 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m, reports TAB News.
He will saddle Soqrat and Barahin who hold the top two positions on the bookmakers’ boards. Betting World have priced up unbeaten Soqrat at 1-1 while Barahin, who ran fourth on debut but has since won his next two starts, at 4-1.
Australian-bred Soqrat has been incredibly impressive when winning his two races and more importantly, the form is working out. On debut he beat Victor Forth by 3.25 lengths and last Sunday the runner-up looked way above average as he flew up late to beat Tudor Manor going away by 0.75 lengths after looking well beaten with 200m to run.
Soqrat’s second run was over 1400m at Turffontein and he was some five lengths off the pace turning for home and was held up by Randall Simons. But when asked for an effort Soqrat put daylight between himself and the opposition to beat Cyber Special by 4.20 lengths.
He is nicely drawn at No 4 for this event which is important over this course and distance and once again Simons will take the ride.
Barahin was all at sea in his first start but got an inkling of what he was supposed to do late in the race but when he did, he flew up to run a 1.35-length fourth behind Louis The Seventh. This son of Gimmethegreenlight was far more alert on his second visit to the course and easily beat White Moon by two lengths.
He then travelled to Greyville to contest the Listed Gatecrasher over 1400m and when Bernard Fayd’Herbe asked for an effort he sprinted clear to beat Green Haze by 3.25 lengths.
While the bookies have made Soqrat a clear favourite, Mathew de Kock, assistant to his father, is not sure which of the two is the better horse. “Soqrat is a smart horse. In time he will probably be stretched at a mile (1600m) so this distance is ideal for him.
“Barahin, on the other hand, will be better over further. It’s hard to judge which of the two is the better. I certainly do not see the gap between the two as wide as the bookmakers are making it.”
While Barahin is drawn wider at No 8, he does have the advantage of having raced, and won, over the course and distance. It is interesting that the handicappers have backed up De Kock’s comments as they have rated both runners at 98.
Soqrat, however, looks more precocious than Barahin and as a result he is taken to beat his stablemate.
Cue The Music is third favourite at 9-2 and the only other horse quoted in single figures and is the best handicapped runner as he has a merit rating of 107. He won his first three starts with ease but when tried over 1200m for the first time was caught close home by Van Halen so there has to be a question of his ability to stay 1400m.