THERE are 19 horses carded to line-up in Saturday’s R2-million G-Bets Gauteng Summer Cup over 2000m and 26.3% of field is trained by Mike de Kock, writes JACK MILNER.
He will be saddling up five runners and four of them are serious contenders to give De Kock his 10th winner of this race over 2000m on the Turffontein Standside track.
His challenge comprises two members of the fairer sex in Cascapedia and Takingthepeace and they are backed up by Noble Secret, Like A Panther and Kilrain, who is one of the outsiders of the race.
De Kock says the preparation has gone well for all of his runners and that they are all “flying at home”.
Cascapedia, who will be ridden by Gavin Lerena, is joint-favourite with Takingthepeace, the mount of Warren Kennedy, and they are trading at 11-2.
“Cascapedia has had two very good runs coming into the Summer Cup without getting a penalty,” said De Kock.
“She’s got a good weight and I good draw – I have no complaints.
“Takingthepeace was very well treated in the Victory Moon Stakes. That race favours fillies because they get a very generous sex allowance. She’s definitely a Standside track filly and she’s come on a little since her Victory Moon win.
She’s a hard knocker and likes a lot of racing coming into the big one.
“The weights are not ideal, though. She’s 4.5kg worse off with Like A Panther so that will be in his favour. I’m surprised people were disappointed with his Victory Moon run. I thought he ran a very good race. He was badly drawn, they went slowly and we dropped him out because he is better from off the pace. He ran on well.
“He’s another who has had a great prep but he has a bad draw again and will need a bit of pace.”
In the Victory Moon he was the third-fastest finisher. Craig Zackey takes the ride.
Noble Secret has had three runs since returning from a long rest. He won his first start, flew up late in the Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m on the Inside track and then running unplaced in the Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile, although he was closing in at the end.
“Last time was too short,” said De Kock. “They sprinted away from him but he was cutting them back at the death. He is a far better horse at 2000m than 1600m. I am extremely happy with him and I feel he’s prepped very well.
“Any rain will be of benefit to his chances.” Randall Simons will be aboard Noble Secret.
KIlrain is quoted at 80-1 and De Kock is not too hopeful about his chances. “I really didn’t expect him to get in to the race and he is way under sufferance. He’s a good, honest horse but he looks outclassed.
“But TAB is paying six places and he could finish sixth.”