THE De Kock family are as close to horse royalty as you can get. Being lucky enough to have met them via my involvement with the Onamission syndicate of racehorse owners, it was great to spend Saturday morning, 16 January, at their Randjesontein stables with a few mates. It just so happened to also be Di de Kock’s birthday, writes CAREL NOLTE of CN&CO.
Mike de Kock is a South African racehorse trainer who holds the South African record for most Grade 1 wins by a trainer – a staggering 126 according to Wikipedia!
Training at Randjiesfontein
Mike has trained over 3 400 winners who have won in South Africa, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom and the USA. Alongside his wife Di and son Matt (currently based in Australia) mikedekockracing.com is, rightfully, acknowledged as the go-to place for anyone who is serious about horseracing.
Horses have not always been a part of my life. But I have quickly learnt that once you are bitten by the bug, owning and racing a horse provides much joy and excitement. And with my mate Charles Savage (he has been horsebef*& for more than three decades!) and Matt making ownership accessible, easy and affordable via syndication (anything from 1% up) – it was a no-brainer for me to get involved.
Getting my CN&CO partner and good friend Kurt involved, didn’t take long. In fact, I have lost track of all the friends involved in racing – from Michele Katz to Colin & Gregory, Tristan, Brad and Almero to name a few.
I should, rightfully, have asked Charles’ youngest daughter Mika who already knows more about horses that her dad, and never misses an opportunity to go to the de Kock stables near Randjiesfontein – a quick ride from my home and soon to be (I hear on the grapevine) a super, expanded facility for racing and not just training).
Horse people are different. The passion and love they have for these majestic animals is palpable. And the horses respond in kind. They are supremely intelligent beings. Touching them is magical as you can feel their power beneath the soft skin. Their athletic ability.
Our visit was largely to check out Magic Dancer (named by Mika), newly arrived post his gelding (I’m learning when a horse is a foal, a gelding, a mare, a filly, a colt – and much else besides!) I suspect I would not be nearly as content as Magic Dancer is post a snip – but then again, I am no racing horse (soon to be, fingers crossed!) champion either!
The Randjiesfontein tarining spot has a lekker restaurant and it was superb to see many families out and about in the fresh air – masked and distanced, but enjoying the vibe nonetheless. And with what is planned with the area (hopefully we don’t have long to wait …) I have no doubt that more and more people will get into the joy of horse ownership, racing and simply being a part of this community.
Check out https://mikedekockracing.com/category/mike-de-kocks-blog/ for the latest news in the de Kock racing world. And join us. You won’t regret it!