Malmoos (22-10) was too good for a competitive field of classic contenders in the WSB Gauteng Guineas at Turffontein on Saturday, giving Valentine’s Day baby Mike de Kock an early birthday present.
Placed handy by Luke Ferraris in the early part of the race, he raced in second spot, grabbed the lead halfway down the stretch. He fought off Copper Mountain on his inside and then a fast-finishing Catch Twentytwo on his outside, to win by a neck.
“The way he’s going, you can’t fault him,” said Cape Town Met-winning Ferraris, who rode another well-time race and was wide awake in the finish with challengers coming at him from all angles.
Mike said: “Malmoos doesn’t mind a scrap in a finish, he enjoys fighting and likes to do just enough to win. We’re pleased with the way he ran because we left something on him to work on. He will improve going into the Classic.”
With that reference to the second leg of the Triple Crown, Mike confirmed that a rematch with Catchtwentytwo is likely to be on the cards and said: “I think it will be a good race. Catchtwentytwo was gaining late, but I was watching them just past the line and Malmoos kept him at bay.”
He added: “I’d like to see Malmoos come from a few lengths off the pace to run at his rivals. The way things have happened, he’s found himself leading or handy every time. We’ve always believed he’ll be better over further than a mile, and the Classic will show us.”
He said about Mount Pleasant, who faded right out over the last 200m: “He has failed twice over a mile now, we’ll revert to races down the straight for him.”
Bred on the same Captain Al/Fort Wood cross as Gr1 stars Captain America and William Longsword (a current Klawervlei sire), Malmoos is by Captain Al (Al Mufti) out of the Spook Express Handicap winner Justthewayyouare, a half-sister to Varsfontein’s boom sire Master Of My Fate.
The second top lot at R4,4 million sold off the 2019 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, Malmoos has earned R587 100 at his four wins from five starts, racing for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai.