Mike de Kock has had to withdraw Motown Magic (temperature) and Run As One (lame) from today’s Derby Trial, but is expecting a good day at Turffontein, where he will saddle four runners, all with lively chances at this meeting on the stand-side track.
The stable can strike as early as Race 1 over 1160m with Rafeef’s son Union Square, a newcomer to the races the trainer describes as “a big striding, good-looking horse and one that looks progressive, his work is good.” He added: Union Square’s pedigree suggests that he’ll enjoy further than this 1160m, but I hope to see him running on well at the finish. He will improve, like most of my first-timers, but could be good enough on debut to fight it out. He’s a horse you can follow.”
Querari filly Rimaah placed second on a good debut against winners recently and she’ll be all the rage to shed her Maiden certificate in Race 2 over 1160m. “Rimaah ran a cracking race first up, she’ll enjoy a 1400m or a mile more than this, but unless there is something very speedy in the race, she’ll be running at them, a top placing expected.”
Next up is Cleaver Greene in the Gold Rush Sprint, a feature attempt for him in his third start. He’s a progressive horse and has shown heart. Mike said: “He’s done well since being gelded, has come on with his last run. The only thing against him could be his lack of experience against a few more experienced sprinters that have more runs under the belt. He is drawn on his own, on the inside and I would like to have seen him in the mix of it all, in the middle somewhere. But he’s a nice sprinting sort, a good run expected.”
Masaaken completes the stable’s day in Race 9, the Sun Chariot Handicap over 2400m. Mike commented: “Masaaken is well exposed, she normally gives of her best and wins on the right day, needs a bit of luck in running. She should be very competitive off her mark here, has an eachway chance.”