Mike de Kock has entered stable contenders for four of the five Listed and Graded features at Greyville on Saturday, and has three others running in minor features at Turffontein on Sunday.
Mike’s two-year-old filly Littlemarysunshine has been priced up in the red, at 6-10, to win the Devon Air Stakes over 1400m. She wasn’t fully extended when she romped home for her Maiden success at Turffontein last month and Mike commented: “She looks a fair sort in the making and her form is good. My only concern would be that Saturday’s 1400m is too sharp as she has already shown that she likes a mile and will go further. I’m not too familiar with what we’re up against, but on her current well-being Littlemarysunshine can win again.”
The Listed Gatecrasher Stakes over 1400m is traditionally a platform from which good careers are launched and Mike said about his runner, Union Square, also at the top of bookmakers’ boards: “He’s one I’ve always rated and he hasn’t done much wrong, but the form of his two runs has not held. There were no winners from behind him in his Maiden win, and his SA Nursery conqueror, Miss Cool, failed against fillies in last week’s Alan Robertson. I haven’t changed my mind, I still think Union Square is a good horse and he’ll definitely enjoy the extra 200m. He has plenty of speed as well, so this is a nice test to see where we stand with him. He has winning claims.”
Bold Act, rated 103, is well out at the ratings against the likes of Marina and Zarina in the G2 Tibouchina Stakes over 1400m, but Mike feels she is one to include if you’re spreading your net wider than the obvious form runners in this leg of the exotics. “She has run close to a a few good fillies at this trip and on that has a chance of being in the money.”
Al Muthana has fully recovered from a bout of illness and finds himself in excellent shape for the afternoon’s topliner, the G1 Gold Challenge over 1600m. Mike said: “Al Muthana ran below expectations in the Horse Chestnut Stakes but he got sick shortly after that race so that may have explained his run. He’s come to hand at Summerveld the last few weeks, he looks back to his best and he’s a horse that likes to run fresh. Perhaps he’s not good enough to beat the higher rated runners, but I think he can trouble them. He has a money chance.”
On Sunday, stablemates Rimaah and Simple Simple take on the undefeated Maharanee in the Highveld Winter Juvenile Stakes over 1400m. She’s beaten both of them, in turn, over 1160m and Mike said: “Rimaah is better off at the weights with Maharanee and they’ll be going around the bend now, which suits her. But Rimaah hasn’t drawn all that well at number 8 and Simple Simple is 11-11, so it won’t be easy for either of them. Both are well, however, barring Maharanee there are no obvious ‘hotties’ in the line-up so they’re in there with chances.”
East Coast will have a go at the colts’ equivalent of the Winter Juvenile Stakes and he is held on form by recent eye-catching winner Argo Alley in a race full of potential top young runners. “This is a touch sharp for East Coast, he will enjoy a longer distance and has place prospects,” Mike noted.