Mike de Kock has 13 runners representing the stable on Charity Mile Day at Turffontein on Saturday. The feature event is sponsored by Arun Chadha and Warne Rippon’s Allied Steelrode, who are patrons of the De Kock stable and have a few of their own contesting various races on the card.
Mike has detailed his views on the chances of his runners starting in Race 1, where newcomer MARQUEZ runs for Chadha and Rippon’s ASSM Racing Syndicate and there will be some punters who’d want to assume this one has been ‘lined up’ to give his owners a flying start to their own meeting.
Mike commented: “Marquez was extremely green when we gave him his gallop through the pens and that is a concern, so we’re putting blinkers on for his first run, not something I do often but I felt that he didn’t deliver what I believe he can deliver in that gallop. He is a horse with some ability and has the draw in his favour, so he is a definite inclusion for the Swingers, Quartets and so on. But as I said, his greenness is an issue here. Not out of it, but him winning will be a bonus to us. SYLVAN THEATER is in good form, but he appears to be drawn on the wrong side of the track, the going is often best near the standside rail after rain. Eachway prospects.
Race 4: “LITTLEMARYSHUNSHINE comes off a layoff into a tough and competitive field and she needs more ground. I’ll be very pleased if she runs into the first four or five, being by Silvano she needs further.”
Race 5: UNION SQUARE ran a big race after his rest last time, coming from well off them. He’s probably going to have to employ similar tactics because we’re faced with a wide draw here. It’s too short, he needs a mile and further, but he is a smart horse, will enjoy the sting out of the ground and I expect him to have a say. SHOEMAKER is a very nice horse, we’ve always rated him but again we have a poor draw, nearly impossible from there. We’ll have to take our punishment from the draw and we hope to see him running at them late, in this prep run for the Dingaans. There are a few nice rivals against him, to give them start and a beating won’t be easy. ARIVIDICIO is also not drawn the greatest, but he is very fit and will enjoy it on the soft side. Hoping he can earn in a hard race.”
Race 7: MK’s PRIDE comes into the race with a big reputation and plenty of form to back it up, but I have to say that, until recently, he just hadn’t been showing what his form says he was capable of, so I wasn’t going to run him. But in the last week or two he’s started to turn the corner. I don’t think he’s at his best just yet, he’s been a bit of a mystery and I’m not really sure how he will shape in his first run for me. I think he will improve for this run, but as I said he has started working well so bears consideration. SAFE PASSAGE enjoyed a good rest after the Durban July and he’s doing extremely well. One might say this is a bit sharp for him, but he is a Guineas winner and a natural athlete and has caught us out before. His mission is the Summer Cup, he will improve, but I am loathe to say he needs it. Don’t leave him out of anything. FOREVER MINE is fit, well and in form, but as noted he seems best on firm ground, which suits his way of running. We’ll stay with the tactics, take our chances, but he will be stretched over the mile on the outside track. HUMDINGER is also super fit, she may be a few pounds under sufferance but didn’t get a full penalty for her last run and she’s in top form. But she, like Forever Mine, could be stretched at 1600m and on possible soft surface, on the outside track. She’s in a good space though, she should run well.”
Race 8: “CLAFOUTIS was most disappointing last time, she fought the tongue tie and didn’t enjoy her run, she is capable of much better. She’s also been doing well in her work recently; I wouldn’t leave her out of anything. She’s another who’ll like it on the soft side.
Race 9: “MOTOWN MAGIC has still not come back to his peak, we’re forcing it a little bit backing his runs up so quick, but this is a fairly open staying affair where he would be an outsider. We’re hoping for better, include.
Race 10: “ULTRA MAGNUS will be helped by soft ground. He runs in a tongue tie for the first time, which could help him. Hoping he runs a better race.”