Mike de Kock’s Sharapova looks ready to win her Maiden in Race 2 over 1200m at Kenilworth on Saturday – at even-money (now 8-10) on the Betway Boards, most punters will considered her a good professional bet.
“We don’t like to label our runners as sure winners, racing is too unpredictable, but yes, Sharapova is well and should go close here,” said assistant trainer Trevor Brown, who has been taking care of Mike’s small raiding party at the Milnerton Training Centre.
He added: “Sharapova was a bit green on the bend over 1400m last time, she over-raced and tried to do it the hard way, but was still game in second. She reverts to 1200m, that should be okay. She came out of her last run very well. She has pace and if you look at her form rivals in the race, they all finished behind her over 1400m last time. She was up there ahead of them disputing the finish and she kept going.”
The stable hopes to exit the New Year on a high note with Sharapova – next runners being on Monday, 2 January at Turffontein for which Mike has provided comments.
Well-bred Follow The Flow, a relation of last week’s fluent winner Bonete, returns to the track after a disappointing debut – a poor run despite the fact that she was in a small feature first up. Mike noted: “Follow The Flow is a lot stronger than she was on her debut, so we’re confident she’ll do a lot better. I won’t be surprised if she gets into a minor placing, but she has to improve a helluva lot on her first run.”
Equestrian Affair, rested since July, makes his comeback in Race 3 over 1400m and Mike said: “He was gelded and didn’t take it too well, so needed time to get over it. He has a place chance, I believe, will improve and can be followed in future.”
Humdinger (Race 4, 1400m) hasn’t raced since late October and Mike said she was “very fresh”. She is well handicapped for this race and looks perfectly suited to the course and distance, but this is a strong race so it won’t be easy. “Hundinger has a nice draw, her tactics should suit this race and she can’t be left out of anything.”
Next up, Arividicio in the G3 Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1400m, another who looks well suited. “I was impressed with his second place in the Secretariat Stakes last week. He’s got plenty to do at the ratings, but he ran on well last week and is on the upgrade, a horse I’d include.”
“Sea Anemone (Race 6) is a lot better than she’s rated for the Three Troikas, however the conditions of this race allow us to run her here so we can see what we have in her. I expected to see her win easier last time, she only got up late to win her Maiden by a short head. But she was thrown in at the deep end going from a 1200m race into a mile. I think Sea Anemone is above average, the race will show us. Put her into your play.
Angelsea completes the day for stable in Race 9 over 1600m and Mike commented: “She had to ease a bit last time at a stage of the race when she going forward. With a clear passage she would’ve been right there at the finish. She’s in a good space, well drawn and has a handy weight, expected to be competitive here.”
*Mike de Kock wishes all the members of Betway and readers of this column, a prosperous and indeed profitable 2023.