There are two mega TAB carryovers to the all-feature-race Gold Cup meeting at HWB Greyville this Sunday – a R2-million Pick 6 carryover set to produce a whopping R12-milion pool and a R1-million carryover to the Gold Cup Quartet pool. With 14 runners, the Quartet pool on the Gold Cup is set to total near R5 million. Punters who pick the first four could have plenty to celebrate when the battle is done in the country’s premier equine marathon. You can participate via the Betway Tote portal.
Mike de Kock is well represented at the meeting, which brings the curtain down on the 2022/3 season, for which Equus Champions will be crowned at the end of August.
The stable’s day starts in Race 3, a Listed contest over 1600m in which Forever Mine warrants consideration. Mike noted recently that jockey Richard Fourie advised that this gelding should be tried over 1800m, despite what his form shows. Mike said: “We’ve been waiting for the right race, I am keen to see how he goes over a mile. We have JP van der Merwe up and we’re hoping they’ll overcome his wide draw, not in our favour. Forever Mine is very well, he has a money chance despite the draw.”
Aragosta and Black Thorn both have claims in the G3 World Pool Gold Cup over 3200m. Mike said: “Aragosta ran a good race in the Gold Cup when Shangani won the race last year. He sat near the back and stayed on nicely late, passing a few. He has enjoyed a good prep, I think he’ll be thereabouts, he’ll run well.”
Black Thorn finished ahead of Aragosta in fourth last year when he was trained by Sean Tarry. He gave a good account in his first run for Mike earlier this month, fourth in the Durban July Consolation race. He comes into the Cup on good terms, shouldering the same 54kg as last year, and re-unites with his favourite jockey, Keagan De Melo.
Mike said: “Black Thorn is doing well in his work, he’s also had a good prep. I would like to have had one more run into the Gold Cup with him, but that’s the way it is. I think he’s a big runner.”
Dave The King and Safe Passage, not disgraced in the Durban July, complete their season in the G1 HKJC Champions Cup over 1800m, a race that will suit both well in course and distance. Mike commented: “The form is well exposed, there is not a lot I can add. Dave The King is nine pounds out at the merit ratings with See It Again. I think he will run a good race, this is more like his distance, but to turn the form on a horse like See It Again will be tough. He has an outside chance.
“We’re opting for blinkers on Safe Passage, this horse is doing really well. Again, he has a few lengths to find at weight-for-age and on his July run, but he’s come on. He’s one to consider if you’re going to play it wider.”
Mike’s entered promising Platina Princess for the G1 Doulas Whyte Stakes over 1600m and on what we’ve seen from this two-year-old daughter of Danon Platina, she should flourish over a mile. “She’s a nice filly, badly drawn but I think she’s a runner with a chance, bring her into play.”
Iphiko (Race 10), reverts to 1000m and, having won five times over this trip must have a shout, but Mike cautioned: “Iphiko is not quite on top of her game, we haven’t got her back to her very best yet.”