Mike de Kock has praised jockey JP van der Merwe for two exceptional rides at the Vaal on Thursday. He rode two cucumber cool and well-timed finishes to win with our two carded runners Silver Sanctuary and Destiny Of Souls.
Silver Sanctuary (race 3, 1600m) was involved in a four-way tussle which took place over the last 150m. The win was always going to go to the filly who got the best-timed ride in a true-run race with speedy Daktota Cat setting the tempo. Silver Sanctuary, in striking distance, pounced at the right time and got the verdict for Drakenstein Stud. Kevin Somerville was on course to lead in the winning filly, a full-sister to Safe Passage.
“Silver Sanctuary is still a little weak, so this was an excellent run. She’ll get better and win more races,” said Mike.
The ASSM Syndicate’s Destiny Of Souls was handled with patience that for a few nail-biting seconds seemed too patient, as JP waited for a gap to open. The gelding was wound up and ready to be unleashed, but he bided his time until the opening appeared between rivals. Destiny Of Souls barged through and won well.
Mike said: “That was a top ride. He kept calm under pressure. If he’d panicked and made the wrong move, it could have cost us the race.
“We like what JP is doing and I hope his good form continues. I asked him to come work for me in the morning and he’s doing so. I hear ‘More Meneer’ early every morning when we get to the track and then he is there, doing a good job.”