Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock have a few interesting runners coming up in the next several days and Mathew said from Melbourne: “It’s Melbourne Carnival week and South African racing fans will be watching, there are some runners with SA connections.”
Saturday, 4 November, is Derby Day at Flemington Park and former South African sprinter runs for Mike de Kock and his Dubai partners in the Racing and Sports Rising Fast Stakes (G3) over 1200m. The purse is AUD200,000. The son of Starspangled banner also holds a nomination to next Thursday’s Listed G.H. Mumm Century Stakes over 1000m, where he will be joined by Halvorsen, the seven-year-old sprinter. “We gave Najem Suhail a freshen up after his last start and he should run very well,” said Mat. “We’re looking to back him up next Saturday, 11 November, in another sprint.”
Justify gelding Verdad also runs for the stable in the G1 Penfolds Victoria Derby over 2500m on Derby Day, he is third favourite for the race at $9 for a win, while the stable’s nine-time winning stalwart King Magnus will take part in the Damien Oliver Handicap over 1400m.
Joining Halvorsen on Oaks Day, Thursday, is Magnupur, who will contest the $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final over 1600m.
There are two likely runners at Pakenham next Friday – Highland Hill runs for Mike de Kock, Lary Nestadt, Gary Barber, Lindsay Ralphs and L Palmer and Rebellious Hope represents the Kieswetter family.
Next Saturday it’s back to Flemington for Champions Day, and Rey Magnerio is running in a Handicap. “He is probably our best runner for the week,” said Mat.