Betway Ambassador Mike de Kock said he feels honoured to have had Sunday’s G2 Ipi Tombe Challenge over 1600m at Turffontein named in his honour and that he’d love to add the inaugural race that carries his name to his list of trophies.
He said: “Ipi Tombe was my first Durban July winner and the one that kickstarted my international career. It is am privilege to have my name attached to her race. I also forged good friendships were her owners, including Henk Leyenaar, who is still a patron in the yard today. Johnny Geroudis will be representing me at the track.”
Mike has two excellent fillies in the contest – the super game mare Humdinger and the up-and-coming and unbeaten Gimme A Nother, but this is a field of true G2 quality in which five of the nine contenders have already won Graded races.
In Humdinger the stable has a runner that always tries her heart out and Mike said: “Humdinger ran an absolute cracker in the Charity Mile, her penultimate outing. I’ve got Dennis Schwarz back on her and we’ll try similar tactics. If the race pans out to suit us, he’ll ride her cold. She’s as honest and hard-knocking as fillies get, I wouldn’t leave her out of anything.
“Gimme A Nother was stylish when she won the G3 Betway Mile on Summer Cup Day and she’s now two from two over the course and distance. At the ratings she has a lot to do, but those were capped in the Fillies Mile so she is a deceptive MR100, she is probably several points higher. This is weight for age, she has a few lengths to find with the Tony Peter runner Bavarian Beauty (note late scratching), to start, but she gets the mile easily and will want further. It’s going to be an interesting race, we think Gimme A Nother is a decent filly, this race will show us where we stand because she’s up against some good ones. She’s a definite inclusion.”
Mike saddles Platina Princess in Race 2 over 1100m. She’s not short of ability, but didn’t shape over a mile last time and Mike said: “I think 1400m is her limit, so we’re going back down the straight with her. It’s competitive, but she has a money chance, a Quartet inclusion for sure.”
Sparkling Jubilee is not the soundest of fillies, but she is in a good space at the moment and has a chance of posting her second career win in Race 4 over 2000m, for which Mike has secured Richard Fourie’s services.
“She has been ready to win another race for a while, she’s at the right rating now. We haven’t quite worked out the right distance for her yet, but being by Oratorio out of Zirconeum she should see out 2000m at Turffontein. If she does, she’s a massive runner.”