The only more pleasing outcome to Saturday’s meeting at Turffontein would have been a fourth stable win on the day – by Bonete in the Listed War Of Athene Handicap. She ran her heart out in third, almost managed to put the cherry on top of a lovely afternoon for Mike de Kock and his team who had saddled Forgiveness, Al Moolal and Mary’s Greenlight to win, earlier. No complaints, however, Bonete looks to win again soon.
Diego De Gouveia rode the first two stable winners for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Al Adiyat – Forgiveness was an easy ride but there was some ‘elbow grease’ needed on La Moohal, who pinched a lead and kept going.
Forgiveness (Silvano) was a picture on parade and Mike said: “I looked at the form and thought there were would be opposition, but she stood out in the ring and won accordingly. We’re expecting more, she has a lovely pedigree.”
Mike complimented Diego for his ride on La Moohal (Vercingetorix) and said: “They got away at a critical time and La Moohal’s fitness helped. He’s had four races in five weeks, he is very fit and Diego got him over the line. He is still immature, another I’d expect to go on and win more.”
Mary’s Greenlight (Gimmethegreenlight) was perhaps a surprise package in winning against some decent rivals, but not an unwelcome package aS her owner/breeder Mary Slack celebrates her birthday on New Year’s Eve. “Mary wouldn’t have liked me saying this, but well done and happy birthday, I will take the punches!”
Mike and Muzi Yeni agreed that the hot pace played into the hands of Mary’s Greenlight. Muzi rode a good race and said: “They were going really fast, the front runners burned out and my filly could come from the back.”
Mike, interviewed by Clyde Basel, thanked his team, led by David Hlamine, for their excellent work in his absence.,
He added a New Year’s wish: More cooperation in SA racing, in 2024. “We can go a long way together. Who goes too fast, goes alone!” he said.