Mike de Kock’s runners are in excellent racing shape and to be included wherever they are entered. He has a pair of stayers running at the L’Ormarins King’s Plate meeting at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Saturday and five at Sunday’s meeting on the standside track at Turffontein.
A whopping R5-million is expected in the carryover Pick 6 Pool at the King’s Plate meeting. It’s a star-studded nine-race card. Champions will be crowned and fortunes can be won, so don’t get left. Access the tote portal on the Betway website and, as the saying goes, “take a ticket, have a chance!”
Mike’s runners Aragosta and Black Thorn will line up in Race 9 at Kenilworth, a 2500m feature for stayers. Aragosta, on his excellent recent win over the track and trip, can be considered as a banker in small Pick 6 perms, though it may be wise to spread just a bit wider with Justin Snaith’s runners Triple Time and Future Swing, and Candice Dawson’s Raiseahallelujah.
Mike said: “Aragosta remained in Cape Town after his December win. He and Black Thorn have been prepared by Brett Crawford at Phillipi and he reports that they are in fine shape. Aragosta comes into this contest at the top of his form. If there has to be a concern, it is that horses sometimes go flat in their second Cape runs when travelling from Johannesburg. This has happened to some of our runners before, only the race will show.
“But Aragosta meets rivals he disposed of on more or less similar terms so we’re expecting him to be right there again. Black Thorn is better than his recent form shows, he is a nice stayer and capable of running into the money too.”
Officer in Command, in his third start after being gelded, looks set for a big run in Race 1 over 1800m at Turffontein. “This horse is well and he will enjoy the extra 200m here and even further in future. He has a rival or two and we’ll need some luck from the draw, but he’s a big runner.”
Shoemaker gets another chance to get back to winning ways in Race 5 over 1600m – this is his favourite course and distance and he is fit and well. “We just cannot get a draw with Shoemaker, he keeps getting a deep draw. From 11-11 here he’ll have to come from the back again and we’ll be reliant on a good pace. If things work out, he’ll fight it out.”
Mike holds a strong hand with White Pearl and Champagne Cocktail in Race 6, the Grade 3 Mother Russia Stakes over 1400m. He commented: “As one can see clearly in her form, this is a prep run for Champagne Cocktail, who is being aimed at the Triple Tiara Series. She had a rest after her last two wins, which were over further. I started her over 1700m because I was always nervous of the speed over shorter trips. So this is a bit sharp for her, a run to bring her on, but she is a quality filly and if there’s a bit of pace on, she could work herself into the finish and play a role. White Pearl is very effective over the trip, we will need a bit of luck from her draw. She’s in a good space and has quite a lot of tactical and gate speed, she should give a good account of herself again.
“Lastly, we have Woman Of Power and she’s trying 1400m. I have some doubts about her seeing out the distance, but on paper there is no reason why she shouldn’t stay the extra. We’re going to ride her cold and see if we can get her to run on. She is a quality filly, I think she is better than her rating so I’d include her in swingers and the quartet.”