July pair close

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Mike’s plans for top guns

THIS summer Mike de Kock has decided he will raid the Western Cape with his horses for particular races rather than take a whole string, reports TAB News.

He gave his opinion of their ability and discussed the early plans for his leading horses.

SOQRAT: He will be aimed at the Dingaans at Turffontein and will then go down to the Cape to run in the Grade 1 Cape Guineas which is three weeks later. I will then run him in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate as we did with Noah From Goa. From there he will go into quarantine and then go overseas to race. I will probably try and give him a warm-up run in the Spring Challenge at Turffontein in October but I won’t run him if he draws badly.

BARAHIN: He will have a similar agenda. We will also raid Cape Town a lot. He will also go for the Guineas but after that we will be looking at the Grade 1 Investec Cape Derby. He will also be looking at an overseas trip after that.

ALYAASAAT: He is also very nice and will probably also raid the Cape but he will have his preparatory runs in Joburg. He looks well suited to the conditions of the Graham Beck Stakes.

FIRDOAS: She’s very good and we will look at the Grade 3 Fillies Mile for her on Summer Cup day and then possibly the Fillies Guineas.

GHAALLA: She needs a mile (1600m) to show her real ability and the Fillies Guineas and the Fillies Mile look the way to go with her.

STORM DESTINY: She shows us a lot and ran a cracker at Greyville when drawn No 16 of 16 and ran on well to finish fourth. She is also likely to go a similar route to the other two but I’m not going to run them if they draw badly.

DAGMAR: She ran a great race over 1600m in Durban but I’m not sure if that is her ideal distance. She is probably at her best over 1400m.

BUFFALO BILL CODY: He is a very smart horse and probably the best of my older runners. Not sure how far he will go but don’t think the Met is out of his reach. I think the Charity Mile should be ideal for him because his merit rating of 94 means he will come in with a decent weight in this handicap.

LIKE A PANTHER: He had a few niggles and he likes the sting out of the ground so we will wait for the summer rains. The Summer Cup will be his mission.

NOBLE SECRET: The good news for him is that every horse who beat him during the Triple Crown has been sold or has gone overseas. He will follow a similar route to Like A Panther.

HEAVENLY BLUE: He’s had a wind op but I still feel he can win a few races.

MUJALLAD: He has now been gelded and is working very well. He’s made a lot of improvement.

NAAFER: He is problematic but he’s coming on. Hopefully he can still win a big race.

SILVER THURSDAY: She is really maturing nicely. She is a typical Silvano who is coming on as she gets older. I think we will see a lot of improvement from her as a four-year-old.

TAKINGTHEPEACE: She was a December foal so I decided not to send her to Durban during the winter. On a line through Fiorella she’s as good as the best fillies in the country. I couldn’t believe she did not even get a mention at the Equus awards. I have big plans for her, including the Summer Cup. She has a merit rating of 104 and that will make her competitive in that field.

CASCAPEDIA: I have put her away for a while. She has a weak immune system and she always seems to be picking up problems.

NAFAAYES: She has won two from two and looks pretty good. A very nice daughter of Exceed And Excel.

PIETRO MASCAGNI: I still have hopes for him. I don’t believe we’ve seen the best of him.

The stable pair’s duel

AS a lot of people expected the Mike de Kock pair fought out the finish of the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe at Greyville.

However it was lesser fancied Barahin (5-1) who lowered the colours of previously undefeated 14-10 favourite Soqrat by a short head, as the two Sheikh Makhtoum owned runners pulled clear of the balance in the closing stages.

Second favourite Cue The Music found late betting support, and from an inside draw went off to set an honest gallop under Anton Marcus.

Outsiders Goliath Heron and Across Seattle both raced handy, while as expected the de Kock pair were placed in midfield.

Cue The Music still led coming to the 200m pole, but was labouring, and on this evidence seems destined to be a sprinter.

Towards the outside Barahin and Soqrat both quickly assumed prominence, and it soon became obvious that they would fight it out.

Barahin had previously won the listed Gatecrasher Stakes over this course and distance, and never let up under a strong Bernard Fayd’Herbe ride.

He put his nose down at the right time to narrowly deny his far from disgraced stable mate.

Outsiders Sulka and Crown Guardian filled the minor places, without ever being seen with any real chance, while Cue The Music plodded into fifth. 

” I told anyone that would listen that there was nothing between these two, and so it proved” said master trainer de Kock post race.

Rider Fayd’Herbe said that Barahin “is very laid back – but once he picked up the bit I knew he would give it to me”. – TAB News.



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