Mike de Kock, racehorse coach supreme, isn’t in any respect fazed by having to saddle 4 runners for Saturday’s Betway Summer time Cup at Turffontein.
He’s confronted the problem of getting ready a number of candidates for main races “on plenty of events” in his 40-odd years within the racing sport. And the way did these events pan out? “Received some, misplaced many!” is his laconic reply.
De Kock sends out Glowing Water, Secure Passage, Aragosta and MK’s Satisfaction in his bid to land a exceptional tenth victory in Joburg’s largest race – a storied Grade 1 contest over 2,000m and value R2.5-million in prize cash this time round.
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The primary three horses talked about high the bookmakers’ boards at 22-10, 33-10 and 7-1 respectively, whereas the latter is a 33-1 lengthy shot.
So, punters reckon De Kock is an effective factor to ring up that magic quantity 10, however what does the person himself consider his expenses’ possibilities?
‘Glowing Water in good house’
“Glowing Water is in an excellent house and has achieved very effectively together with her clean up,” he says of his 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July champion.
“Secure Passage isn’t simple to evaluate however is doing effectively and could be very trustworthy.”
The winner of final season’s Dingaans, Gauteng Guineas and Each day Information 2000 completed a creditable third behind his stablemate within the July, earlier than being given a brief relaxation and returning to motion with an encouraging third within the latest Charity Mile at Turffontein.
Aragosta completed ninth within the July earlier than disappointing at shortish odds within the Gold Cup – each race being run at Greyville in Durban. His comeback run on the Highveld after a break was additionally a no-show, however his coach has this to say: “He’s higher than his prep run and has an affordable swing on the weights with a couple of of his rivals. The draw [of 15 out of 19] shouldn’t be a priority.”
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Then there’s mercurial MK’s Satisfaction: “He ran within the Retailers [over the sprint distance of 1,160m] at this assembly final yr. He’s stretched over 2,000m at Turffontein however has nice kind over much less.”
What in regards to the opposition?
“Puerto Manzano, Purple Saxon and Nebraas seem like they’ve prepped effectively,” observes De Kock.
By the way, Puerto Manzano is considered one of 4 runners from the steady of Johan Janse van Vuuren, whereas Nebraas is considered one of 5 for Sean Tarry. Meaning, between them, three trainers saddle 13 of the 19 hopefuls.
De Kock’s title is already immortalised in South African horse racing, with a number of champion coach titles and, most importantly, a distinguished worldwide file.
He was born in Alberton in 1964, the eldest of six youngsters, and was captivated by thoroughbreds from early on, watching them by way of the fence on the previous Newmarket racecourse in his hometown.
After college and nationwide service within the equestrian unit, he had just one profession in thoughts. Spells as an assistant coach with main conditioners Ormond Ferraris and Ricky Howard-Ginsberg gave him an excellent grounding and he acquired his full licence when the latter mentor died abruptly in 1987.
Greater than 3,400 winners later, with 133 Grade 1 successes within the bag, De Kock can look again on a profession with no equal on the South African turf. There’ve been 5 Durban Julys and three Cape Mets amongst these Grade 1s – to not point out two QEII Cups in Hong Kong, a Singapore Cup, a clutch of Dubai Carnival garlands and success within the UK and the US.
Nice horses he has dealt with embrace Horse Chestnut, Ipi Tombe, Irridescence, Victory Moon, Ilha Da Vittoria, Igugu, Mom Russia, Vercingetorix and Hawaam.
It’s attention-grabbing what number of of these superstars are feminine, so it’s unsurprising that De Kock singles out Ilha Da Vittoria, proprietor Mark Slack’s impossibly glamorous gray, as his most memorable Summer time Cup winner.
Requested the place he charges Glowing Water among the many glittering array he has educated, he’s characteristically cautious: “I’m unsure but as I imagine her finest is but to come back.”
One imagines Glowing Water shall be within the De Kock raiding occasion to Cape City within the coming months. However the steady shouldn’t be dashing into the long run. The very first thing is to barter Summer time Cup day.
“Saturday’s outcomes will dictate most of our plans so I’m not going to get forward of myself with what races we goal within the Cape. A small, choose string focusing on the majors is the intention proper now, with probably a couple of maidens and juveniles too,” he says.
Requested about his plans for 2023 – the Dubai Carnival and a mooted enterprise into Australia along with his son Mathew, now domiciled Down Below – De Kock provides a agency “no remark”.
A tenth wonderful Summer time is all he’s considering proper now.
Mike de Kock’s Summer time Cup wins:
(the race was referred to as the Champion Stakes for a couple of years)
1997 Report Edge
1998 Golden Hoard
1999 Fort Defiance
2000 Delta Type
2003 Wolf Whistle
2005 Ilha Da Vittoria