De Kock won the Godolphin Mile in 2005 with Grand Emporium and this year he campaigns Mullins Bay who, in his lone Carnival appearance (and just his second start in the previous 12 months), ran second in the Group 3 Al Maktoum Challenge.

He has often commented on the talents of the rangy bay son of Machiavellian but like so many horses in the “gifted” category he has also suffered a niggling run of setbacks which have not allowed him to show his true colours on the track.

“He got over his last setback very, very well,” he said today. “In fact, he has never actually missed a day’s training during the Carnival as during the two weeks he couldn’t work on the track he was swimming. He has worked quite hard for the past few weeks and looks exceptional.”