Everyone out there wants to know what Mike de Kock has to say about his runners in the Group Ones on Saturday. We’ve spoken with Mike, and these are his views:
1. The Vodacom July. He stands by his statement that Kildonan is bred for the trip, and people shouldn’t read too much into the brilliance he showed in the Golden Horse Sprint. Great horses are brilliant by definition, and have the ability to win at all at all distances, and they intend to ride him with the confidence he deserves. If he stays, he wins, or so they hope. If he doesn’t, they won’t go down having done him less than justice. Do you think they realise Pick Six, Dynamite Mike & Veiled Essence are even in the field?
2. Bold Ellinore is in top gear for the Garden Province (1600 Gr.1 for fillies). The Summerhill-bred daughter of Kahal belongs to our old school mate, Michael Destombes, and no lady deserves a Group One more. She’s in cracking form, is the highest rated filly at the trip, but has Soft Landing, Stratos, Angel Flight, Dane Julia & Little Miss Magic to beat.
3. The Golden Slipper Gr.1 (for Juvenile fillies). Mike has both 1st and 2nd favourites engaged, and the stable jockey Weichong Marwing has chosen in spite of her 13 draw, to ride Gilded Minnaret, jointly owned by Mike and his old sidekick, Pat Shaw, now a leading trainer in Singapore. Only thing is, Weichong hasn’t remembered where the 2nd favourite, Cleome, comes from (she’s a Muhtafal filly from Summerhill), and Kevin Shea might well be the celebrant rider in the end. Mike says there’s little between the two other than the draw (in Cleome’s favour) and the latter has come on again since her excellent run against elders a few weeks back. She might be value at 4/1.
4. The Golden Horseshoe. (Gr.1 for Juvenile Colts). We have one runner here, Springbok Summer, but he is probably more hopeful than anything else. Muhtafal has a promising sort in Let’s Get Started and while he could well feature, the probabilities are that Robert Muir’s Argonaut is the one they all have to beat. With Cataloochee already ensconced as a stallion at Summerhill for the Muirs, with a couple of Group Ones under his belt, this could be another for the roster in a couple of years.