Archipenko (hkjc)

Everything that can be said has already been said about Mike de Kock. Saluting is no longer enough. In Zulu there is a word called “hlonipa”, which means utmost respect, and it’s often connected with royalty. We’re not sure there’s a peerage that adequately accommodates this man any longer, because he’s in a class of his own. South Africa can stand up as a nation, and in the process of acknowledging Archipenko’s victory in one of the world’s great races on Saturday for Mike de Kock, we can all take a bow.

Our horsemen have no need to stand back for anyone, as he and Kevin Shea amply reminded us again. Of course, this was a victory for others as well Sheikh Maktoum Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, as prized a customer of Summerhill as one could imagine, our friends at Ascot Stud, the guru Jehan Malherbe, the “Lion Tamer” John McVeigh and Mike de Kock himself all benefited enormously from the coveted R11 million purse which former Ballydoyle inmate, Archipenko, scooped in the famous and increasing Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong.

It was good to hear the National Anthem again. In these circumstances, you can’t grow tired of it!

Freeracer reports that ARCHIPENKO, prepared to perfection, ran out an easy winner of Sunday’s Audemars Piquet QEII Cup over 2000m at Sha-Tin in Hong Kong, rewarding the confidence of his connections.

Mike de Kock, Trevor Brown and Kevin Shea did not want to know about losing all week.

Archipenko had improved since finishing third in the Dubai Duty Free – a race he should arguably have won – and they knew that a repeat of that performance would be just about good enough.

He turned in that, and more, coming across from a wide draw to sit in fifth spot behind early leader Sir Slick, with the other strongly fancied runners Viva Pataca and Helene Mascot several lengths behind him.

The picture changed as the field turned for home. Matsurida Gogh made an early forward move with Viva Macau and pursuit and the back markers trying to get onto terms. Archipenko briefly appeared flatfooted, but Kevin Shea shook him up and he picked up the bit and started to reel them in stride for stride. He got to the front with 200m to go and won by two lengths with several more in hand. Balius and Viva Pataca finished second and third respectively, staying on from far back.

Mike de Kock and Kevin Shea agreed that this won’t be the last of Archipenko’s big wins. “When he came around the bend he was like a two-year-old not knowing what to do, but when he saw daylight he let rip.’’

Mike de Kock praised his staff for a great team effort and added: “Archipenko will go the UK now. He might race at Royal Ascot, but there are no firm plans at this stage.’’

Archipenko is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum in partnership with Mike de Kock, Dr Ashley and Rose Parker, Jehan Malherbe, Dr. John McVeigh and Hugo Merry.

Click here to watch video of Archipenko winning Audemars Piguet QEII Cup 2008.

Extract from Mike de Kock Racing