Raihana, Mr Brock and Mike de Kock
(Image : Gold Circle/Tab Online/Orange)
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL
25 FEBRUARY 2010
Peter Ward reports on Mike de Kock Racing that the US$250,000 UAE Oaks (Listed) is the latest Classic to be added to the South African trainer’s roll of honour after the smooth success of Raihana in the 1900m Tapeta Classic. Piloted by Christophe Soumillon, Raihana won on her local debut before finishing fourth in the UAE 1000 Guineas. She always looked likely to prevail on this occasion and reverse form with Godolphin’s Siyaadah, who was third.
Mike de Kock said following the race : “She is a lovely filly and one we have always thought was a Classic prospect. The Guineas just did not work out for her but Christophe has given her a great ride and we will bring her back for the UAE Derby on World Cup night.”
Raihana’s win provided her owner, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, with a memorable Guineas-Oaks double, made even more special in that he bred both Musir (Redoute’s Choice) and Raihana (Elusive Quality). “This was an extraordinary achievement by Sheikh Mohammed, who predicted from the start that both would be good horses,” said Mike de Kock.
Kevin Shea had won the previous race, the $US175,000 Meydan Horizons Handicap over 2000m on tapeta, on the very impressive South African-bred Mr Brock who recorded his second Dubai International Racing Carnival win of 2010 and may just have done enough to get himself an invite for Dubai World Cup night. Shea said : “He is a great horse who has thrived on this new surface. He never runs a bad race and can hopefully keep improving.”
Mr Brock is owned by Mauritian-based Serge Seenyen.
Zirconeum then ran a great race to finish third in the $US200,000 Balanchine Stakes (Group 3) over 1800m on turf. Burdened with a Group 1 penalty, Zirconeum was conceding weight to the two who beat her, having led briefly two furlongs out. Shea was in the saddle and said: “She has run well and the slow early pace was not ideal. She is a quality filly and will bounce back.”
Kevin Shea and Mike de Kock enjoyed the perfect end to their evening when another South African-bred, Lucky Find, won the concluding mile handicap, the US$120,000 Imax Cup. Winner of Al Maktoum Challenge Round Two in 2008, Lucky Find has been a great servant to the yard and Shea said: “He deserved that after a great run on turf last time.