South African Trainers Mike de Kock and Charles Laird
South African Trainers Mike de Kock and Charles Laird

Mike de Kock and Charles Laird

(Image : Heather Morkel / Kayleigh Leisegang / SA AlaCarte)


Turffontein, 26 February 2011

The unstoppable Mike de Kock train demolishing everything in its way in Dubai, erupts back into action at Turffontein Saturday with the running of the Gauteng Colts and Fillies Guineas. Followers of these columns will recall that Summerhill-breds have made the colt’s guineas something of a monopoly in the past two seasons, with first Imbongi taking the 2009 version, and Pierre Jourdan leading Havasha in a one-two last year. Astonishingly, the 2010 Fillies Guineas fell to yet another Summerhill Ready To Run graduate in Fisani on the same day, de Kock having been associated with three of the four protagonists, Imbongi, Havasha and Fisani.

In the Fillies guineas on Saturday, he has another very powerful hand in the R1million graduate of the Summerhill draft at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, in Igugu, an extremely talented daughter of the world’s best stallion of 2010, Galileo. Her principal opposition comes from another yard which has known great success over the years through its association with Summerhill in the likes of champions Nhlavini and Rebel King. Charles Laird saddles the outstanding Hollywoodboulevard for Markus and Ingrid Jooste, and as the winner of her last four in a row, including a victory over Igugu in the R1,5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, this Ready To Run product is likely to make things decidedly tough for the de Kock inmate. While we’ve made this out to be something of a two-way struggle, (and it would be surprising if it wasn’t), the group one winning daughter of Europe’s new sire sensation, Dubawi, the Sean Tarry-trainedHappy Archer is already a Group One winner, while Without Malice and Welwitschia could make something of a race of it.

In the Colts Guineas, Summerhill, for the first time in some years, is without representation, but once again, it looks like a de Kock/Laird battle for the ages. Laird goes in singularly with Galileo’s Destiny, while de Kock’s punch will come from the Rock Of Gibraltar colt, Perana, and the two in-form South Africans, Kavanagh and Link Man.