Herman Brown Jnr and Mike de Kock
(Image : SA Trainers)
Meydan, 10 March 2012
Super Saturday in Dubai is the last crucial test of aspirations for the richest day in racing, the Dubai World Cup meeting, where almost $30 million will be disbursed at the end of this month. For some of the candidates, their conditioners are simply applying the finishing touches, for others it’s the last run they need to get them to peak for the great day, and for others the question of where they’re going to end up on the day (in or out or in which race they’ll compete) still has to be defined. There are two South African trainers in action tomorrow, many times Champion trainer of the UAE, Mike de Kock, and third generation Herman Brown Jnr, who carries the hopes of the Chechneyan President, Ramzan Kadyrov. Brown’s horses are largely untested in the UAE, and they come from a variety of international backgrounds. We don’t know much about them, other than their ratings and their countries of origin, and you have to take their wellbeing on trust. He wouldn’t be running them at Saturday’s level, if he didn’t think they belonged there.
For de Kock, his horses fall into any one of the categories we’ve mentioned above. Bold Silvano, Musir, Mahbooba and Irish Flame, are in the “polishing” touches phase, River Jetez, the former J&B Met heroine, is only lighting up the afterburners, and has work to do. Others like Master of the Hounds, and the recent Group 2 mile victor, Viscount Nelson, have been confusing in their form, and questions remain as to what their best aptitude is. The latter is a spectacularly bred son of Giant’s Causeway (out of a Guineas and Oaks winner by Sadler’s Wells), and you’d expect his best trip to be at least ten furlongs, maybe twelve.
Local fans will be looking for bold showings from most of these horses, in particular the Durban July winner, Bold Silvano, who was a strong fancy last year to take the winner’s prize in the world’s richest race, the World Cup itself, before injury cruelly intervened. He ran a muddling race on his first start back, and the fact he’s only having his second start here, suggests de Kock has been nursing him.
Either way, it’s going to be an intriguing night of contests (two of the races have recently been elevated to Group 1 status), and if you’re wanting to follow it, tune into Tellytrack Saturday afternoon (channel 232). If you don’t have the fields, go to www.emiratesracing.com.