Soft Falling Rain - UAE 20o0 Guineas TrialClick above to watch Soft Falling Rain winning the UAE Guineas Trial
(Image and footage : Dubai Racing Meydan)

14 February 2013

Mike de Kock’s Soft Falling Rain, the easy winner of the 1400m UAE 2000 Guineas trial, will face seven rivals in the US$250,000 UAE 2000 Guineas itself, one of a trio of Group 3 races at the sixth meeting of the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday evening. Paul Hanagan takes the ride.

Unbeaten in his native South Africa, where he was Champion Juvenile, the son of National Assembly has to give weight to all his rivals being the only runner foaled in the Southern Hemisphere.

Soft Falling Rain’s trial victory was his first run on an all-weather surface and over a trip he was trying for the first time and his trainer, seeking a fifth win in this race, was delighted with his performance. “He had a few questions to answer,” explained Mike, who saddles eight on the Al Tayer Motors sponsored card. “He has a lot of natural speed and there was a slight concern 1400m might be a bit far but he stayed well enough. He had worked well on the surface but until they race on it you can never be certain. Again the extra 200m has to be a concern but my gut feeling is he will stay and he is certainly a lot fitter than he was three weeks ago. We’re confident of a big run.”

Stablemate Zahee (Christophe Soumillon) has a chance too and Mike commented about the New Zealand-bred: “He’s come on very well and he will like the trip. We’re very happy with him, he’s a runner.”

Last year’s UAE Derby winner, Daddy Long Legs (Soumillon), makes his first start for the stable over 1600m on the all-weather course in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes having formerly been with trainer Aidan O’Brien. Mike likes his new recruit: “He has had a few problems but we are very happy with him now, he is sound and moving as well as I have seen him. He will definitely improve with the run under his belt but this looks the perfect slot to get him back on the track. He is a Dubai World Cup hopeful.”

The third Group 3 is the 1200m Al Shindagha Sprint, also on the all-weather. Mike saddles Kavanagh (Soumillon) and said: “He was disappointing last time, but he suffered interference and that run may have come to soon after his Dubai debut. He’s really fit and should give a good account of himself.”

Jardim (Soumillon) ran a good race last week, fourth behind Ottoman Empire in a 2000m race on the all-weather and has a place chance again, this time in a handicap over 2200m. “This is a stronger field than last week,” Mike said.

Rerouted (Soumillon) is the stable’s pick of three in the Jaguar FX Trophy over 1800m on turf. “He ran a good race over this course distance at the first Carnival meeting this season and if he reproduces his form we’ll see a nice run from him again,” Mike said.

Final Button ran on well last time out, we’re not sure if he will stay the trip, but if he does, he can run into the money. Anaerobia reverts to shorter, what you see is what you get, he will be thereabouts.”

Extracts from Mike de Kock Racing and Emirates Racing Authority