Mike de Kock - Dubai
Mike de Kock - Dubai

Mike de Kock

(Image : Stallion Book)

DUBAI WORLD CUP NIGHT

30 March 2013

Geoff Lester
Geoff Lester

Geoff Lester

Tab NewsMike de Kock’s Dubai World Cup Carnival runners have paid for more than one of my wife’s trips to the Gold Souk over the last few years in Dubai and following a double at Meydan last week - courtesy of Await the Dawn and Mushreq, not to mention a hugely promising comeback from stable-star Igugu - the South African has plenty of reason to look forward with optimism to Dubai World Cup Night on 30 March.

Await the Dawn, winner of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2011 when trained by Aidan O’Brien, broke the 2000m track record when defying top weight in a competitive handicap on only his second start for De Kock. “This is a very talented horse who has had no end of problems since he ran in the 2012 Dubai Duty Free and he came from Coolmore as a ‘challenge’. That was a terrific performance and the Duty Free could again be his race next month,” declared the South African trainer.

However, De Kock will look at all the options, as he also has Mushreq pencilled in for the Dubai Duty Free following what was the yard’s fifth success in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort. Mushreq has come through the handicap route and produced a career-best performance to beat stablemate Master Of Hounds, with De Kock’s third runner, Musir, returning after proving infertile at stud, an encouraging fourth. All three could be in action on World Cup night.

Igugu, off the course for 13 months, was race-rusty on her return in the Group 2 Balanchine Stakes, finishing only third behind Godolphin’s Cape Verdi heroine Sajjhaa. However, jockey Christophe Soumillon received plenty of flak - justifiably so in my opinion - for having been sucked into a speed duel up front in a race run at helter-skelter pace. De Kock said: “The fractions were very fast, so in the circumstances I have to be pleased with Igugu. That race will have blown away the cobwebs and we will bring her back for the Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday (9 March) before making a firm plan.”

Igugu could well have a rematch with Sajjhaa in the Jebel Hatta, though Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford said: “The fillies and mares races in North America later in the year look tailor-made for Sajjhaa but she has really thrived in Dubai this winter and that was a smart performance with her penalty.”

Extract from Tab News

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