mike de kock and christophe soumillon meydan dubai
mike de kock and christophe soumillon meydan dubai

Mike de Kock and Christophe Soumillon

(Image : SA Pride/HKJC)



Mike de Kock is a legend in Dubai, but that probably also applies to most parts of the world. It was here that he first really made his international mark, having been the Champion Trainer in the Emirates on several previous occasions. By any of his best standards though, five winners in the first two meetings this year, including both the Guineas Trials (for fillies and colts), would have to be rated alongside his best.

Chatting to him about Imbongi’s condition for this evening’s Jaguar XJ Trophy, he mentioned how pleased he was at the Trial victories, suggesting Musir could well be up with the best three-year-colts currently in Dubai, while Raihanacould be something special. That’ll warm the hearts of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa’s team, for sure.

Multiple champion French jockey, Christophe Soumillon, takes the ride on Imbongi, whom De Kock says has been working well on the Tapeta surface, though it remains to be seen what he’ll be like under race conditions. He does say though, that the horse is only 85% fit, and having to give up to 7kgs to the field, his performance is going to hinge to a fairly significant degree, on his fitness.

He runs over seven furlongs, the trip at which he demolished five Grade One winners in the Drill Hall Stakes (Gr.2) as a three year old during the Durban season, so that’s not a problem; we’ll have our eyes glued on Tellytrack (Channel 232) at 19:10 pm this evening.