Important weekend looms for De Kock in England, Canada

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Important weekend looms for De Kock in England, Canada

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">NICCI GARNER<br />
</span><span lang="EN-GB">TRAINER Mike de Kock could be represented by two runners at the Emirates Airlines Champion Stakes meeting at Newmarket, England, on Saturday with Mullins Bay set to run in the 1800m Group 1 topliner and Kapil featuring among 33 entries for the G3 Igloos Bentinck Stakes over 1200m. On Sunday South Africa&rsquo;s globetrotting trainer will turn his attention to the $2-million Canadian International (G1) over 2400m at Woodbine where he races Oracle West.<br />
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Photo: Mike de Kock</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">He is relatively bullish about the chances of all three of his big-race runners.</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">“The international is always a tough field, but if the going is not too soft, Oracle West will run well,&rsquo;&rsquo; he said. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;</span>“Oracle&rsquo;s preparatory run for this race in the John Smith&rsquo;s Extra Cold Conditions Stakes (when he was only tagged in the final stride by neck winner Multidimentional over 1700m) was very good. Multidimentional is a solid Group 2 horse in England.&rsquo;&rsquo;</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">De Kock added. “The beauty about being stabled in England is that travelling horses is like posting letters, no effort whatsoever – except if your staff have South African passports!&rsquo;&rsquo; (More about that next week.)</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">Of his three runners, De Kock is most enthusiastic about the chances of Kapil. “While Mullins Bay will be difficult to back in the Group 1 (he will probably bump horses to the calibre of Notnowcato, Eagle Mountain, Doctor Dino, Creachadior and Multidimentional) Kapil will be more in his class. He&rsquo;s doing very well in England and I think he has a good chance.</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">“Our horses are running very well, barring winning,&rsquo;&rsquo; continued De Kock. “A couple been beaten on the line, like Mullins Bay (who was overhauled in the final 100m and beaten narrowly into third by Stotsfold and Zaham in a G3 stakes race over 1800m at Goodwood on 16 September), Oracle West and Irridescence (who ran two cracking races for De Kock before being sold out of the stable).</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">“This is the toughest school in the world and we&rsquo;ve had a highly successful season,&rsquo;&rsquo; he continued. “We&rsquo;ve learnt a lot; our horses have run very well and we haven&rsquo;t finished yet!&rsquo;&rsquo;</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">De Kock, who played the golf game of his life in the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-Am Golf Tournament in Scotland and secured second place in the Amateurs Challenge, is looking forward to the Dubai International Racing Carnival next year.</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">“I&rsquo;ll have 30 horses for the Carnival. It&rsquo;s the strongest string I&rsquo;ve ever taken.&rsquo;&rsquo;</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">Apart from the international string currently based at Newmarket and Nad Al Sheba that includes this year&rsquo;s UAE Derby winner Asiatic Boy (who “has run some awesome races in England, looking at the results&rsquo;&rsquo; and will be aimed at the Dubai World Cup next year), he will have seven newcomers from South Africa in African Appeal, Divine Jury, Kildonan, Kayak, Lucky Find, Royal Vintage and Sun Classique.</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">He is most excited about Eagle Mountain, who will transfer to De Kock after the Champion Stakes and who finished second to Authorized in the Epsom Derby this season, and an Argentine-bred colt and filly. “Inca Noble was champion filly in Argentina. She won the Breeders&rsquo; Cup there by seven lengths. Honour Devil won his only start in Argentina and also looks well above average.&rsquo;&rsquo;</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">De Kock says the golf tournament was “a fantastic experience. We all had a good laugh&rsquo;&rsquo;.</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">“It&rsquo;s not easy hitting a golf ball with 20&nbsp;000 people watching, but </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN-ZA; mso-fareast-language: EN-ZA">Rory McIlroy (the professional he was teamed up with) showed amazing composure and I was fortunate enough to play well when he didn&rsquo;t. We dovetailed very well on the few occasions he slipped.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">“Golf is my passion and that was one of those life experiences that you can&rsquo;t quantify. It must rate close to best week of my life. Racing is my job and I feel constant pressure to perform so it&rsquo;s more a relief when I do well. I&rsquo;d love to do the Dunhill Pro-Am again next year.&rsquo;&rsquo;</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">De Kock then chuckles: “Of course, my participation will depend on me training a Group 1 winner for Mrs Rupert.</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt"><span lang="EN-GB">“The Ruperts are putting a lot of money into racing. They have a lot of passion about everything they do – golf, sport and racing – and are going about their racing in the right way with a long-term plan and goal. I hope we see their names in lights in the future.&rsquo;&rsquo;</span></p>

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