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Golden Double For De Kock

Master trainer's Australian-bred gelding outstays them

eLan Gold Cup_520

Newly crowned SA champion jockey S’manga Khumalo could hardly contain his joy as the Mike de Kock trained Enaad crossed the line first to win the R1,25 million Gr2 Gold Cup at Greyville on Saturday. ‘Bling’ as he is known to his legion of fans, took both hands off the reins at the post and followed up with a Dettori flying dismount in the number 1 box.


S’manga Khumalo drives Enaad clear to beat Helderberg Blue (Grant Van Niekerk)

On his day the mercurial Khumalo is pure poetry in motion in the saddle and a showman of note. The display of unbridled delight was probably more a relieved farewell to a season where things haven’t always worked out the way they could have, than anything designed to impress

But for now, this was a second national champion jockey title in the bag and a top drawer display of race riding in South Africa’s premier staying race – sadly downgraded in its 95th year to a Gr2.

Multiple SA champion trainer Mike de Kock is a master of this race and was celebrating his fourth victory in the 21st century in a marathon with a colourful past and great spectator appeal.

De Kock saddled the ill-fated Wild One to win last year, as well as Ancestral Fore in 2010 and Thundering Star in 2007.

For Khumalo it was a first Gold Cup win and something he can now tick off his bucket list.

He has some way to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, the retired Felix Coetzee, who broke Charlie Barends’ record when riding his eighth winner in the 3200m event in 2012 on In Writing for Dean Kannemeyer.

Mike de Kock

Mike De Kock

Buoyed by his recent Gold Vase top four finish, De Kock brought the kitchen sink to war with five of the 16 runners carrying the famous stable’s flag.

After a lengthy delay as a result of Gauteng challenger Arch Rival being reshod, the field were despatched on a track that looked tired after taking the brunt of a long season.

With stablemate Kingston Mines winging his way out front, Bling had the lukewarm favourite Enaad relaxed some twenty lengths off the action.

De Kock was 1-2 early as Smart Mart snapped at Kingston Mine’s heels with Fortune Fella, Solar Star, The Centenary Coltrane, Helderberg Blue, Ovidio and Master Sabina following.

Enaad started making his way forward from the 1000m marker using his stablemate Kinaan as a lead and into the straight he was powering up and visibly going better than most of his field.

At the 250m marker Khumalo enjoyed the luxury of a glance up at the big screen as the well-weighted Enaad was just too strong and went on to win in a time of 211,28 secs.


The Dettori dismount from Bling

Helderberg Blue came out of the pack to chase for second, and finished 1,25 lengths adrift as he shaded the 3yo Kinaan.

Justin Snaith had a sadly blank day and would probably have been disappointed with the lack of spark shown by Ovidio, who was not disgraced when plodding into fourth.

Sansui Summer Cup winner Master Sabina found his feet late to run fifth, and just held out Balance Sheet, who had no luck in a scrappy race in the straight.

De Kock said that the soft track conditions did not suit some of his other runners. But the third-placed 3yo Kinaan looks a horse with plenty of scope to go on next season.

Enaad has won 4 races with 8 places from his 18 starts for stakes of R1 325 600.

He was bred in Australia by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and is a son of ill-fated Coolmore shuttle stallion High Chaparral, a champion son of Sadler’s Wells.

Enaad is out of the twice winning Danehill Dancer mare, Al Anood.

Not a vintage season by De Kock’s high standards – but winning the Gold Cup will be a high point.


Gr2 Gold Cup (SAf-Gr2)

Greyville, South Africa, July 31, R1.25 million, 3200m, turf, soft, 3.31.28

1 – ENAAD (AUS), 53.5, b g 4, High Chaparral (IRE) – Al Anood (AUS) by Danehill (USA). Owner Al 2 Adiyaat South Africa (Pty) Ltd; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer MF de Kock; jockey S Khumalo
2 – Helderberg Blue (SAF), 59.5, b g 5, Jet Master (SAF) – Our Table Mountain (USA) by Fusaichi Pegasus (USA)
3 – Kinaan (AUS), 53.0, b c 3, Galileo (IRE) – Dazzledar (GB) by Zamindar (USA)
Margins: 1.25, 0.25, 2.00

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9 comments on “Golden Double For De Kock

  1. Andrew Abrahams says:

    Khumalo top class, he deserve the crown, thats why the best trainers trust him

    1. Speedyvar says:

      Lets check that.
      In the 2015/2016 season Khumalo had 1348 rides for 242 wins.
      Delpech in the same season had 457 rides less than Khumalo for 32 less wins.
      Marcus had 730 less rides than Khumalo for 73 less wins.
      Makes you think who is top class.

  2. gavin says:

    When is khumalo suspension gonna kick or have the nha got no balls to suspend him

    1. Editor says:

      Due process to be followed Gavin

  3. bob kistnasamy says:

    The Gold Cup itself was an exciting and interesting run race. I am of the opinion that with better riding tactics, Helderberg Blue could have finished closer to the winner. his finish was quite devastating. Just as in the July, the runner up was left with too much to do. Being labeled the fastest finisher or possessing the best time from the 400m mark to the finish, is immaterial or no consequence, if you are not in the winner’s box.
    Does Grant van Niekerk’s timing require adjustment?

    1. Roy Naidoo says:

      I share your sentiments Bob.Grant van Niekerk is a talented jockey, but in my humble opinion had he opted to go earlier with his run, he could have been in the winner’s enclosure in both the July and Gold Cup. By the way i am not talking from my pocket.

  4. bob kistnasamy says:

    Whilst we all agree on due process being followed, are there timelines stipulated in the rules for completion of processes from the date of the event having occurred?
    Perhaps, this needs to be revisited so that the perception that some are “more equal than the others syndrome” does not rear it’s head.

    1. Editor says:

      Agree Bob. The turnaround time on some NHA matters is not what one would like to see. This does create the conspiracy theory environment. The Khumalo matter would appear to be fairly straightforward – witnesses, forensics etc ?

  5. jim says:

    bob definitely. 2 julys – smanje manje and marinaresco and helderburg blue. gvn definitely waits a tad too long .

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