Mike de Kock matched the legend Terrance Millard’s record of 117 Gr1 victories when the Australian-bred Soqrat benefitted from a supremely confident ride by Randall Simons to win the R750 000 Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes at Greyville on Saturday.
“I am honoured to be mentioned on the same pages as a legend like Terrance Millard. As a young man I aspired to follow in his footsteps. Records are there to be broken and while we celebrate them as milestones in our professional careers, we can’t slow down or hang our hats on them – life goes on. Let’s face it – we are all only as good as our next winner,” Mike de Kock told the Sporting Post back in May.
On Saturday De Kock marked the milestone in style by saddling the top two home, with Soqrat beating fellow Aussie-bred Alyaasaat by 2 lengths in a time of 97,11 secs to win the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes run over the Greyville turf mile.
The runner-up, who won his maiden two weeks earlier, was slow away and ran green at his first sight of the Greyville circuit.
He came from last, appeared to stumble when making his run and was not disgraced in second.
Both first and second race in the Sheikh Hadan bin Rashid al Maktoum blue and white silks.
Joey Ramsden would have been pleased with the performance of his Twist Of Fate, who ran on well to bank third cheque, a further quarter length back.
Gavin van Zyl’s Play Another Tune ran a nice race at any price to secure fourth.
Bred by Shadwell Australasia, Soqrat is by Epaulette (Commands), a multiple G1-winning sprinter who has produced three first-crop juvenile Group winners. He stands for a fee of A$27 500.
Soqrat is out of the two-time winner Elzeeza (Hussonet), who won up to 1200m.
Soqrat has won 3 of his 4 starts – only beaten into secondin the Golden Horseshoe – and took his stakes tally to R720 000.
Gr1 Premier Champion Stakes (SAf-Gr1)
Greyville, South Africa, July 28, R750k, 1600m, turf, good, 1.37.11
1 – SOQRAT (AUS), 60.0, b c 2, Epaulette (AUS) – Elzeeza (AUS) by Hussonet (USA). Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer MF de Kock; jockey R Simons
2 – Alyaasaat (AUS), 60.0, b c 2, Dawn Approach (IRE) – Yaasah (IRE) by Distant View (USA)
3 – Twist Of Fate (SAF), 60.0, b c 2, Master Of My Fate (SAF) – Crescent Lily (SAF) by Counter Action (SAF)
Margins: 2.00, 0.25, 1.00