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De Kock Shatters Millard Mark

118 Gr1 winners on the board

Soqrat gave trainer Mike de Kock his 118th Gr1 winner when he stormed to victory under Randall Simons in Saturday’s Gr1 Cape Guineas at Kenilworth.

Soqrat storms home under Randall Simons (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

In securing his fifth Guineas, Mike surpassed the tally of 117 Grade 1 winners held by the legendary Terrance Millard since his retirement in 1991, a time at which, incidentally, Mike was in his mid-twenties and had only a single Grade 1 winner to his name.

Mike was chuffed after the race and said: “It is not something I could have imagined and now here it is. Just to be mentioned in the same breath as Terrance Millard is good enough for me. What I remember from those days is that we were absolutely in awe of him.”

Mike said that he and son Mathew, who put the final touches On Soqrat this week and took care of the saddling, were quite confident before the race. “On juvenile form I thought Soqrat was close to One World on form, if not better, and when I saw our horse canter down to the start I knew he’d go close. Thanks to Mathew and the team for bringing him to the track spot-on, I am very happy!”

Mathew added: “Soqrat is a natural athlete. We had the hiccup with his travelling down, but he recovered, got better every day. He knew what to do. Even with Hawwaam not here I knew that in Soqrat we still had enough power to play a role. I sighed when he found the rail, but with about 600m to go he was full of running.”

118 Gr1 winners for Mike de Kock

Mathew said that Soqrat would probably stay in Cape Town for a tilt at the Gr1 Queen’s Plate, which already promises to be the most powerful renewal in years, but that they would see how the colt comes out of the Guineas before making a decision.

Soqrat is the flagbearer for Darley’s Commands Stallion Epaulette (AUS), who tops the list for the most Group winners by an Australian first-season sire. Soqrat’s dam, Elzeeza (Hussonet) won twice up to 1200m.

Bred by Shadwell Stud for Sheik Hamdan of Dubai, Soqrat was raised by Arthur and Harry Mitchell of Yarraman Stud before being imported to South Africa.


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9 comments on “De Kock Shatters Millard Mark

  1. I salute you, Sir.

    If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.

    Merry Xmas to You and your Family

    William Milkovitch

  2. Brian says:

    “Shattered” Ed? 1 over Millard, hardly shattering.

  3. Harold says:

    How many Grade 1s did MDK win with other trainers champions?

  4. Harold, are you inferring to the Dubai Carnival winners Mr. de Kock ‘inherited’ from other trainers ?

  5. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    why cant we just say well done – some have issues with verbiage and others question the merits, the record book has no comments column!!

    Well done, i wont’ let my envy spoil the achievement. One would not be normal if you were not green with envy – but overcome it and tap the man and his team on their backs – just like one should each trainer and jockey and owner for each winner – its not that easy!!

  6. JohnnyG says:

    Wow he trains 118 group 1 winners and Brian says it’s only 1 more than Mr Millard . Just to be able to get so many is an achievement alone and a great ambassador for South Africa and South African racing . As for Harold’s comment well said Roderick instead of saying well done you have a comment like that . People forget he took a horse racing in PE and almost won the world cup in Dubai with Lizards Desire . Yes Mike gets to take other people’s champions across to Dubai and if good enough to compete across the globe . The reason for that is that the man has done it and done it well . Trust me if I had a champion it would be on the 1st flight with Mike . So instead of bagging the man rather take a bow and be proud of a true proudly South African Great !!!

  7. Chris Swart says:

    Mike besides being a hall of fame trainer is a hall of fame human.
    Humble, kind and generous
    Second to that, he has a memory bank that b recalls anything instantly.
    A poor maiden I wanted to send to him was talked about 15 years later and he recalled the form of the race (against his worst maiden winner)

    For me, there should be many more like Mike that command respect with professionalism, dedication and a great team all over the world

  8. Indeed, Mr. Geroudis.

    Brian, I feel Mr. DK should be credited with one and half wins for any Grade 1 victory attained overseas.

    Just try and image the pressure he is under when he is expected to “deliver the goods” with a former
    SA hotshot, over there.

    Merry Xmas All

  9. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Mike will go down in the history books as one of the best ever. Great team backing him up including wife and son. No nonsense guy, speaks his mind, a True Horse man. Well Done Mike, I hope there is at least another 118 in the tank….

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