Mike de Kock produced the magic with his lone Met day runner as Atyaab finished too strongly for his ‘B Division’ opponents to grab the lion’s share of the stake in the R1 million GBets Gr1 Cape Derby.
In typically charismatic straightshooting mode, De Kock quipped that he had listened to the Under Starter’s Orders Show on Tellytrack on Saturday morning and thought his horse had been scratched.
“They didn’t mention him. Firstly we don’t come to Cape Town with our buckets and spades to lie on the beach in our mankinis. And this was little better than a B Division field to me. It made sense to give it a try as we felt that the first two legs of the Triple Crown would be too strong for him in Gauteng. He is a horse looking for 2400m,” said the multiple champion trainer
Outpaced early, Atyaab was back of midfield from his wide draw. Diego De Gouveia had him relaxed, as the filly Helen’s Ideal brought them for home.
In the rush for home, Atyaab became quite tight between Helen’s Ideal and the improved again Charles. But Diego De Gouveia, now a fully fledged jockey, kept his cool and maintained his balance to outstay his field and grab his first Gr1 success.
He beat the big-ticket Charles by a neck in a time of 124,06 secs, with Herodotus a further 2,25 lengths away in third.
The favourite Bunker Hunt appeared to have every chance but missed the Place Accumulator, to run fourth
History showed again that it is tough for the fillies to win the Derby. Helen’s Ideal ran a gutsy race to only fade late, while Santa Clara was unsighted.
Atyaab , who has won 3 races with 3 places from 7 starts for stakes of R859 437 will now be aimed at the SA Derby.
A A$260,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Shadwell from the Arrowfield Stud draft, he is from the first crop of High Chaparral’s champion son Dundeel and is a half-brother to stakes-winner Vesper and the fifth winner from Gr2 winner Sylvaner.
Atyaab races in the famous blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, who also owned the 2015 Cape Derby winner Ertijaal.
Gr1 Cape Derby (SAf-Gr1)
Kenilworth, South Africa, January 26, R1 million, 2000m, turf, good, 2.04.06
1 – ATYAAB (AUS), 60.0, b c 3, Dundeel (AUS) – Sylvaner (NZ) by Danasinga (AUS). Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer MF de Kock; jockey D De Gouveia
2 – Charles (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Trippi (USA) – Demanding Lady (SAF) by Dynasty (SAF)
3 – Herodotus (SAF), 60.0, gr c 3, Trippi (USA) – Pinkyandthebrain (AUS) by Hawk Wing (USA)
Margins: 0.20, 2.25, 0.20