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Day 8 -Mike Enjoying The Upside

Just missing the golf

Racing may currently be at a standstill in South Africa but for Mike de Kock and his team, it’s business as usual.

“We’re still working our horses as if they will be running on 18 April,” De Kock told Tabnews on Thursday. “In fact, I’ve used the time to bring on some of the young horses.”

However, despite the spectre of Covid-19 hanging over the country, De Kock has found some positives in the lockdown. “I have not missed racing at all. Everybody at the yard is far more relaxed, we’ve been having quite a nice time.It’s actually been lovely at Randjesfontein. The grooms live on the premises so nobody has to travel. I just hope we can keep the virus away.”

“Early on I was concerned alcohol would not be available but that seems to be okay. In fact, the odd few who used to come to work bleary eyed the morning after payday are now arriving at the stable bright-eyed and bushy tailed.”

De Kock has also enjoyed travelling to work as the roads are empty and he does not mind staying at home.

“Driving to work is an absolute pleasure. There’s nobody rushing. I’m not going out for lunches and it’s great to come home and spend the afternoon reading, watching Netflix. It’s a while since I’ve had the time to read so many books.

“Overall, it’s been great for health and mind.The only thing I’ve missed is not being able to play golf.”

While everyone at Randjesfontein is ‘very chilled’, De Kock’s son, Mathew, has been working flat out Down Under, where racing continues. De Kock jnr left for Australia last month and is currently working for trainer Robbie Griffiths in Cranbourne, near Melbourne.

“Mathew’s working hard,” said De Kock. “He’s started at grassroot level again, working from the bottom, mucking out stables. But he’s enjoying it.The plan is for Mathew to learn the Australian system. The move there is not going to happen overnight. The game plan is for it to happen over a few years.”

  • Tabnews

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18 comments on “Day 8 -Mike Enjoying The Upside

  1. Vincent Ahrey says:

    I see that Mike de Kock has been training horses. I read somewhere that trainers couldnt train horses and could only look after the horses. If a trainer is not allowed to train during lockdown surely invoicing owners for training horses is against the law. I know of a lot of trainers that have allowed their grooms to go home and have either no support staff or a few grooms helping them look after their horses. These trainers are certainly not training their horses. We need clarity. Is training horses an essential service that has been allowed by government.

    1. Editor says:

      Are you an owner, Vincent?

  2. Vincent is a hawwaam fan..still frustrated

  3. Vincent Ahrey says:

    I have a 45% interest in a gelding that is in training. When it is ready to run I will get my colours. The lockdown has set us back more than 3 weeks as the training routine has been interrupted.

  4. Pottie says:

    Vincent , dam right exercising horses is an essential service , leaving these poor animals in a 3 x 2 m stable all day would be criminal ., ps your horse still needs to eat and needs a roof over its head not so .? I’m more than happy to pay for my horses during lockdown , as you should be too .!

  5. Satheesh says:

    Is mdk training haawaam to run backwards

  6. Pieta says:

    I’m surprised about a few of the comments in this article…..
    Mathew now a groom?…..if you believe that you will believe anything.
    If so must be the highest paid groom in Australia.
    A joke…..I didn’t look….was this written on the 1st April…..😁😁😁

  7. Dawid says:

    Anyone found to be in contravention of the Regulations, shall be found guilty and on conviction, will be liable to a fine, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both. Offenders found guilty will get criminal records. 🐎
    The NHRAmust give answers quickly and before the Police or the Army start raiding training centers. 🚔
    Trainers train under authorities to act. Owners need to know if they can be held responsible.😱

  8. Ignis says:

    Vincent come on, why are there always some dicks like you trying to boycott the industry? Go play with your dolls and let the big boys play. If you don’t know what you talking about stay out of it. Will see who trains your horse after they read your coments. I really can’t believe that people like you are allowed to comment on these platforms. Always the best how someone always says I’ve read some were if they want to give there own point of view.

  9. Wendy ross adams says:

    Dont u feed your children?

  10. Cecil Pienaar says:

    V A. Careful, trainers do read SP, does the other 55% ownership agree with you ?

    Are you for real, or involved with imaginary racing and ownership. Or is there a new board game out

  11. Vincent Ahrey says:

    I wake up to a bombardment. I call my attorney friend. I am advised that no training can take place. It is illegal. I decide that ownership in horse racing is not a past time I should continue with. The majority do not care for the law. They care for themselves. Horse racing is selfish industry where money and nothing else rules the day. There are so many horrible comment. Horrible comments come from horrible people. I am out. My trainer can have my 45%. I will tell him.

  12. R. Ma says:

    Owners should be charged fees for stabling, feed and vet fees where applicable. I am sure also walking the horses daily is part of their training schedule!
    Reg M
    Ex owner

  13. Grant says:

    Vincent why would he want your shares you wanted a horse now take responsibility for it. Horses that don’t exercise can develop colic and other problems. So rather don’t comment on a issue you know nothing about.

  14. George Spelvin says:

    Vincent reminds me of the many people I have seen come and go in the stock markets over two decades. Fickle and always looking to blame others. Horrible I know, but true.

  15. Brett Maselle says:

    I have watched this debate about whether a trainer can train horses during lockdown. I have also noted how much emotion it has evoked.

    I point out that in terms of regulation 11B(e) of the lockdown regulations that “Any place not involved in the provision of an essential good or service must remain closed to all persons for the duration of the lockdown.”

    The Operators provide training tracks for all the horses at training centres around the country. Unless the training tracks are being used for “Animal Care” which is a defined “essential service”, all Operators are obliged to close the training tracks during the lockdown period.

    Ask yourself what is “Animal Care” when it comes to a thoroughbred and whether training a horse is “Animal Care”? If not, it cannot take place and the training tracks should be closed.

    I have studiously steered clear of furnishing my view of what is meant by “Animal Care” when dealing with training tracks.

    Since this issue is highly emotional to the majority, I will not post any further comments on this thread.

  16. Brian Fredericks says:

    Well done Mike lets keep racing if it is on 18 then for sure im looking forward if not wow we all in this together All of the best for all trainers

  17. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Vincent, at risk of being accused of trolling you, maybe your lawyer friend should advise you whether you were breaking the rules of the NHA, by owning a horse (well 45% of a gelding) without being registered as having priveleges. ( you have stated you would only register when the horse is ready to run)

    Should this legal advice indeed show that rules have been flouted, and as the NHA has no jurisdiction over you, will you ask your now ex-trainer to inform the NHA of his transgression. Will you be a stand up guy and pay his fine for him, as after all the rule is in place for a reason.

    Are you perhaps in conflict with your ex-trainer, as you perhaps don’t believe him that he/she is training the gelding? Were you expecting a discounted rate for the lockdown?

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