De Kock – To Derby, Or Not To Derby?

It could come down to the toss of a coin

It is decision time this week for Mike de Kock and his partnership of powerful owners after Marauding Horde posted his third win on the trot at Turffontein on Saturday.

The Sporting Post reported on the victory – read more here.

But the inevitable game of chess with the Handicappers continues and De Kock suggests on his website today that Marauding Horde’s relatively low rating puts him at risk of what he describes as a ‘brutal’ handicapper’s penalty, if he was to run a place in the SA Derby against the likes of Purple Pitcher.

Marauding Horde – to Derby, or not to Derby? (Pic – JC Photos)

“I thought it would be a bit of a test on Saturday, but he won very well,” said Mike.

“It was a slow 2000m, to have quickened off that slow pace and with his weight was impressive. There will be a lot of debate with his owners this week before declarations. I’m fairly confident he could be in the first three in the Derby, but he could get a 20-pound penalty for just being in attendance. With a horse like this, perhaps a Hollywoodbets Durban July-type down the line, you don’t want to kill him by winning the Derby, but you also don’t want to throw it away while he is in such good form.”

Jockey Marco van Rensburg suggested that Marauding Horde won ‘even easier than last time’ – it was a hands-and-heels ride – and that suggests that the colt quite possibly has the mettle to go into the Derby to contest the finish.

But the connections have a tough decision to make and perhaps it will have to come down to the toss of a coin!

Marauding Horde is De Kock’s only SA Derby entry at this stage – supps close on Monday – and it’s a race that he has won six times previously.

Marauding Horde is raced by one of South African horseracing’s most powerful owner partnerships in Laurence and Jarryd Wernars, Gaynor Rupert’s Drakenstein Stud, Pieter Graaff’s Lammerskraal Stud, the Kieswetter family’s Ridgemont, Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift, and Hollywood’s Devin Heffer.

Supplementary entries for the R1 250 000 Gr1 SA Derby to be run at Turffontein on Saturday 6 April close at 09h00 on Monday 25 March, with declarations due by 11h00 on Wednesday 27 March.

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