De Kock turns on the heat

Turffontein 8 October

Celebration. Mike and Diane De Kock have plenty to cheer about.

The sleeping giant awakes. Champion trainer Mike De Kock shook Turffontein to its foundations on 8 October with five brilliant winners, including a Gr3 double,  from his eight runners.  Punters may want to consider a strategy of just backing selected horses from this yard. Their strike rate and consistency is quite astounding-no matter where and what level of race they are contesting.

This man De Kock’s firepower and preparation is unbelievable and what a scoop it must be proving for Epol to be associated with this family outfit that includes his lovely wife, Diane, and enthusiastic and mature-beyond-his years son, Matthew. A quiet month locally in September was tempered by Musir’s groundbreaking  Gr1 Topkapi Trophy win in Turkey and a win by Mahbooba in England. And it is fascinating to realise that the serious racing in the Western Cape and Gauteng hasn’t even started yet, either!

One only has to look at the De Kock strike rate in the month of October, since he put his foot gently on the petrol, to understand the level of dominance and power that he wields. As at the end of the Turffontein meeting today, he had recorded thirteen winners from twenty-six runners. The simple mathematics tells the story of a mind-boggling 50% win strike-rate, that includes a Graded feature double.

Famous five. Anthony Delpech rode five winners at Turffontein.

His winners have been registered at three different racecourses in two separate racing jurisdictions. They have been ridden by four different jockeys in Anthony Delpech(7), Tswaro Appie(3), Weichong Marwing(2) and Abram Makhubo(1). And it was the jockey championship runner-up Delpech, Weichong Marwing  and the young Appie, that gloated and shared in the De Kock limelight today. Delpech rode three of his winners with another for each of Ormonde Ferraris and Sean Tarry, to make it a fabulous five on the day, while Marwing and Appie rode a winner apiece for the stable.

The Irish-bred Gibraltar Blue made a mockery of a five-month break and her nine male rivals to win the R200 000 Gr3 Joburg Spring Challenge run over 1450m. The Rock Of Gibraltar mare went wrong in the Cape Flying Championship in January this year and this was only her fourth start of 2011. Delpech jumped her smartly and she was never headed as it was left to the only colt in Jet Jamboree, to chase her distant tail. She has now won six from ten and R900 000 in prize money and John Koster at Klawervlei was be anxiously awaiting her arrival in the Klawervlei Paddocks – something which does not look imminent judging on her performance today!

De Kock was back in the winner’s enclosure with another overseas bred horse after the very next race, the R165 000 Gr3 Joburg Spring Stakes run over 1450m. Anthony Delpech rode another confident race on the Oasis Dream filly Welwitschia in the Wilgerbosdrift silks who skipped home unchallenged to beat her six rivals. The boom mare Dancewiththedevil ran a gallant race running on from last over a distance that may have been a bit short for her. Welwitschia has now won three from five starts and R450 000 in stakes, and looks to have unlimited potential.

Bit part. Weichong Marwing rode Frontino Gold to win.

Weichong Marwing got the De Kock ball rolling in the third race when the handsome Hussonet colt Frontino Gold upped his game with the aid of blinkers to win the Maiden Plate over 1450m. He held the fancied Stroller at bay with ease and looks a horse that will train on into something. The Right Approach gelding Dunraven has looked average and consistent without setting the world alight since his maiden win in KZN last year, but he won the seventh race, a Pinnacle Stakes over 2200m in good style from the unfancied dreamy times. The enigmatic grey Fort Pietersburg ran a dismal race to finish out of the placings.

De Kock was expected to lift the main prize in the final leg of the jackpot, a Graduation Plate(F&M)over 1600m. But those that backed the stable elect Atlantic Oak into odds-on were left bemused and confused as Tswaro Appie steered the lesser fancied companion Amur Affair to a fluent win. The daughter of Tiger Ridge looked a little out of her depth here after a below-par run on the sand last time out, but won well. Atlantic Oak ran out of the money and registered a most disappointing effort.

So a great day and a stable to follow. Not that we’d call that breaking news, exactly!

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