De Kock Triumphs for 7th time

Won in facile fashion by the imposing Vercingetorix

Vercingetorix lands a seventh Al Rashidiya for trainer Mike de Kock under Christophe Soumillon (Pic: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins)

Vercingetorix lands a seventh Al Rashidiya for trainer Mike de Kock under Christophe Soumillon
(Pic: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins)

Mike de Kock again flew the SA flag with pride when he registered his seventh win overall, and his fourth consecutive victory, in the Dubai Racing Carnival’s Gr2 Al Rashidiya run over 1800m on turf at Meydan on Thursday evening, courtesy of former SA star, Vercingetorix.

The Dubai Duty Free runner-up now looks well poised for an exciting and profitable World Cup campaign in the next 8 weeks..

De Kock  fielded three of the seven runners carded for the 2015 renewal of the Al Rashidiya, including last year’s surprise winner Mujaarib .

The race was won in facile fashion by the imposing Vercingetorix, who came home hard against the bridle under Christophe Soumillon down the outside to dispose of True Story.

The top jockey described Vercingetorix as ‘our best horse.’

Vercingetorix is the “cause celebre” of an empowerment initiative designed to turn grooms into owners & sellers of thoroughbreds in South Africa.

The initiative supported by the Department of Trade & Industry [DTI] enables grooms from Stud Farms to participate in the annual Yearling sales across the country as buyers and sellers of valuable thoroughbreds.

Initiating the project,the DTI originally funded the establishment of ten groom’s co-operatives spread across the country. There are five in the Western Cape (where 80% of SA’s racehorses are bred); three in KwaZulu-Natal and two in the Eastern Cape.

Each unit , comprised of seven members, was granted R350 000 to invest in the purchase of ‘weanlings’ – four month-old thoroughbred horses that have been weaned from their mothers. These babies are then raised on the farms that the grooms work on, and are either sold at the yearling sales or as two year olds. The profits are returned to the co-ops and are used to buy more weanlings.

For Abraham Carelse (59) and Floors Adams (62), having worked on stud farms in the Western Cape for almost 80 years between them, the opportunity to actually own the horses they cared for has always been elusive if not an impossible dream.

As members of The Riverside Grooms Co-Op on Riverton Stud, where they work – investing their DTI grant – Floors & Carelse bought Vercingetorix as a weanling from the farm for R200 000.

A year later, they realized they had hit the jackpot when they sold Vercingetorix on BSA’s National Yearling Sale for R1,4 million!

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