Reflecting back on a good weekend at the office, Mike De Kock suggested that there aren’t many left who appreciate the fact that racing is steeped in history that tends to repeat itself. This was evident on Sunday in a smart debut win by Mary Slack’s two-year-old filly Bang Sue, who turned a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m at Turffontein into a procession.
Bang Sue is by Fort Wood from Slack’s former champion mare Rat Burana (by Dodge), who won the Gr1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship almost exactly seven years ago to the day, and in addition just a day after Slack and Michael Javett’s Alboran Sea (Rock Of Gibraltar) also captured the prestigious race for two-year-old fillies.
On the mentioned day seven years ago Seventh Rock (Rock Of Gibraltar) won the Gr1 Gold Medallion – on Saturday his two-year-old son Guiness reigned victorious in the same race, for the same ownership and ridden by the same jockey.
It’s far too early to predict the glorious achievements of her dam for Bang Sue, but Mike de Kock commented from Mauritius on Sunday: “That she’s a daughter of Fort Wood brings scope to her pedigree and I think she’ll stay at least a mile or more, we’ll be monitoring her development with interest.”
As predicted by De Kock the three-year-old Whistle Stop was sorely in need of his comeback run in a Pinnacle Stakes run over a mile at Turffontein – he ran pleasingly, finishing five lengths off Master Sabina but leaving the stable with an important decision on his immediate future, to be made this week.
Mike explained: “With a bit of luck Whistle Stop can still make it into the July, if not be a factor in other features this season, but he is also more than good enough to go to Dubai for the 2015 Carnival and this presents a problem. The export conditions have changed and all our runners destined for Dubai have to be in quarantine by 8 June, which rules out the July and other Graded races for Whistle Stop and indeed a few others. We’ll have to make a call on this in the next few days.”
De Kock’s chance of winning the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship at Scottsville on Saturday was dealt a blow when his hot ante-post favourite Majmu had to be scratched from the race due to a virus, but he won the race anyway with 12-1 Australian import Alboran Sea and saddled the third horse past the post in One Fine Day.
Alboran Sea raced just off the pace alongside Arria and Rich Girl as Balkan set the pace just ahead of Seven Whispers and Flame Cat. One Fine Day was on Alboran Sea’s heels. Jockey Muzi Yeni found himself with nowhere to go behind Balkan, with Flame Cat and Cotton Candy on either side of him as Rich Girl launched a successful challenge for the lead.
However, at the 200m marker, Balkan started fading and a gap materialized for Yeni. Within a matter of strides Alboran Sea had the race at her mercy. She went on to win by 2.25 lengths from Rich Girl, with One Fine Day running on strongly and failing by a neck to give the stable a 1-2 in the event.
This was a second win in as many starts for Aloboran Sea, a daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar owned in partnership by Mary Slack and Michael Javett. She looks nearly as special as her top class stablemate Majmu and Mike commented: “Alboran Sea is very progressive and scopy and we have a number of options with her going forward. My gut feel says Majmu is the superior of the pair, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Mike and Form Bloodstock’s Jehan Malherbe selected and bought Alboran Sea at the Inglis Sale in Melbourne. He said: “I’m pleased most of all for Michael Javett, a stalwart of racing for many decades. He’s an unassuming man who does plenty for racing behind the scenes aside from his big investments in thoroughbreds. He is based in the UK and commutes to South Africa on occasion – he pops in at the stables now and then to see his horses and we are all delighted to have trained this Gr1 winner for him. In Mary Slack he has a similarly visionary partner and this could only lead to more success in future ventures.”
Mike was concerned that One Fine Day would be tested at 1200m and the way she ran on was highly promising.
The grey Shahrasal, his third Allan Robertson entry ran a satisfactory race, beaten eight lengths when expected to find six furlongs way too sharp in this company – another for the notebook.
The highly-regarded Banaadeer was beaten into sixth by Guiness in the Gr1 Gold Medallion and Mike commented: “This was a disappointing run, but he is a November foal and I suspect he has a lot of maturing to do so we’ll probably put him away for now. I thought he’d be an out and out sprinter, but looking at his run here, he could develop into a sprinter-miler as on older horse, don’t write him off!”
Earlier in the day two-year-old Forries Waltz (Warren Kennedy) won a good race for Mike and partner Chris Gerber. Bred by Wicklow Stud, he’s a son of Grey’s Inn from a mare by Rich Man’s Gold who is likely to train on to better things. Mike said: “We’ve always liked Forries Waltz, that he could win a handicap in open company speaks volumes. We don’t have Dubai plans for him at this point, we’ll keep him here for the time being, he looks like one who will go through the divisions.