Queen’s Plate Start – De Kock ‘Speechless’

Start saga and ride fingered by champion trainer

Favourite Hawwaam finished fifth, beaten 3.30 lengths in Saturday’s Gr1 L’Ormarins Plate, starting at 5-10 after the earlier great success of stablemate Queen Supreme in the Gr1 Paddock Stakes.

Speaking on his website, www.mikedekockracing.com, Mike de Kock put the disappointing run down in the main to two factors – what happened at the start and “not a very good ride from Anton Marcus”.

The start of the race had a 25-minute delay as first the shoes of Pack Leader and Twist Of Fate had to be replaced and then both Do It Again and Hawwaam had to have their respective bridles refitted.

“The shenanigans at the start left me speechless,” said Mike. “I really don’t know what to say. It’s unprecedented, I’ve never seen anything like this.

“Why do these things never happen in maiden plates? These horses are temperamental and get very worked up at the start. Even Soqrat, who is the most laid- back horse you can get, was getting distressed at the start.  Callan Murray said that by the time Soqrat got to the gates he was sweating and shaking, and he ran accordingly (beaten almost nine lengths).

“Some horses can deal with things like these, others can’t. But that we have this happen in one of the top Grade 1 races in the country has left me gobsmacked.”

De Kock felt Marcus did not hold his place on the rail from No 1 draw and ended up going around Rainbow Bridge to take him on.

Had he stayed on the rail Hawwaam would have got cover.

“I suppose one just needs to put a line through this run. Hawwaam never settled for a second,” said Mike, adding: “But take nothing away from Vardy. He is a very good horse and he won a very good race. Congratulations to his connections.”

He concluded: “We have to draw a line through this, it is what is and we move on. Hawwaam pulled up sound. Nobody can really be blamed for what happened. I stood with the stipes before the start of the race and they were just as stressed as I were.”

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