Top De Kock Racer Retires To Stud

De Kock Calls For NHA Inquiry into Saturday's fiasco

Desert Miracle will be retired to stud following her second place to Princess Calla in Saturday’s Gr1 Garden Province Stakes at Greyville.

Mike de Kock announced earlier this week on that the highly accomplished daughter of Dynasty will join the formidable broodmare band at her owner Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud.

Desert Miracle after her Gr1 Schweppes Majorca Stakes victory in January (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

“It would’ve been great to have a winning swansong for her, but it wasn’t to be. She gave her best and was beaten by a true star in Princess Calla, a filly who has won Gr1 races for three trainers. Desert Miracle gave Mary and the stable much joy and she showed her resilience as an older filly when coming back from a few disappointing runs to win the Gr1 Majorca and the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes. There is no reason to persist with her now, she’s done more than enough for stud.”

The filly by Dynasty from Welwitschia (Oasis Dream) raced 19 times for 6 wins and 13 places, never out of the money. She earned in excess of R2,6-million for her efforts.

Mike said of his other runners on Hollywoodbets Durban July day: “We had three seconds and there are no excuses, they were beaten by better horses on the day. Aragosta gave his rival Crimson King 8,5kg over 2200m and was beaten under two lengths, trying hard. Gimmeanotherchance did everything but win, he was run out of it late by Sandringham Summit, a horse that looks really special.”

Dave The King led the Hollywoodbets Durban July field into the home run and was outgunned over the last 300m. He plugged on for sixth, missing fifth place by half-a-length.

“This was a big run, I’d say. One analyst reported that Dave The King set the fastest fractions in the history of the race, passing the 1000m-pole in 72,04s. He just didn’t see out 2200m and, back over shorter, his terrific cruising speed will bring him much success in future.”

Mike said about Safe Passage: “He actually didn’t have a clear passage into the important part of the race, stayed on late and was beaten only 6.95-lengths. He is another we’ll be looking forward to racing again, a good horse.”

Mike congratulated Brett Crawford, Gaynor Rupert and Kabelo Matsunyane, connections of the big race winner, Winchester Mansion, and said about the day: “This Hollywoodbets Durban July was exceptional. Hollywoodbets and Gold Circle did so much right and what a pity the day had to be spoilt by the loadshedding fiasco.

“I hope that there will be a full NHA inquiry into this issue. This cannot be allowed to happen again. We need every cent of betting turnover coming into our industry, the World Pools are most important.”

Turf Talk’s David Thiselton wrote: “A solution will have to be found before the Gold Cup meeting because that also traditionally has a race or two under floodlights and as it is a Hong Kong World Pool event the times of the races will probably not be able to be set to only suit South African audiences.”

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