Mike de Kock finally broke his duck in the UK when Archipenko took the Group 2 Summer Mile under Kevin Shea at Ascot on Saturday afternoon. In doing so the iconic Mike de Kock became the first South African trainer to win a race in England, the traditional hub of racing.
Mike de Kock Racing reports that Archipenko (11-1) took up the running soon after the small, quality field swung into the Ascot home straight. Kevin Shea took him to the rail and they got away by a length and held on to win by 0,75 lengths from outsider Barshiba (50-1) and Cesare (6-4).
Another formidable rival Ramonti finished unplaced under Frankie Dettori after looking dangerous at the 300m mark.
Understandably it was a big moment for Mike de Kock, who said: “The highs and lows of racing are amazing. When Sun Classique was injured I was ready to pack up and come home, now we’re back on a high, it’s a great feeling to win at Ascot.’’
Mike de Kock said that Sheikh Mohammed was in Germany at the time of the race and unable to attend, but added: “I must thank Sheikh Mohammed for his unwavering support of our English campaign.’’
South Africans including Paul Lafferty, Trevor Fourie and “The Badge Boys’’ were on course to lend their support and also Jock Bennett, from Mark Johnstone’s stable, of whom Mike de Kock said: “Jock is an old friend, my good luck charm.’’
The trainer also thanked John Magnier of Coolmore and Adrian Beaumont of the IRB (International Racing Bureau) and said: “We are privileged to be able to buy from Coolmore every year and many thanks to John Magnier for that. Adrian helped us to pick this race, he has been wonderful in support.’’
About Archipenko’s future: “We’ll decide later what his next run will be. I can tell you he wasn’t fully wound up here, so it was a big win,” said Mike de Kock, who has earmarked the Arlington Million in Chicago as a possibility.