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2013 DUBAI WORLD CUP CARNIVAL AWAITS TEAM DE KOCK

Igugu wins the J&B Met
Igugu wins the J&B Met

Igugu wins the 2012 J&B Met (Grade 1)

(Photo : Gold Circle)

DUBAI WORLD CUP CARNIVAL

10 January 2013 - 30 March 2013

Robert Garner - Still savouring Rumya’s victory in last Saturday’s Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas, South Africa’s globe-trotting champion trainer Mike de Kock has jetted off to Dubai to oversee his international raiding party’s preparations for the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

The Carnival comprises 11 race meetings culminating in Dubai World Cup on 30 March, when the nine Graded races carded include the world’s richest race, the $10-million Dubai World Cup, and two $5-million events in the Dubai Sheema Classic and the Dubai Duty Free.

The Dubai World Cup Carnival starts on Thursday 10 January and carries record total prize money of $37-million.

De Kock first went to Dubai in 2003 with just five horses and promptly won two races at Dubai World Cup, putting South African horseracing into the global limelight overnight.

He has gone on to become the top international trainer in Dubai. He has been leading international trainer at the Carnival seven times and has won nine races on the big night, a total bettered only by Dubai-based Saeed Bin Suroor.

More big prizes in Dubai look set to come his way in the first three months of next year, when he will roll out some really heavy artillery on to the battlefields of Meydan.

Igugu, Horse Of The Year in South African in 2011 when her victories included the Vodacom Durban July, is undoubtedly the general of De Kock’s Dubai army.

Igugu’s long and arduous road to Dubai World Cup 2013 began back in June with a 20-day stint in the Cape quarantine station followed by a five-hour flight to Mauritius, where she spent 90 days along with the other 13 members of De Kock’s raiding party.

That was followed by a month in England and the weary travellers final arrived in the desert last month for a final short stint in the Dubai quarantine station before getting down to work for the Carnival.

“The journey to Dubai was a nightmare,” says De Kock. “Fortunately, with the exception of Emotif, they all came through it reasonably well and I’m happy with them. They should be right for the Carnival next month.”

Igugu, sidelined since winning the J&B Met back in January, can target any of the 1800m Duty Free, the 2400m Sheema Classic (both on turf) and the Dubai World Cup on the synthetic track at the world’s richest race meeting at the end of March, although the Duty Free is probably the race she will run in.

“My first choice is to keep her on turf, but we will see how she trains on the synthetic track before finalising our options,” De Kock said.

The other South Africans who made the trip with Igugu include champion sprinter Shea Shea, dual Grade 1 winner The Apache and Soft Falling Rain, the champion two-year-male in South Africa last season.

Soft Falling Rain, who is unbeaten with four from four to date, is being aimed at the UAE Guineas over 1600m.

“I’m confident he will go on the synthetic and my concern is whether he will get 1600m. He’s out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, which gives hope he will stay. But we can always race him over shorter or on the grass if need be.”

The Apache’s target at this point is the Dubai Duty Free, but he’s likely to start out in the first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge on the synthetic (all-weather) track.

“I’m not sure he will go on the all-weather track, but we’ll see. Shea Shea will be kept to sprints and there are some decent races for speed horses on the programme. Emotif was my Triple Crown filly, but those plans are down the drain after she suffered heat stress in quarantine here.”

De Kock is hoping to win a couple of nice races with Mickdaam, who he sent out to finish fourth in the UAE Derby last year. Mickdaam then spent the summer in England, where he won the Chester Vase and ran fifth in the Investec Epsom Derby.

“He’s back from a good rest and is doing very well. I’m eyeing the Sheema Classic for him.”

De Kock has two new acquisitions from Coolmore in Ireland in Await The Dawn, who has a third in the Juddmonte International to his credit, and Grade 2 winner David Livingston.

“Await The Dawn is a lovely horse but he’s had a hard time and it will take a long time to get him right. David Livingston was bought for stud, but it was decided to give him a last season of racing and we’ll just have to wait and see how he goes,” De Kock said.

Mushreq is among the other horses De Kock brought from South Africa. He’s hoping the four-year-old will enjoy the synthetic surface at Meydan and can win a couple of handicaps during the Carnival.

Extract from Tab Online

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IGUGU SPEARHEADS MDK'S DUBAI ARTILLERY

Igugu wins the J&B Met
Igugu wins the J&B Met

Igugu wins the J&B Met (Grade 1)

(Photo : Gold Circle)

DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL

8 November 2012 - 30 March 2013

Igugu peers alertly over her door at Meydan’s International Stables, blissfully unaware of the excitement she is generating in the desert.

The four-time South African Grade 1 winner, who has triumphed in 10 of 12 starts, is the latest in a succession of talented mares that top trainer, Mike de Kock, has campaigned in Dubai.

She touched down in Dubai on November 7 with 13 other Dubai World Cup Carnival hopefuls from De Kock’s Johannesburg-based yard.

Trainers are often reluctant to oblige when asked to rank their horses, but like it or not, De Kock will find it impossible to escape the inevitable comparisons between his latest track star and the old order of conquering mares from his yard.

Igugu did not contest the Dubai World Cup Carnival last season, remaining in South Africa and joining an elite group to have won both the Grade 1 J&B Met and the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July.

And the black type next to Igugu’s name is not to be sniffed at. In addition to the J&B Met and the Vodacom Durban July, Igugu also claimed the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 and the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic last season, earning her South Africa’s Horse of the Year crown.

But where does that leave her on the honour roll of De Kock’s other winning mares?

The man himself is hesitant to commit. “It’s not really fair to compare them,” he says. “They are all different, but I will say this; I firmly believe she’s world class and she’s only going to get better. I do rate her right up there.”

That’s a glowing recommendation from a man who has conditioned some truly outstanding mares.

Among De Kock’s stars is Ipi Tombe, who ruled the roost in 2003, winning the Jebel Hatta in record time then repeating the feat in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free on Dubai World Cup day.

Sun Classique was queen in 2008 with victories in the Cape Verdi, Balanchine, and Dubai World Cup day US$5million Dubai Sheema Classic. Raihana claimed the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial and UAE 1,000 Guineas in 2010, Reem and Mahbooba combined to take out the same races in 2011. River Jetez claimed the 2011 Group 2 Balanchine while Mahbooba came back last year to win De Kock a record fifth Balanchine.

“Because of all the quarantine protocols she will have been off the track for a year or more” says De Kock. “So it’s a case of getting her going again. I’ll be looking at the fillies races for her. If she’s not ready for the first one (the Cape Verdi) she’ll go for the second one (the Balanchine). That will be the intermediate target for her and then we’ll be looking at a possible Super Saturday run for her and go from there.”

On paper Igugu, who comes to Dubai rated 118, is right up there with De Kock’s best. Ipi Tombe was rated 116 after winning the Dubai Duty Free, Mahbooba reached a mark of 113 following her Balanchine success last season while Sun Classique hit 113 at her peak.

“She gets anything from six furlongs to one-and-a-half miles and her optimum distance is probably around 10 furlongs,” says De Kock. “A lot of this depends how she goes on the all-weather.”

Martin Talty, International Manager, Dubai Racing Club, is looking forward to Igugu’s debut. “There are a number of top class mares in the world today and Igugu rates alongside them,” he says.

“When you look at the success that South African horses have achieved in Dubai and around the world in recent years, it’s exciting to think that, on official ratings, she is among the very best to travel from South Africa. We have had some great mares race in Dubai in Ipi Tombe, Sunline, Sun Classique, Darjina and Royal Delta and she may be right up with them.”

Igugu, who will be released from quarantine in Dubai later this month, is said to be in fine fettle following her travels, which saw her complete 21 days quarantine in South Africa, 90 days in Mauritius and 30 days in England.

“We are pleased with her,” said Stephen Jell, an assistant to De Kock. “They were able to do quite a bit of work in Mauritius and England and it’s just a matter of getting them all started again now and letting them get used their surroundings and the climate.”

Extract from Emirates Racing Authority

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MIKE DE KOCK SLAMS HORSE EXPORT PROTOCOLS

Igugu Tribute
Igugu Tribute

Click above to watch a Igugu - The Superstar (2011)

(Image : John Lewis - Footage : Tellytrack)

“It’s mind-boggling that after 111 days of quarantine and isolation,

we still can’t go directly to Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.”

Jack Milner - Racing Express
Jack Milner - Racing Express

Jack Milner

Racing ExpressMike de Kock has hit out strongly at the export protocols that force horses to spend 147 days “on the road” before they are allowed to enter Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore.

“It is mind-boggling that after 111 days of quarantine and isolation, 21 days in South Africa and another 90 days in Mauritius, we still can’t go directly into Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. We are allowed to go directly into European Union countries and put our horses into training immediately,” said De Kock following a trip to Mauritius to keep an eye on his 12 horses in transit.

“After 111 days how can we still be a risk to our trading partners? To illustrate the inconsistency and stupidity of the system, if you want to send a horse from Dubai to England on a temporary 90-day visit, they can go directly into the UK. However, if they stay for 91 days or longer, they first have to go into quarantine for 30 days.”

De Kock expressed his concern about the welfare of the animals. “They go into quarantine at 4pm, two hours before sundown, and are only allowed out at 8.30am the following morning. During that period we are not allowed to go in and check on the horses, top up the water and feed. That results in a lot of stress - on myself, on my staff and, in particular, on the animals. The facility is very nice but I would really be loath to put a horse through this again.”

For De Kock there is absolutely no logical reason why horses cannot be moved directly from Mauritius into Asia and the Middle East. “They’re treating Mauritius as if there is African Horse Sickness on the island. Just because they have midges does not mean they have Horse Sickness. They also have mosquitoes but it doesn’t mean they have Malaria.”

“We are not transporting horses from farms riddled with disease. They are coming out of a top-class facility. These regulations are absolutely Draconian. They are holding back job creation and revenue creation for the Government as well as holding back our thoroughbred horse industry. The biggest disaster for the South African horse industry is to export AHS. That would be suicide. So it’s time to cut us some slack. After all, we are more concerned about horse sickness than they are.”

De Kock’s horses in Mauritius are Igugu, The Apache, Soft Falling Rain, Emotif, El Estruenoso, Shea Shea, Royal Ridge, Kavanagh, Amanee, Jet Legend, Mushreq and Final Button. Dancewiththedevil is also with the group but is just under De Kock’s care. “She will go to a trainer to be decided by St John (Gray) when we arrive in England. It’s his choice but I’m hoping he will go to William Haggas because of his association with South African racing,” said De Kock.

The facility in Mauritius includes an 800m round sand track on which to canter. “We can maintain a certain amount of aerobic fitness. They are doing well, I’m pretty happy with their condition and in fact, they’ve probably put on a bit of weight. Climate-wise this is a good time in Mauritius. It will get very hot later on.”

By the time she is ready to run, Igugu will have been out of racing for a year. “I have not raced Igugu since the J&B Met in January while Soft Falling Rain’s last run was in March. I would have loved to have run him in Durban during the season and gone for the Grade 1 races with Emotif,” confirmed De Kock.

De Kock is still hoping that one of South Africa’s trading partners will have the strength of character to see sense. “I can only hope it will open up in May or June and we can return to normal,” said De Kock.

Extract from Racing Express

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MIKE DE KOCK ARTILLERY DUBAI BOUND

Mike de Kock
Mike de Kock

Mike de Kock

(Image : Gold Circle / Dubai Chronicle)

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL

10 January 2013 - 30 March 2013

South African champion trainer Mike de Kock’s assault on the riches and glory of the 2013 Dubai Racing Carnival has already begun in earnest. A high quality draft of formely Souh African based horses is about to depart Mauritius after 90 days in quarantine, en route to De Kock’s UK base and ultimately on to Dubai.

The Dubai World Cup itself is the single richest day in thoroughbred horse racing and is run on the final day of the Dubai International Carnival with prize money for the feature exceeding US$10 million. It is the world’s richest race and is one of the few sought-after trophies that has eluded De Kock so far. He came within a heartbeat of victory when the ill-fated Port Elizabeth campaigner Lizard’s Desire got within a nostril of beating perennial bridesmaid Gloria De Campeao in 2010, when the race was run at the magnificent Meydan Racecourse for the first time.

The Dubai World Cup to be run over 2000m on a Tapeta All-Weather track on Saturday 30 March 2013 is open to both colts and fillies aged over 3 years old.

Monterosso, trained by Dubai-based Mahmoud Al Zarooni, won the 2012 edition when ridden by a jubilant 20 year old Corsican-born Mickael Barzalona. The French-based jockey stood high in the saddle with his arm even higher as Monterosso hit the line, well clear of stablemate Capponi. This gave Godolphin the top two finishers in the race and their sixth victory in its 17 year history. The race is remembered for Barzalona’s exhuberant victory celebration as well as the inordinate fuss made of the admittedly glamorous leading US woman jockey Chantal Sutherland, who rode Game On Dude who ended up running twelfth.

The Dubai Racing Carnival gets underway towards the end of January and continues for an average 11 weeks with a different meeting each week. The Carnival reaches a climax on 30 March with the running of the Dubai World Cup.

Meydan has two racetracks; one turf and the other an all-weather track constituted from a material known as Tapeta and is able to accommodate over 60,000 spectators in a 1 mile long grandstand. The Dubai World Cup day offers over US$26.25 million in prize money.

IGUGU

Mike de Kock’s valuable cargo is being shipped by South African market leaders, Global Bloodstock Logistics, and is headed by the brilliant Summerhill Ready To Run Graduate and 2010/11 South African Horse Of The Year, Igugu, who has won her last seven races in a row. Remarkably these were all Group races and the 2012 J&B Met winner is bound to make a huge impact in Dubai.

THE APACHE

The former Gavin Van Zyl-trained 2011 Gr1 Champions Cup and Gr1 Daily News winner The Apache is another outstanding athlete who is likely to make his presence felt against the world’s best. It was announced in March that Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum had purchased a 50% share in the son of Mogok, and he will race him in partnership with the colt’s original owner, Winston Chow. The Apache was originally headed for Hong Kong, but the onerous AHS protocols as well as restrictions on imports into that country, put an end to those plans.

SOFT FALLING RAIN

The unbeaten Equus champion two year old colt, Soft Falling Rain, is one of the exciting younger prospects in the De Kock squad. The son of National Assembly is a winner of all four of his starts, including a dazzling 4,50 length victory in the Gr1 SA Nursery on Champions Day. There he had subsequent leading lights, in Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes winner, The Hangman, and Gr1 Golden Horseshoe winner, War Horse, trailing in his wake.

SHEA SHEA

It is not often that we see a champion sprinter in the De Kock yard and the lightning fast multiple Gr1 winning former Geoff Woodruff-trained, Shea Shea, adds an interesting dimension to the potent armoury. Shea Shea is the winner of the 2011 Gr1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint and the Gr1 Computaform Sprint - the latter achieved against subsequent South African Sprinter of the Year, What A Winter.

JET LEGEND

Jet Legend is a lightly raced 5 year old who has won five of his ten starts, including the Gr3 Kings Cup over a mile at his last outing.

MUSHREQ

The Australian-bred son of Flying Spur, Mushreq, is a two-time winner of his ten local starts and looks a fellow with plenty of upward potential. He went down narrowly to the ill-fated Fighting Warrior in the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe on Voacom Durban July Day last year but ran below expectations in the Gr1 Investec Cape Derby when 6,90 lengths off the impressive Jackson. He then ran a diabolical race on very soft going when finishing stone last in the R2 million Gr1 SA Classic two months later.

KAVANAGH

The enigmatic 5 year old son of Tiger Ridge, Kavanagh, is a multiple Group race winner who recorded his last victory on South Arican soil with a resounding win in the Gr 2 Hawai Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein at the end of February this year.

ROYAL RIDGE

Royal Ridge is another son of Tiger Ridge who booked his Dubai passage courtesy of a good win in the Egoli Mile. He has proven somewhat inconsistent, but has plenty of scope for good improvement.

AMANEE

The Australian-bred daughter of Pivotal, Amanee, is a winner of the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes as a juvenile and won the Gr2 KRA Fillies Guineas last season when downing some of the best fillies of her year.

FINAL BUTTON

The former Eric Sands-trained Final Button has won three of his 12 starts and besides a 2,55 length third to Horse Of The Year, Variety Club, in the Gr3 Tekkie Town Winter Guineas, still has plenty to prove. He has always been highly-rated by jockeys who have ridden him and he could prove to be one of the undiscovered gems.

EMOTIF AND EL ESTRUENOSO

Two now 3 year old Argentinian-bred debut winners by Giant’s Causeway make up the balance of the South African draft. The good looking Emotif won her only start when storming home by 4,25 lengths in a Juvenile Plate over 1400m at Greyville. El Estruenoso also shed his maiden first time out at the beginning of May over 1400m at Scottsville.

The last mentioned two could really be anything and with the De Kock track record, are bound to be something!

Extract from Sporting Post

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THE WAR IS OVER, BUT THE WAR IS ON

Dubai World Cup 2012 Television Commercial
Dubai World Cup 2012 Television Commercial

Click above to watch the 2012 Dubai World Cup TVC..

(Image and Footage : Dubai Media)

DUBAI WORLD CUP

“We’re all in for a helluva night.”

Racing fans around the world must’ve been bewildered when, about eight years ago, Dubai’s Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed announced through his deputies that he and his brothers would no longer be patronising the stallions of their arch rivals, John Magnier’sCoolmore group, nor buying their progeny at the yearling sales. Although no official reasons were given, the grapevine had it (strongly) that the Sheikhs’ noses were out of joint because the Irish seldom, if ever, bought the progeny of their stallions, and especially because they were said to have snubbed (or plainly put, “boycotted”,) the Dubai World Cup meeting by not sending their horses there. And when they did send one, exception was made that it was accompanied only by “the secretary.” If you know Tammy Twoomey, you’d hardly call her “the secretary.

Of course, it happened when Coolmore were riding high, and sweeping all before them, and whilst their dominance wasn’t quite at the level it is today, (mainly because, at the time, the Arabs still possessed some competitive Coolmore-sired horses in their own armoury,) it was true that you seldom found a horse in the colours of any one of the Coolmore partners, Susan Magnier or Michael Tabor at the World Cup.

If you spoke to the Irish though, they’d proffer a simple explanation. Their horses were programmed for the European and North American seasons, and they needed a break. The winter was the perfect time. The Dubai World Cup, on the other hand, was something of an imposition on the racing programme, as it came late in the day in the traditional affairs of our sport, and we don’t like change, you know. But to be fair, it filled a great gap for racing fans all over the globe, because March happens to be a quiet time, particularly if you’re not European or North American. Besides, it injected a massive flow of funds into the game, to be welcomed no matter where it slots, and the lure of these riches is evident in the fields for this weekend.

There are five Group Ones and two Group Twos in Saturday’s World Cup extravaganza, and Coolmore have come to the party. Aidan O’Brien’s intent is especially evident in the Sheema Classic (Gr.1) ($5 million over 2410m), where he has engaged his two stars, Treasure Beach and St Nicholas Abbey. In the Duty Free, (also for $5 million over 1800m) he has Giant’s Causeway’s capable son, Await The Dawn, while he’s named his number one horse of last year, So You Think, for the $10 million World Cup itself. O’Brien has obviously decided to make a meal of the day with Wrote in the $2 million UAE Derby, and the team has another ticket in Mike de Kock’sViscount Nelson in the Godolphin Mile.

What is evident though, is that things have either thawed between these two leviathans of the game, and Coolmore have taken the practical route, or it may be a case of “cash in while there is war and we have the cattle.” Of one thing there’s little doubt: the Irish are there for the dough as much as the sport, and we’re all in for a helluva night.

www.dubaiworldcup.com

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MASTER OF HOUNDS DRAWS WORLD CUP POLE POSITION

Master of Hounds
Master of Hounds

Mike de Kock trained Master of Hounds wins the 10 March Jebel Hatta (Gr1)

(Photo : The National)

US$10,000,000 DUBAI WORLD CUP (Group 1)

Meydan, All-Weather, 2000m

31 March 2012

Mike de Kock-trained Master Of Hounds drew pole position of the 14 runners in the ballot for barrier positions for the world’s richest race, the $10-million Dubai World Cup, over 2000m on the synthetic track at Meydan on Saturday.

It is an ideal draw for Master Of Hounds, who was caught late in the UAE Derby at last year’s Dubai World Cup meeting when trained by Irishman Aidan O’Brien. Master Of Hounds led virtually throughout on the turf on Super Saturday at Meydan recently in his dress-rehearsal for the big night.

The connections of the horses did the draws for their runners at a function on Wednesday and Yousuf Al Sayegh, racing manager for owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, said: “There was only gates 1 or 14 left (when our name was pulled) and we preferred to be inside.”

Not so fortunate in the draw was fancied USA challenger Game On Dude, whose trainer Bob Baffert suffered a heart attack in Dubai earlier this week. Game On Dude, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year, was the last horse out the hat and the only remaining starting gate berth was No 14, the outside draw in the field. But his connections were far from dismayed.

Owner Bernie Schiappa said: “Perfect position. Lanni (part-owner of Game On Dude who passed away last year) was born on 14 March, so 14 is a special number for us. It’s perfect. The outside is fine with me. I can’t repeat what Bob said on the phone.” (Baffert is recovering rapidly in a Dubai hospital.)

Chantal Sutherland, who will ride Game On Dude, added: “It’s fine. Whatever happens, I’ll deal with it. He has a tendency to sometimes break slow and if he was to do that, it could put us in a bit of a predicament on the rail, so on the outside we have more options.”

Sutherland will become the first woman to ride in the Dubai World Cup when she partners Game On Dude in Saturday’s contest. Another USA challenger Royal Delta, who many pundits are tipping to win, got the ideal draw in No 7 stall. Her trainer Bill Mott said: “It’s the middle of the field. She’ll get a good look at the field from there and number seven has been our lucky number. We’d love for her to win. The reason we’re really here is to see if we can win. I can’t predict the outcome but she is doing really well - well enough to win a race like this.”

Royal Delta has all the credentials to become the first female runner to win the World Cup. She packs loads of ability and has won on both dirt and synthetic surfaces.

Comments from the connections of the other runners about the barrier draws:

Eishen Flash (Post 2) - trainer Hideaki Fujiwara said: “Actually I wanted to take the middle part of the gate, but those posts were all taken. I decided at the stage between the 2 and 9, and took 2. This horse showed good performance from the inside at home, so it’s okay.”

Zazou (Post 3) - owner Werner Heinz said: “I would have preferred to be more in the middle, but those places were taken. I think No 3 is very good. I think you’re better off inside than outside.”

So You Think (Post 4) - Keith Dalton, representing trainer Aiden O’Brien, said: “I was on the phone to Aidan and he chose the fourth position, so I guess we’re happy.”

Smart Falcon (Post 5) - trainer Ken Kozaki said: “It is an ideal draw. It is not too inside. It was what we wanted to draw.”

Planteur (Post 6) - owner Ahmad Al Falasi said: “We wanted somewhere between 4 and 7 so I was happy that 6 was available.”

Monterosso (Post 8) - Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford said: “We talked to all of our jockeys in the race and they felt from stall 8 outward is the place to be. It can get very tight on the inside, especially if the pace is slow. If you miss the kick, you’re likely to be in trouble. The pace looks likely to come from Game On Dude in stall 14, which has panned out well for us. Monterosso can sit handy, he finishes his races well.”

Silver Pond (Post 9) - trainer Doug Watson said: “The gate is good. He can push on from there and hopefully travel around midfield. He doesn’t have the greatest turn of foot, so the idea will be to be just behind the pace and kick off the turn.”

Transcend (Post 10) - owner Koji Maeda said: “No 10 is what I wanted to draw because we can watch the other runners inside of us.”

Capponi (Post 11) - Crisford said: “Being on the outside is preferable to being on the rail. Capponi just needs a handy position to be out of trouble and to have a clear run. He likes to start building on it from the home bend and he should have his chance to do that from his draw. The question remains whether he is good enough but (jockey) Ahmed Ajtebi has built up a good rapport with the horse, who fully deserves his chance.”

Prince Bishop (Post 12) and Mendip (Post 13) - trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “I spoke to Frankie Dettori before the draw and he said he would prefer between (stalls) 8 and 12 for Prince Bishop and we’ve drawn 12, so I’m happy with that. I wanted him to be relaxed and happy, so I think being out wide is best for him. Mendip would also be best being out wide and I’m happy with his position.”

Extract from Mike de Kock Racing

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DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC 2012 : FINAL FIELD

Mahbooba trained by Mike de Kock
Mahbooba trained by Mike de Kock

Mike de Kock trained Mahbooba winning the Al Rashidiya Trial

(Photo : The National)

US$5,000,000 DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC (Gr1)

Meydan, Turf, 2410m

31 March 2012

FINAL FIELD

#

Horse

Kg

OR

Jockey

Trainer

1

SONGCRAFT (IRE)

56.5

115

Silvestre De Sousa

Saeed bin Suroor

2

BOLD SILVANO (SAF)

57.0

118

Christophe Soumillon

Mike de Kock

3

BEATEN UP (GB)

56.5

119

John Murtagh

William Haggas

4

MAHBOOBA (AUS)

55.0

113

Kevin Shea

Mike de Kock

5

CAVALRYMAN (GB)

57.0

113

Lanfranco Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

6

TREASURE BEACH (GB)

57.0

120

Jamie Spencer

Aidan O’Brien

7

JAKKALBERRY (IRE)

57.0

117

Ryan Moore

Marco Botti

8

CIRRUS DES AIGLES (FR)

57.0

128

Olivier Peslier

Corine Barande Barbe

9

ST NICHOLAS ABBEY (IRE)

57.0

124

Joseph O’Brien

Aidan O’Brien

10

SHIMRAAN (FR)

57.0

119

Mickael Barzalona

Mahmoud Al Zarooni

Correct as at 29 March 2012

www.dubaiworldcup.com

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DUBAI DUTY FREE 2012 : FINAL FIELD

Musir with Christophe Soumillon aboard
Musir with Christophe Soumillon aboard

Mike de Kock trained Musir

(Photo : The National)

US$5,000,000 DUBAI DUTY FREE (Group 1)

Meydan, Turf, 1800m

31 March 2012

FINAL FIELD

#

Horse

Kg

OR

Jockey

Trainer

1

GREEN DESTINY (IRE)

57.0

119

Glyn Schofield

Herman Brown

2

AWAIT THE DAWN (USA)

57.0

121

Joseph O’Brien

Aidan O’Brien

3

RAJSAMAN (FR)

57.0

117

Royston Ffrench

Ali Rashid Al Raihe

4

AMBITIOUS DRAGON (NZ)

57.0

122

Douglas Whyte

Anthony Millard

5

MUSIR (AUS)

57.0

117

Kevin Shea

Mike de Kock

6

DELEGATOR (GB)

57.0

116

Lanfranco Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

7

DARK SHADOW (JPN)

57.0

121

Yuichi Fukunaga

Noriyuki Hori

8

CALIFORNIA MEMORY (USA)

57.0

120

Matthew Chadwick

Tony Cruz

9

XTENSION (IRE)

57.0

118

Jeffrey Lloyd

John Moore

10

MUTAHADEE (IRE)

57.0

116

Christophe Soumillon

Mike de Kock

11

CITYSCAPE (GB)

57.0

121

James Doyle

Roger Charlton

12

PRESVIS (GB)

57.0

120

Ryan Moore

Luca Cumani

13

CITY STYLE (USA)

57.0

113

Mickael Barzalona

Mahmoud Al Zarooni

14

RIO DE LA PLATA (USA)

57.0

118

Silvestre De Sousa

Saeed bin Suroor

15

WIGMORE HALL (IRE)

57.0

117

Jamie Spencer

Michael Bell

16

DUBAWI GOLD (GB)

57.0

117

John Murtagh

Richard Hannon

Reserves

17

ALBAASIL (IRE)

57.0

115

Reserve

Doug Watson

Correct as at 28 March 2012

www.dubaiworldcup.com

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DUBAI WORLD CUP 2012 : FINAL FIELD

Master of Hounds
Master of Hounds

Mike de Kock trained Master of Hounds wins the 10 March Jebel Hatta (Gr1)

(Photo : The National)

US$10,000,000 DUBAI WORLD CUP (Group 1)

Meydan, All-Weather, 2000m

31 March 2012

FINAL FIELD

#

Horse

Kg

OR

Jockey

Trainer

1

MASTER OF HOUNDS (USA)

57.0

115

Christophe Soumillon

Mike de Kock

2

EISHIN FLASH (JPN)

57.0

120

Christophe Lemaire

Hideaki Fujiwara

3

ZAZOU (GER)

57.5

118

Oliver Peslier

Waldemar Hickst

4

SO YOU THINK (NZ)

57.0

126

Joseph O’Brien

Aidan O’Brien

5

SMART FALCON (JPN)

57.0

118

Yutaka Take

Ken Kozaki

6

PLANTEUR (IRE)

57.0

122

Ryan Moore

Marco Botti

7

ROYAL DELTA (USA)

55.0

119

Jose Lezcano

William Mott

8

MONTEROSSO (GB)

57.0

121

Mickael Barzalona

Mahmoud Al Zarooni

9

SILVER POND (FR)

57.0

117

Jonh Murtagh

Doug Watson

10

TRANSCEND (JPN)

57.0

121

Shinji Fujita

Takayuki Yasuda

11

CAPPONI (IRE)

57.0

122

Ahmed Ajtebi

Mahmoud Al Zarooni

12

PRINCE BISHOP (IRE)

57.0

116

Lanfranco Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

13

MENDIP (USA)

57.0

115

Silvestre De Sousa

Saeed bin Suroor

14

GAME ON DUDE (USA)

57.0

122

Chantal Sutherland

Bob Baffert

Correct as at 27 March 2012

www.dubaiworldcup.com

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SUPER SOUTH AFRICA : SUPER SATURDAY

Mikhail Glinka winning the Dubai City Of Gold at Meydan
Mikhail Glinka winning the Dubai City Of Gold at Meydan

Click above to watch Mikhail Glinka winning the Dubai City Of Gold (Gr2)

(Image and Footage : Dammas Racing)

“SUPER SATURDAY”

Meydan, 10 March 2012

There were six thoroughbred events staged at Dubai’s Meydan racecourse on what they dub “Super Saturday”, the last major trial for racing’s biggest night, the Dubai World Cup (31st March). South Africans have a proud record at the latter, winning as many as three (50%) of the six events on the card on their best of days, and on two occasions, two of the six.

For the first time, this Super Saturday boasted two new Group Ones, so besides the added interest, there was a deeper concentration of quality in the line-ups than ever before.

That they’ve mastered the art of preparation for the Dubai Carnival’s fest of racing there can be little doubt, but even by their own lofty standards, Mike de Kock and Herman Brown would have to count Saturday as a good day at the office. They had their disappointments for sure, but these were overwhelmingly outweighed by the other outcomes. If you win well on Super Saturday, it’s a sound indicator you’re on your way to peak performance for the big day, and win they did.

The biggest South African-connected winner on the night was obviously de Kock’s Master Of Hounds, who’d promised so much in his young globetrotting career, with a narrow second in last year’s UAE Derby (Gr.2), and a come-from-behind fifth in America’s Kentucky Derby (Gr.1). Though he’d pretended so well, there were question marks over this son of Kingmambo, who kept sticking his hand up, only to stumble at the final hurdle. Just recently, he was outrun in a Group Two mile at Meydan by his highly regarded stable companion, Viscount Nelson, but a change of tactics under South African jockey, Kevin Shea (on Viscount Nelson that day,) saw him surge to the front from an outside draw, and that’s where he stayed. Shea rode a masterful race tactically, slowing down once he’d found the lead, and quickening his mount authoritatively as he sent him for home. Impressive in third was his stable companion, Mutahadee, (like Master Of Hounds, owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum), who came from way off to finish within two lengths of the winner. Given that Mutahadee is a relatively unexposed youngster in his first attempt at this level, you can bet there’s more in store for the son of Encosta De Lago.

One of the weekend’s most impressive winners was the Herman Brown-trained Mikhail Glinka, who galloped off determinedly with the spoils in the Dubai City of Gold (Gr.2) over 2400m. There were some proper horses in the line-up here, several of them boasting respectable recent form, but this fellow, arguably in need of the outing, was unassailable once he got to the front. Herman Jnr can relax now in the knowledge that he has a $5 million contender for the Sheema Classic (Gr.1) on World Cup night. He’s a beautifully bred colt besides, a son of the world’s best stallion, Galileo, from the outstanding family of European classic winners Teenoso, Give Thanks and Old Country. Parochially, we can’t resist mentioning it’s the family of the millionaires Fisani, Catmandu and Ecole Militaire back here on the farm.

Finally, de Kock wound up the night (or rather opened it,) with a rollicking romp in the Al Bastakiya (Listed) when his Dubawi colt, Mickdaam raced home in a promising prep for the Duty Free (Gr.1,) also for $5 million. There’s cash up for grabs in Dubai, and the South Africans are in the thick of it.

In other international news, Hay List finally got to race without the formidable attentions of unbeaten Black Caviar in Flemington’s Newmarket Handicap (Gr.1) on Saturday. Toting the welter burden of 129 pounds, he was giving between 9 and 19 pounds to his nearest rivals, and while only a short head separated him from those in pursuit, his connections must’ve been more than relieved to emerge at last from the shadow of the world’s best sprinter. In the process, they deposited a cheque which took his lifetime earnings to Aus$2,47 million (roughly R19 million). Pity he’s gelded!

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SUPER SATURDAY : 3 FROM 8 FOR DE KOCK AND BROWN

Master of Hounds winning the Jebel Hatta at Meydan
Master of Hounds winning the Jebel Hatta at Meydan

Click above to watch Master of Hounds winning the Jebel Hatta (Gr1)

(Image : The National - Footage : Dubai Racing Meydan)

“SUPER SATURDAY”

Meydan, 10 March 2012

South African trainers took three of the eight races carded at Meydan on “Super Saturday - the race meeting billed as a dress rehearsal for the richest day in racing, the Dubai World Cup later in the month.

South African champion conditioner Mike de Kock saddled two winners and his compatriot Herman Brown one.

De Kock’s highlight of the day was the win by Master Of Hounds in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta.

South African jockey Kevin Shea made all on the four-year-old, runner-up in last year’s UAE Derby for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien and, remarkably, recording only a second career win on his 13th career start.

Shea said: “From the widest draw, Mike gave me the option of going on if I could and after talking to Johnny Murtagh who knew the horse from Ireland it seemed the obvious option.

“I was always happy and he ran on well. I do not know where Mike will go with him but the Duty Free is one choice or perhaps the World Cup itself.”

Belgian Jockey Christophe Soumillon had earlier helped De Kock win the Al Bastakiya with Mickdaam, who started his career in the UK with Richard Fahey. In the 1900m contest, Soumillon was content to bide his time on the winner behind a frantic early pace but once he eased his mount to the front a furlong out he never looked in danger.

De Kock said: “We have always believed that he would be better over this kind of trip and he will probably stay further in time.”

De Kock’s major disappointment of the meeting was the failure of Bold Silvano to fire in the Maktoum Challenge after the former Vodacom Durban July winner got his tongue over the bit.

Herman Brown visited the winner’s enclosure after jockey Royston Ffrench made all the running on Mikhail Glinka in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold over 2400m on turf.

Capponi was a surprise winner of the concluding round of the Maktoum Challenge, the first thoroughbred Group 1 race ever staged in the UAE outside Dubai World Cup night.

Godolphin’s Dubai Millennium, Street Cry and Electrocutionist all won this race and then the Dubai World Cup and trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni will be hoping to repeat the trick with Capponi who won comfortably under jockey Ahmed Ajtebi, stalking the pace before sending his mount for home three furlongs out.

Ajtebi said: “I knew he would stay well and was happy to commit him for home a long way out. We went pretty quick up front but he stayed on very well. Obviously Sheikh Mohammed, Mahmood and Simon Crisford will need to decide where he goes but the World Cup must be an option.”

Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor and jockey Frankie Dettori combined to win the Group 3 Burj Nahaar with African Story. Never far off the pace, Dettori sent his mount to the front over a furlong out and skipped clear of Snaafy and hot favourite Musir, who is trained by De Kock.

Dettori said: “This horse is improving fast and I thought he was my best chance on the night. He travelled well and quickened nicely and I guess the Godolphin Mile will be the next step.”

There was a thrilling finish to the 5f conditions race on turf with Invincible Ash and jockey Jamie Spencer leading home an Irish 1-2-3 from Sole Power and Nocturnal Affair. The winner will now run in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in which she was fourth last year according to trainer Mick Halford who said: “She bounced back to form last time and World Cup night has always been the target - she was a bit unlucky last year.”

Bahrain’s Fawzi Nass is the owner/trainer of Krypton Factor who was able to reverse the form of the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint with the David Barron-trained Hitchens over the same 1200m tapeta course and distance in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal.

Jockey Kieren Fallon rode the winner and Nass said: “We always thought he was a good sprinter and he has proved that. Hopefully all roads lead to the Golden Shaheen on the big night.”

Extract from Racing Post

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SUPER SATURDAY : THE ACID TEST

Herman Brown Jnr and Mike de Kock
Herman Brown Jnr and Mike de Kock

Herman Brown Jnr and Mike de Kock

(Image : SA Trainers)

“SUPER SATURDAY”

Meydan, 10 March 2012

Super Saturday in Dubai is the last crucial test of aspirations for the richest day in racing, the Dubai World Cup meeting, where almost $30 million will be disbursed at the end of this month. For some of the candidates, their conditioners are simply applying the finishing touches, for others it’s the last run they need to get them to peak for the great day, and for others the question of where they’re going to end up on the day (in or out or in which race they’ll compete) still has to be defined. There are two South African trainers in action tomorrow, many times Champion trainer of the UAE, Mike de Kock, and third generation Herman Brown Jnr, who carries the hopes of the Chechneyan President, Ramzan Kadyrov. Brown’s horses are largely untested in the UAE, and they come from a variety of international backgrounds. We don’t know much about them, other than their ratings and their countries of origin, and you have to take their wellbeing on trust. He wouldn’t be running them at Saturday’s level, if he didn’t think they belonged there.

For de Kock, his horses fall into any one of the categories we’ve mentioned above. Bold Silvano, Musir, Mahbooba and Irish Flame, are in the “polishing” touches phase, River Jetez, the former J&B Met heroine, is only lighting up the afterburners, and has work to do. Others like Master of the Hounds, and the recent Group 2 mile victor, Viscount Nelson, have been confusing in their form, and questions remain as to what their best aptitude is. The latter is a spectacularly bred son of Giant’s Causeway (out of a Guineas and Oaks winner by Sadler’s Wells), and you’d expect his best trip to be at least ten furlongs, maybe twelve.

Local fans will be looking for bold showings from most of these horses, in particular the Durban July winner, Bold Silvano, who was a strong fancy last year to take the winner’s prize in the world’s richest race, the World Cup itself, before injury cruelly intervened. He ran a muddling race on his first start back, and the fact he’s only having his second start here, suggests de Kock has been nursing him.

Either way, it’s going to be an intriguing night of contests (two of the races have recently been elevated to Group 1 status), and if you’re wanting to follow it, tune into Tellytrack Saturday afternoon (channel 232). If you don’t have the fields, go to www.emiratesracing.com.

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MUTAHADEE : THE MIKE DE KOCK FACTOR

Mutahadee wins the Dubal Trophy
Mutahadee wins the Dubal Trophy

Click above to watch Mutahadee winning the Dubal Trophy…

(Image and Footage : Dubai Racing Meydan)

MUTAHADEE (Ire)

Encosta De Lago (AUS)- Mosaique Bleue (GB)

One of our regular correspondents from America, ‘Green Beret’ is an avid Dubai-watcher, and he knows the form there as well as anyone we know. These are his thoughts on Mike de Kock and Mutahadee :

Dear Summerhill Stud,

You guys know from many comments over the years what a big fan of trainer Mike De Kock and his horses that I am. But I just have to say, it literally floored me to see what De Kock has done with Mutahadee. To this point in the carnival, the most impressive horse Mike De Kock has sent out. More impressive than Bold Silvano, Master of Hounds, or Mahbooba, IMO.

When Mutahadee raced for trainer Tommy Stack in Ireland, he was a very good horse. But Mike De Kock has turned him into a great horse!! And therein lies the genius of Mike De Kock. In his 2 wins at the Carnival, no other horse has been close to Mutahadee. Well, until Soumillon was easing him down in Thursday’s race.

I’m telling you guys, if De Kock gets this horse into the G1 Dubai Duty Free field this year? Sell your wives and mortgage your houses to bet on him, because he won’t be touched in that race, IMO. Regards to all at Summerhill Stud!!

GBeret83

United States

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DUBAI WORLD CUP : DE KOCK LOOKS DOUBLE HANDED

Mike de Kock Trainer in Dubai
Mike de Kock Trainer in Dubai

Mike de Kock

(Photo : Tab Online)

Your thoughts on the Dubai Racing Carnival…

We’ve had any number of mails from every conceivable quarter of the world after Igugu’s big win in the J&B Met Saturday. One of our regular correspondents from America, ‘Green Beret’ is an avid Dubai-watcher, and he knows the form there as well as anyone we know. These are his thoughts (what are yours?).

Dear Summerhill Stud,

Thanks a heap for uploading the replays of Igugu’s wins in the G1 Durban July and again today in the G1 J&B Met!! This filly really looks special to me. To take down both the Durban July and J&B Met is no feat, because there’s some top class, middle distance turf horses racing in South Africa these days!! With the Dubai Carnival in full swing right now, I’m rooting hard for the Mike De Kock horses, as I always do every year!! Musir looks really at the top of his game right now!! But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that maybe Mike De Kock and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum will decide to ship this filly over as their #1 entry for this year’s G1 Sheema Classic on March 31st?? As badly as I hate saying this, it’s the one race De Kock looks like he’s lacking for a top class horse on cup night. He’s got Bold Silvano and Master of Hounds for the DWC. Musir and River Jetez for the Duty Free. But to my knowledge, he only has Irish Flame and possibly Mahbooba as his Sheema Classic possible’s at the moment? I know Irish Flame was a G1 winner of the Daily News 2000 in South Africa back in 2010. But for whatever reason, he just hasn’t been able to reproduce the same level of form in Dubai that he produced in South Africa? Mahbooba’s a talented filly, also. But I think the Cape Verdie showed us she’d likely be vulnerable against the worlds top 12f turf horses in the Sheema Classic? But if he sends Igugu? Whole new ballgame!! This filly could level the playing field for Mike De Kock chances to win the Sheema in a heartbeat if she shows up?? Any filly capable of winning the Durban July and J&B Met back to back would definitely have a legit shot at winning the Sheema Classic, too. IMO.

Mick’s reply to Green Beret :

Good Morning to you.

Many thanks for your comments on Igugu. You are right, she is quite special. We’ve had comments from around the world, and there are several Australians suggesting that she and Black Caviar are the two best racemares in the world right now. Whether that’s right or not, remains to be seen, but it’s some kind of compliment to what she’s achieved. Unfortunately, our exports have been temporarily suspended through a farcical provision in our protocols with the EU, and that means Dubai will not see Igugu this year. She’s better than everything you’ve mentioned in your note, with the possible exception of Bold Silvano, the extent of whose true talent is as yet uncovered. There is a suggestion here that there might be political issues behind the unwillingliness to remove the export restrictions, so Dubai will be the worse for not having her.

On a line through some of our internationally-campaigned horses, it’s clear Igugu would be an enormous factor if they’d let her loose.

Green Beret’s reply :

Dear SummerhillStud,

Being from America, I wasn’t aware of the political issues with EU being factor for her getting to race in Dubai, and that’s a real shame, IMO. Because with the possible exception of

Snow Fairy

when she’s at her dead level best

, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a middle distance filly or mare anywhere in the world that’s as good as Igugu. But the advantage she has on Snow Fairy is that she’s still very lightly raced, and still has a huge scope to improve from where she already is. Snow Fairy, though really brilliant at times, has pretty much reached her peak potential, IMO. Also very much agree with you about Bold Silvano!! Another that it’s really unclear how good how could really be? He was my pick to win the

Dubai World Cup

last year until the injury that sidelined him after winning the

Al Maktoum Challenge Rd. 2

. My comments and opinions about different horses are only my own, so if they end up sparking a lively debate, so be it!! LOL. As for

Bankable

, I’ve loved that horse since I saw him race

early on in his career. I used to call Bankable the “

Rodney Dangerfield

” of racing, because he never quite got the level of respect he truly deserved. Thanks so much for your reply, and best wishes and regards to all at

Summerhill Stud

.

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MUSIR CONTINUES TO IMPRESS IN AL RASHIDIYA

Musir wins the Al Rashidiya
Musir wins the Al Rashidiya

Click above to watch Musir winning the Al Rashidiya (Gr2)…

(Image and Footage : Meydan Racecourse)

Al Rashidiya Sponsored By Dubai Duty Free

Meydan, Turf, 1800m

26 January 2012

Musir could not have been more impressive when winning the US$200,000 Al Rashidiya (Group 2), the 1800m turf feature at Meydan on Thursday evening, in front of a large crowd which included His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Jockey Christophe Soumillon oozed confidence throughout on the Mike de Kock-trained five-year-old son of Redoute’s Choice who was following up an equally impressive win in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 (Group 3) over 1600m on the all-weather surface on his previous start.

Having his first turf start in Dubai, Mike de Kock’s charge was carrying a penalty having won a valuable turf prize in Turkey (the £230,000 Topkapi Trophy (Group 2)) last year and looks a horse for the others to fear throughout the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

Never far off the pace under Christophe Soumillon, Musir eased to the front early in the straight and never looked in danger afterwards. De Kock is currently in South Africa for the J&B Met (Grade 1) and Soumillon said : “This is my favourite horse as he gave me my first big wins in Dubai. There was no pace in the race at all and that has suited him as he has such good acceleration. We think he is better on grass than the all-weather and hopefully a genuine Dubai Duty Free contender.”

FINAL RESULT

#

Margin

Horse

Kg

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.0

MUSIR (AUS)

58.5

7

C Soumillon

Mike de Kock

2

1

CITY STYLE (USA)

57.0

3

M Barzalona

Mahmoud Al Zarooni

3

3.5

MARCRET (ITY)

57.0

5

M Demuro

Marco Botti

4

1.25

TROIS ROIS (FR)

57.0

2

T O’Shea

Ismail Mohammed

5

0.75

PRESVIS (GB)

57.0

6

R Moore

Luca Cumani

6

0.75

LE DRAKKAR (AUS)

57.0

1

L Dettori

Abdulla bin Huzaim

7

0.25

WIN FOR SURE (GER)

57.0

8

G Benoist

Xavier Nakkachdji

8

2

RAJSAMAN (FR)

58.5

4

R Ffrench

Ali Rashid Al Raihe

Extract from Emirates Racing Authority

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MUSIR ULTRA-IMPRESSIVE IN AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE ROUND 1

Musir wins the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1
Musir wins the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1

Click above to watch Musir winning the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1…

(Photo : Gulf News - Footage : Meydan Racecourse)

Al Maktoum Challenge R1 Sponsored By Etisalat

Meydan, All Weather, 1600m

12 January 2012

Etisalat was the sponsor of last night’s third meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the phone lines to South Africa must have been buzzing after the ultra-impressive victory by Musir (AUS) (Redoute’s Choice (AUS) - Dizzy De Lago (AUS)) in the $US200,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 Group 3 , the featured 1600m all-weather contest.

Trained by South African master-trainer Mike de Kock,Musir, the UAE 2000 Guineas and UAE Derby winner of 2010, was always going well under jockey Christophe Soumillon who eased his mount to the front from 200m out to score an easy victory with stable companion Master Of Hounds (USA) (Kingmambo (USA) - Silk And Scarlet (GB)) running on strongly to snatch second under jockey Kevin Shea.

Mike de Kock was obviously delighted and said afterwards: “We thought both would run well but I do not think we would have predicted a 1-2. Musir has been a great servant in recent years and is getting stronger and tougher with age. I do genuinely believe he is a better turf horse and the Dubai Duty Free is his big target so he will switch to the grass now. We hope Master Of Hounds is a Dubai World Cup horse so that is a good start with him. He was badly drawn and needs further so we are very pleased. He will continue in the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.”

Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1

Final Results

#

Margin

Horse

Kg

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.0

MUSIR (AUS)

56.0

4

C Soumillon

Mike de Kock

2

3.0

MASTER OF HOUNDS (USA)

56.0

12

K Shea

Mike de Kock

3

1.0

SECRECY (GB)

56.0

9

K Fallon

Saeed bin Suroor

4

0.5

MENDIP (USA)

56.0

1

L Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

5

0.75

DERBAAS (USA)

56.0

2

R Hills

Ali Rashid Al Raihe

6

Sh

DANCE AND DANCE (IRE)

56.0

3

J Spencer

Edward Vaughan

7

1.5

KAVANGO (IRE)

56.0

8

P Cosgrave

Mubarak bin Shafya

8

0.25

ESCAPE ROUTE (USA)

56.0

6

R Mullen

Satish Seemar

9

1.0

LE DRAKKAR (AUS)

56.0

5

A Ajtebi

Abdulla bin Huzaim

10

1.5

FANUNALTER (GB)

56.0

10

R Moore

Marco Botti

11

0.75

SNAAFY (USA)

56.0

11

T O’Shea

Musabah Al Muhairi

12

15.5

XIN XU LIN (BRZ)

56.0

7

M Barzalona

Mahmoud Al Zarooni

Extract from Emirates Racing Authority

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MAHBOOBA TROUNCES THE BOYS IN THE AL RASHIDIYA TRIAL

Mahbooba wins Al Rashidiya Trial
Mahbooba wins Al Rashidiya Trial

Click above to watch the Mahbooba winning the Al Rashidiya Trial…

(Photo : The National - Footage : Meydan Racecourse)

Al Rashidiya Trial Presented By Longines

Meydan, Turf, 1800m

5 January 2012

The Mike de Kock-trained Mahbooba (AUS) (Galileo (IRE) - Sogha (AUS) by Red Ransom (USA)) was the impressive winner of the 1800m Al Rashidiya Trial Presented By Longines, the featured turf race on the first night of the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival at a meeting sponsored by Longines.

First one past the post in last year’s UAE 1000 Guineas, Mahbooba was a winner in England during the summer and won well to the delight of winning jockey Christophe Soumillon who said: “She was good on all-weather last year but seems just as good on the turf. This trip of 1800m was probably as short as she would want as she won over 2400m in England and stays well. I am not sure what future plans will be but we should have plenty of options with her and she is an ideal sort for the Carnival.”

Al Rashidiya Trial

Final Results

#

Margin

Horse

Kg

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

MAHBOOBA (AUS)

55.5

4

C Soumillon

Mike de Kock

2

4.25

LAAJOOJ (IRE)

56.5

7

M Barzalona

Mahmoud Al Zarooni

3

2.25

DERBAAS (USA)

57.0

2

R Hills

Ali Rashid Al Raihe

4

2.25

SEA LORD (IRE)

57.0

10

L Dettori

Mahmoud Al Zarooni

5

1.00

WAR MONGER (USA)

57.0

6

T O’Shea

Doug Watson

6

4.00

ST MORITZ (IRE)

57.0

1

A Nicholls

David Nicholls

7

3.00

TROIS ROIS (FR)

57.0

9

R Ffrench

Ismail Mohammed

8

1.25

COLONY (IRE)

57.0

3

P Cosgrave

Mubarak bin Shafya

9

0.75

ENERGIA COSMICA (BRZ)

57.0

5

V De Azeredo

Fabrico Borges

10

8.25

HAPPY TODAY (USA)

56.5

8

W Smith

Musabah Al Muhairi

Extract from Emirates Racing Authority

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2012 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL KICKS OFF TODAY

2012 Dubai World Cup Promo
2012 Dubai World Cup Promo

Click above to watch the 2012 Dubai World Cup Promo…

(Image and Footage : Meydan Racecourse)

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL

5 January 2012 - 31 March 2012

The 2012 Dubai International Racing Carnival gets under way at Meydan today with the Al Rashidiya Trial Presented By Longines taking centre stage and culminates with the running of the 17th Dubai World Cup on March 31.

US$ 125,000 Al Rashidiya Trial Presented By Longines

Meydan, Turf, 1800m

5 January 2012

The nine-furlong turf prize sees Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s prolific course winner Derbaas (USA) make his return to action. The six-year-old landed with last year’s Group Two Al Fahidi Fort before finishing last of 16 on his final appearance in the Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night. His jockey, Richard Hills, said: “He was a revelation last season and improved throughout. I have not sat on him so far this season but the trainer tells me the horse is in very good form and expects a big run. I am sure he will come on for the outing but we have to be hopeful. The bottom one looks the big danger.”

The horse Hills is referring to is Mike de Kock’s talented filly Mahbooba (AUS). After signing off a successful Carnival last year with a fine third in the UAE Derby, the five-year-old went on to compete in Britain, where she won a Newmarket Listed race by six lengths. South African champion trainer De Kock said: “She did well at the Carnival last year (on Tapeta) and then really pleased us over the summer on turf. She has been going well in her work and is ready for a race so this looked the ideal starting point.”

Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni enjoyed a spectacular first season training in Britain, saddling numerous Group One winners and tasted Classic success with Blue Bunting in the 1000 Guineas. He is back in his homeland and saddles Sea Lord (IRE) and Laajooj (IRE) in today’s feature. “Sea Lord was a bit disappointing at last year’s Carnival so we gave him the summer off,” said Al Zarooni. “He seems in really good form now and we think he has a good chance, as does Laajooj. He won two in England but has been freshened up since June. He has pleased us in his work and it is nice to have two big hopes in the race.”

US$ 120,000 Longines Column Wheel Chronograph

Meydan, Turf, 1000m

5 January 2012

Seven of the 11 declared sprinters for the five-furlong Longines Column Wheel Chronograph Handicap hail from Europe. Frankie Dettori rides Humidor (IRE) for George Baker, while Internationaldebut (IRE) lines up for Yorkshire trainer Paul Midgley. “It’s our first runner outside England and it’s exciting stuff,” said Midgley. “The horse did ever so well for us last year, winning at York, Doncaster and Beverley. He looks great at the moment and he’s in great form. The people who’ve been with him tell me his preparation has gone to plan. The horse has been here a fortnight and he normally runs well fresh, so fingers crossed. The only negative would be that the race is over five furlongs rather than six. I’m just hoping they go fast, almost too fast to be honest, and then they come back to us in the last furlong. We’ll see how he gets on but if he looks to be enjoying it and he runs well, then the horse will hopefully be staying here for a while. There’s good prize-money on offer.”

Ireland are represented by Mick Halford’s Invincible Ash (IRE) and Nocturnal Affair (SAF) from David Marnane’s yard.

Extract from Sporting Life

Comment

RAIHANA, MR BROCK AND LUCKY FIND VICTORIES FOR TEAM MDK

raihana mr brock and lucky find meydan dubai
raihana mr brock and lucky find meydan dubai

Raihana, Mr Brock and Mike de Kock

(Image : Gold Circle/Tab Online/Orange)

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL

25 FEBRUARY 2010

The Mike de Kock win tally continues to rise in Dubai as Raihana, Mr Brock and Lucky Find all secured victories in their respective races at Meydan last night.

Peter Ward reports on Mike de Kock Racing that the US$250,000 UAE Oaks (Listed) is the latest Classic to be added to the South African trainer’s roll of honour after the smooth success of Raihana in the 1900m Tapeta Classic. Piloted by Christophe Soumillon, Raihana won on her local debut before finishing fourth in the UAE 1000 Guineas. She always looked likely to prevail on this occasion and reverse form with Godolphin’s Siyaadah, who was third.

Mike de Kock said following the race : “She is a lovely filly and one we have always thought was a Classic prospect. The Guineas just did not work out for her but Christophe has given her a great ride and we will bring her back for the UAE Derby on World Cup night.”

Raihana’s win provided her owner, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, with a memorable Guineas-Oaks double, made even more special in that he bred both Musir (Redoute’s Choice) and Raihana (Elusive Quality). “This was an extraordinary achievement by Sheikh Mohammed, who predicted from the start that both would be good horses,” said Mike de Kock.

Kevin Shea had won the previous race, the $US175,000 Meydan Horizons Handicap over 2000m on tapeta, on the very impressive South African-bred Mr Brock who recorded his second Dubai International Racing Carnival win of 2010 and may just have done enough to get himself an invite for Dubai World Cup night. Shea said : “He is a great horse who has thrived on this new surface. He never runs a bad race and can hopefully keep improving.”

Mr Brock is owned by Mauritian-based Serge Seenyen.

Zirconeum then ran a great race to finish third in the $US200,000 Balanchine Stakes (Group 3) over 1800m on turf. Burdened with a Group 1 penalty, Zirconeum was conceding weight to the two who beat her, having led briefly two furlongs out. Shea was in the saddle and said: “She has run well and the slow early pace was not ideal. She is a quality filly and will bounce back.”

Kevin Shea and Mike de Kock enjoyed the perfect end to their evening when another South African-bred, Lucky Find, won the concluding mile handicap, the US$120,000 Imax Cup. Winner of Al Maktoum Challenge Round Two in 2008, Lucky Find has been a great servant to the yard and Shea said: “He deserved that after a great run on turf last time.

IMBONGI : RETURN OF THE WARRIOR

imbongi racehorse
imbongi racehorse

Imbongi - John Bovington Memorial Criterion Stakes Gr3, Newmarket UK

(Photo : Chris Bourchier)

MEYDAN RACECOURSE

5 FEBRUARY 2010

In Zulu, Imbongi means “praise singer”, and we hope that, following a successful Graded Stakes-winning season in Britain, we’ll be singing his praises come the end of the Dubai Carnival.

The former Champion Three Year Old miler came out of his last race in England a touch on the sore side, and the maestro, Mike de Kock, gave him a long rest at Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s private establishment in Dubai.

He’s apparently come back full of the joys, and in his entry in the US$150,000 Jaguar XJ Trophy over 1400m on Friday at 19:10pm (SA time), he has two principle hurdles to overcome. The first is his condition, as nobody knows how fit he is, and it will definitely count as he takes on a pretty accomplished field to whom he gives weight all round (he goes to post with 60kgs). The other of course, is the fact he’s never competed on an artificial surface, and the new Meydan track has been laid with Tapeta. While the reports are that the track is riding well, it’s a matter of individual preference as to whether a horse takes to it or not.

An indication of the mountain he has to climb is that he has to give more than a stone to the accomplished South African Graded Stakes winner, Wonder Lawn, as well the highly performed Irish runner, Stubbs Art.He needs to get this one under his belt though, if he’s going to have any impact on the Carnival, and so we hope he has the condition to make a sort of race of it.

JAGUAR XJ TROPHY

MEYDAN TAPETA 1400M

FINAL FIELD

#

Draw

Horse

Age

Weight

Jockey

Trainer

1

8

IMBONGI

6

60.0

C Soumillon

Mike de Kock

2

4

SUMMIT SURGE

6

59.5

K Fallon

Luca Cumani

3

11

WEST SIDE BERNIE

4

59.0

L Dettori

Saeed Bin Suroor

4

5

MUNADDAM

8

58.5

R Hills

Erwan Charpy

5

10

DERBAAS

4

54.5

T O’Shea

Ali Rashid Al Raihe

6

3

ANS BACH

7

53.0

W Buck

Shurba Selaratnam

7

2

AQMAAR

6

53.0

D Badel

Erwan Charpy

8

6

BARBECUE EDDIE

6

53.0

W Supple

Doug Watson

9

12

NOBLE CITIZEN

5

53.0

R Mullen

David Simcock

10

1

STUBBS ART

5

53.0

T Durcan

Mike de Kock

11

9

TASDEER

5

53.0

W Smith

Doug Watson

12

7

WONDER LAWN

7

53.0

D O’Donohoe

Mike de Kock