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Dubai International Racing Carnival 2010

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2011 DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL KICKS OFF

South African Racehorse Trainer Mike de Kock
South African Racehorse Trainer Mike de Kock

South African Trainer, Mike de Kock

(Photo : John Lewis/DBC)

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL

13 January 2011

The eyes of the racing world were firmly fixed on Meydan Racecourse last night for the highly-anticipated opening meeting of the 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival. The eight race card, sponsored by Longines, was highlighted by the opening round of the prestigious $US200,000 Al Maktoum Challenge.

The Mike de Kock-trained Our Giant, a talented and versatile gelding formerly based in South Africa, made an impressive seasonal debut on the opening night of the 2011 Racing Carnival.

The seven-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, who has only raced once since arriving in the UAE in December 2009, finished powerfully to win the $USD 110,000 Conquest Conditions Sprint over 1200m under a typically no-nonsense ride from Christophe Soumillon; his decisive riding tactics supplying the rare kind of thrill that regular race-watchers thrive on.

Our Giant wasn’t rushed along early to match the brisk gallop. He dropped about eight lengths off the pace to race among the backmarkers, where he was kept away from the hustle and bustle of sprint-race traffic. He galloped rhythmically and stayed in touch with the pacemakers going into the gradual turn at the 700m mark, where excitement started to mount and there would forthwith be no show of mercy from any of the contenders or their jockeys.

The difference between top riders and world-class ones is just a question of timing. Soumillon was plotting his finishing run long before this field raced into Action Bend. From his position near the back of the string, he spotted a passage between runners that he believed would lead to the winning post. He wasted no time in heading straight into it; Our Giant’s next gear engaged.

On this balmy desert evening, Irish-born jockey Willie Supple found himself on the back of the seven-year-old mare Alo Pura who, in the next furlong, would be blowing down the Mike de Kock runner’s neck with a strong run of her own.

Alo Pura raced a good length ahead of Our Giant when the said passage made its tempting appearance and Supple saw its potential too. If Alo Pura could race into it first, the contest would be as good as won, because this speedy seven-time winning mare, like Our Giant, was travelling nicely on the bridle.

Soumillon, who must have been educated at an institution where none of the dictionaries contained the word ‘fear’, had already put his head down. He made his calculated move on Our Giant just one little moment faster than Alo Pura. With the taste of victory as definitive on his tongue as a thimble-full of Tullamore Dew, Soumillon barged his way through first.

Not quite the Gap of Dunloe, this was just one horse width away from the running rail and on the immediate inside of the free-running leader Inxile, a six-year-old gelding on which young Michael O’Connell, yet another Irish native, must have thought he was about to clinch his first significant win in Dubai.

The momentum was with Soumillon, who now had Our Giant in full cry. They again reached the desired target a split second before Alo Pura, who wouldn’t give up and gamely thrust herself into Our Giant’s space after a Supple jig. But in the last 75m she simply failed to match strides with Soumillon’s low-flying mount.

Our Giant hit the wire three-quarters clear of Inxile, who, in turn, had just a short-head to spare over the brave mare.

Our Giant is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum in partnership with International Sports Management (ISM) founder Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler and his long-time friend and associate Lee Westwood, who incidentally tops the latest World Golf Rankings ahead of Tiger Woods and will be teeing off in a tournament in Abu Dhabi next week.

Mike de Kock was excited and called Our Giant’s a “special win on a big night for the stable”.

He explained: “I’ve been trying to win a race in Dubai for Chubby and Lee for seven years and we’ve finally cracked it! As luck would have it they are with us here at Meydan tonight which on its own is a lucky feat considering the rigorous travelling schedules of the golf professionals. We are proud to have them as friends and patrons in the yard.”

He said about Our Giant: “He’s a superb horse, he’s much better than he was last year and he’s versatile, not only over various distances but also on turf as well as the All-Weather. One of the best things about the Dubai Carnival is that it gives us several options, especially with a horse like this. We might aim him at a race like the Godolphin Mile but there are other avenues we could go down too.”

Australian import Reem, a daughter of Galileo owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, showed courage in her defeat of Mahbooba in the $US 50,000 UAE 1000 Guineas Trial and Mike said: “We didn’t know much about her and we honestly didn’t expect her to win. Now we no more about her!” Mike added, in the same breath: “Mahbooba put in a tremendous effort, most encouraging going forward into the Carnival.” South African-bred Chocolicious claimed the fourth spot for trainer Herman Brown.

Mike’s concern that 2200m would be a little too far for in-form Wonder Lawn proved to be on the mark. The seven-year-old produced a nice-looking challenge going into the last 400m of the $US 110,000 Evidenza, but became one-paced over the last 100m and took fourth place behind Rock N Roll Ransom.

Imbongi, one of the stable’s best performers at last year’s Carnival, but notably out of sorts in recent weeks, appears to be turning the corner. A cracking second to Mendip in the $US200,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1, he confirmed that his improved form in work this week had been reflective of his returning enthusiasm.

Extract from Mike de Kock Racing

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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL UPDATE

imbongi south african horseracing
imbongi south african horseracing

IMBONGI - SOUTH AFRICA

(Photo : Andrew Watkins/ERA/Emac)

IMBONGI SINGS OUR PRAISES

This time, it’s not only Summerhill in the headlines, its South Africa. It’s official at last, but we’ve been wondering for a while now who the Victor Ludorum would be in terms of earnings at this year’s Dubai International Racing Carnival. The good news for the Rainbow Nation is that two of the top three places are occupied by South Africans, while Mike de Kock’s charges hold four of the first six spots.

Imbongi heads the list with earnings of DHS 846,400 (approximately R1,715,820) while Mr Brockslides in with a handy DHS 798,560 (approximately R1,618,240).

Dubai has long been a happy hunting ground for South African horses, who seem to take to the desert conditions and the climate with aplomb. Victory Moon,Ipi Tombe, Jay Peg, Grey’s Inn, they’ve all flown the flag with pride, and now we have Imbongi, living up to the Zulu interpretation of his name “signing the praises”.

TOP 10 THOROUGHBRED HORSES BY EARNINGS

2010 DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL

#

Horse

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Runs

Prize Money

1

IMBONGI (SAF)

1

2

0

0

0

3

846,400

2

ALLYBAR (IRE)

2

0

0

1

0

3

828,000

3

MR BROCK (SAF)

2

0

1

1

0

4

798,560

4

RAIHANA (AUS)

2

0

0

1

0

3

708,400

5

MENDIP (USA)

2

0

0

0

0

2

662,400

6

MUSIR (AUS)

2

0

0

0

0

2

662,400

7

GLORIA DE CAMPEAO (BRZ)

1

1

0

0

0

2

662,400

8

PRESVIS (GB)

1

1

0

0

0

2

662,400

9

RED DESIRE (JPN)

1

0

0

0

0

1

662,400

10

SIROCCO BREEZE (GB)

2

0

0

0

0

3

651,360

Comment

IMBONGI : ZABEEL MILE VIDEO AND RESULTS

imbongi zabeel mile video
imbongi zabeel mile video

Click above to watch Imbongi winning the Zabeel Mile (Gr2)

(Photo : Andrew Watkins/ERA Footage : Tellytrack)

ZABEEL MILE (GR2)

MEYDAN 5 MARCH 2010

RESULTS

#

Margin

Gate

Horse

Kg

OR

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

10

IMBONGI (SAF)

58.0

115

C Soumillon

Mike de Kock

2

0.25

8

KALAHARI GOLD (IRE)

57.0

107

T O’Shea

Doug Watson

3

0.5

9

SUMMIT SURGE (IRE)

58.0

112

K Fallon

Luca Cumani

4

0.5

12

PURPLE SAGE (IRE)

58.0

102

T Durcan

Fawzi Nass

5

0.75

6

HUNTING TOWER (SAF)

57.0

108

K Shea

Mike de Kock

6

0.75

3

DUNELIGHT (IRE)

57.0

109

R Moore

Clive Cox

7

0.75

4

SNAAFY (USA)

57.0

119

R Hills

Musabah Al Muhairi

8

Hd

7

YASOODD (GB)

57.0

101

W Buick

Dhruba Selvaratnam

9

1.5

5

OCEAN’S MINSTREL (GB)

57.0

100

A Munro

John Ryan

10

2.0

2

ECHOES ROCK (GER)

57.0

105

P Dobbs

Doug Watson

11

3.25

11

WITHOUT A PRAYER (IRE)

57.0

110

J Crowley

Ralph Beckett

12

28

1

RIO DE LA PLATA (USA)

57.0

113

L Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

summerhill stud genuine article logo
summerhill stud genuine article logo

For more information please visit :

www.summerhill.co.za

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IMBONGI SPEARHEADS SA'S ZABEEL MILE CHALLENGE

imbongi zabeel challenge rss

$250,000 ZABEEL MILE (GR2)
5 MARCH 2010

The highlight of tonight’s final Meydan race meeting before the Dubai World Cup on 27 March 2010 is undoubtedly the $250,000 Zabeel Mile on turf.

South African trainer Mike de Kock is aiming for a hattrick in the Group 2 contest, having taken victory with Kapil in 2007 and Archipenko in 2009, and tonight spearheads the South African challenge with the Warrior, Imbongi, and Hunting Tower.

Ed Marnane reports from Dubai that the Summerhill-bred Imbongi, sporting the silks of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum is to be piloted by Christophe Soumillon who will be seeking compensation for a narrow defeat to Bankable in the Al Fahidi Fort over the same course and distance last month.

BANKABLE WINS AL FAHIDI FORT THRILLER FOR HERMAN BROWN

bankable al fahidi fort video
bankable al fahidi fort video

Click above to watch the Al Fahidi Fort Gr2

(Footage/Image : ERA/Tellytrack)

AL FAHIDI FORT (GROUP 2)

MEYDAN 19 FEBRUARY 2010

Trainers Herman Brown and Mike de Kock maintained South Africa’s dominance in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort at Meydan Friday night with just a nose separating Bankable and Imbongi in a thrilling finish to the 1600m feature.

A photo verdict gave victory to Bankable, trained by Herman Brown, who just prevailed under Ryan Moore over Summerhill-bred Imbongi, with the locally-trained Ibn Battuta a close third.

Herman Brown was among those less than convinced that Bankable had prevailed before the release of the official verdict and said: “That was a good performance and I was not confident awaiting the photo to be called – we thought we had been beaten. We will probably wait for the Dubai Duty Free now as he (Bankable) is a horse who is best kept fresh.”

RESULTS

#

Horse

Margin

Gate

Kg

OR

Jockey

Trainer

1

BANKABLE (IRE)

0.00

3

56.0

115

R Moore

Herman Brown

2

IMBONGI (SAF)

SH

11

57.0

115

C Soumillon

Mike de Kock

3

IBN BATTUTA (USA)

HD

5

56.0

105

W Smith

Musabah Al Muhairi

4

TAM LIN (GB)

3

10

56.0

110

W Supple

Mubarak bin Shafya

5

FAVASHI (AUS)

NS

8

57.0

112

T Durcan

Saeed bin Suroor

6

JUSTENUFFHUMOR (USA)

1

1

57.5

120

L Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

7

PREMIO LOCO (USA)

1.75

7

57.5

116

G Baker

Chris Wall

8

IBN KHALDUN (USA)

0.25

4

56.0

113

A Ajtebi

Saeed bin Suroor

9

DEBUSSY (IRE)

3

6

57.5

113

W Buick

John Gosden

10

DUNELIGHT (IRE)

1.5

9

56.0

109

K Fallon

Clive Cox

SOUTH AFRICANS BID FOR SIXTH AL FAHIDI FORT

south africa al fahidi fort
south africa al fahidi fort

$250,000 AL FAHIDI FORT (GROUP 2)

MEYDAN 19 FEBRUARY 2010

South Africa has a great record in tonight’s feature on the sixth card of the 2010 Dubai International Racing Carnival at Meydan, the Group Two Al Fahidi Fort sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Dubai over 1600m, with both Mike De Kock and Herman Brown seeking to win the race they have dominated between them – sharing five victories since 2003.

Brown scored twice with Linngari and this year Ryan Moore has elected to ride Bankable over Bronze Cannon (non runner). Moore said: “He is a very nice horse and seems in good form. It is a strong renewal of this race but I expect him to run well.”

Mike de Kock, seeking a fourth victory, saddles Imbongi who was fifth last year but ran well in the UK over the summer and made a very pleasing return over 1400m on Tapeta. Christophe Soumillon rides Imbongi and De Kock said : “Godolphin look to have a very strong hand and run Group 1 horses in the race. We were delighted with Imbong’s first run back and he is in good form at home. Godolphin will be hard to beat but he should run a good race.”

Godolphin are well also represented and Frankie Dettori takes the ride on Justenuffhumor who was last seen running a close third at the Breeders’ Cup for Kiaran McLaughlin.

Ahmed Ajtebi partners 2007 Group One Racing Post Trophy winner Ibn Khaldun with Ted Durcan on Fravashi to complete a strong trio for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor who said: “Ibn Khaldun will probably need the run more than the other pair, while those two are having their first start for us. Fravashi has useful form in Australia and Justenuffhumor’s American run is very good form.

“All three have been going well at home and we have to be hopeful of at least going close.”

Catch the Al Fahidi Fort on Tellytrack DSTV 232 at 8pm (SA time) tonight.

Although the Al Fahidi Fort is the feature, the preceding 1600m conditions race on Tapeta, the CBD Worldmaster Card, will attract a similar level of interest with Mike de Kock choosing this race as the one in which he will unleash Group One winner Eagle Mountain.

He only ran twice last year but is reported in good order by the handler: “I think he is as fit as we can get him and this race looks ideal to test him on the surface. If we want to run him in the Dubai World Cup he needs to show us he can race on Tapeta.”

It is a warm little race with Consul General, third in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round One, Brian Meehan’s Cat Junior and Godolphin’s West Side Bernie among a host of dangers.

Catch the CBD Worldmaster on Tellytrack DSTV 232 at 7:25pm (SA time) tonight.

AL FAHIDI FORT FIELD

TURF 1600m

#

Horse

Kg

OR

Jockey

Trainer

1

JUSTENUFFHUMOR (USA)

57.5

120

Frankie Dettori

Saeed bin Suroor

2

BRONZE CANNON (USA)

57.5

119

Keagan Latham

Herman Brown

3

BANKABLE (IRE)

56.0

115

Ryan Moore

Herman Brown

4

IBN KHALDUN (USA)

56.0

113

Ahmed Ajtebi

Saeed bin Suroor

5

IBN BATTUTA (USA)

56.0

105

Wayne Smith

Musabah Al Muhairi

6

DEBUSSY (IRE)

57.5

113

William Buick

John Gosden

7

PREMIO LOCO (USA)

57.5

116

George Baker

Chris Wall

8

FRAVASHI (AUS)

57.5

112

Ted Durcan

Saeed bin Suroor

9

DUNELIGHT (IRE)

56.0

109

Kieren Fallon

Clive Cox

10

TAM LIN (GB)

56.0

110

William Supple

Mubarak bin Shafya

11

IMBONGI (SAF)

57.0

115

Christophe Soumillon

Mike de Kock

MUSIR LANDS UAE 2000 GUINEAS FOR TEAM DE KOCK

musir uae 2000 guineas video
musir uae 2000 guineas video

Click above to watch Musir in the 2010 UAE 2000 Guineas

(Image and Footage : Dubai Racing)

UAE 2000 GUINEAS (Group 3)

MEYDAN 18 FEBRUARY 2010

Musir landed a fourth UAE 2000 Guineas victory for the Dubai-based Mike de Kock team at Meydan last night, as he scored a comprehensive win in the 1600m feature on Tapeta under a supremely confident Christophe Soumillon.

Musir, last year’s Champion Juvenile in South Africa who is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, also owner of both Asiatic Boy and Honour Devil who won this race on their way to UAE Derby success, was able to overcome the widest draw to win impressively.

Stable companion Solid Choice was not far behind him a furlong out before keeping on at the same pace to finish fourth under Kevin Shea.

Mike de Kock said: “Solid Choice has run a good race but Musir is all class as he has just shown. He has natural speed and is a really nice horse. The draw was a concern but with his natural talent and an experienced jockey I was always hopeful he could overcome that.”

Christophe Soumillon added: “I was always happy during the race and he has travelled like a really nice colt.”

Mr Brock was an excellent fourth in the Group 3 Al Maktoum Challenge Round Two under Kevin Shea and the pair actually hit the front just over a furlong out before being run out of it late on. Kevin Shea said: “He has run a great race and proven that he is an international group horse.”

Mr Crazy Boy and Soumillon did not enjoy a clear passage in the same race.

Extract from Mike de Kock Racing by Peter Ward

FULL RESULTS

#

LBH

Horse

Kg

OR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

MUSIR (Aus)

59.5

113

14

Christophe Soumillon

M de Kock

2

3.25

FROZEN POWER (Ire)

55.0

105

11

Ahmad Ajtebi

S bin Surror

3

1.25

DELLA BARBA (Chi)

59.5

99

4

Olivier Peslier

J Barton

4

2.25

SOLID CHOICE (Aus)

59.5

102

13

Kevin Shea

M de Kock

5

0.5

JARDIM (Brz)

59.5

102

10

Richard Mullen

A Cintra

6

HD

OROVESO (Brz)

59.5

102

1

Tiago Pereira

P Bary

7

0.25

MAROON MACHINE (Ire)

55.0

100

5

Kieren Fallon

E O’Neill

8

1.25

STORM CHISPAZO (Arg)

59.5

104

8

Ryan Moore

H Brown

9

2.5

ROCK JOCK (Ire)

55.0

99

12

Pat Smullen

A Manuel

10

2.25

QUARTER LATIN(Arg)

59.5

104

3

Richard Hills

D Watson

11

SH

DUBAI MIRACLE (USA)

55.0

99

2

William Buick

D Simcock

12

0.25

REAL SECRET (Brz)

55.0

104

6

Waldomiro Blandi

A Cintra

13

4.25

OLYMPIC DANZ (Brz)

59.5

98

9

M Nunes

A Cintra

14

4.75

EL AMARILLISTA (Arg)

59.5

102

7

William Supple

J Barton

MIKE DE KOCK VS GODOLPHIN

mike de kock and saeed bin suroor
mike de kock and saeed bin suroor

Saeed bin Suroor and Mike de Kock

(Photos : Dubai Race Night / Racing Post)

AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE ROUND TWO

The fifth meeting of the 2010 Dubai International Racing Carnival takes place today. All eight races, one of which is for Arabians, are on the Tapeta and 13 horses have been declared for the Gr.3 Al Maktoum Challenge Round Two which is to be run over a new trip of 1900m this year on the new surface. The Mike de Kock pair Mr Crazy Boy (Numerous), the only three-year-old in the race, and Mr Brock (Fort Wood), are drawn one and thirteen respectively and the trainer hopes both can go well in an open contest.

He said: “Mr Brock won well last time over course and distance and deserves this step up in class. He has a bit to find in a tough race, while Mr Crazy Boy will relish the step up in trip but it is a big ask on the ratings.”

Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin are well represented and Frankie Dettorirides Jalil(Storm Cat), who progressed through the ranks to contest the 2008 Dubai World Cup. Ahmed Ajtebi rides Allybar (King’s Best), on whom he has already won at the Carnival, with Ted Durcan on Calvados Blues (Lando).

Bin Suroor said: “All three should run well; Allybar is obviously race fit and came out of that win in very good form. Jalil will be better for the outing but is a horse we have always liked, while Calvados Blues is a new horse who has been training well.”

Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore combine with Perfect Stride (Oasis Dream), a Royal Ascot winner last year and the jockey is hopeful of a good show: “He is a nice horse and seems in excellent heart. It is a decent contest but I expect a big run.”

Local South African hope Jet Express (Jet Master) has been a real star for trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe and jockey Royston Ffrench, who said: “He has won his last four, all at Jebel Ali, but seems to prefer the Tapeta to the old Nad Al Sheba dirt track. This is his toughest test this year but he seems to be in good form still and I am hopeful he will run well.”

Extract from European Bloodstock News

OF WAR ARTIST, REBEL KING AND UNCLE TOMMY

rebel king klawevlei stud
rebel king klawevlei stud

Rebel King

(Photo : Kerry Jack)

LIVING IN CLOVER

Those that watched Thursday evening’s big sprint in Dubai, will have noticed that Rupert Plersch’sWar Artist came home smoking. This is not only great news for a long-time client of Summerhill, but it also franks the talents of a graduate of our paddocks. Rebel King was born into an “impossible” era of great sprinters in South Africa. As a son of National Emblem, he already had great shoes to fill from a Summerhill perspective, as he was the successor in the same yard (champion trainer Charles Laird’s) as the great Nhlavini, the only horse in history to line-up six consecutive years as an Equus Awards finalist.

As if that wasn’t enough, Rebel King also happened to arrive on the sprinting scene at a time when National Colourwas blazing her trail, and the emergence of the spectacular Mythical Flightwas taking shape. As if repelling these two horses was not already enough of a challenge, he came to the Natal Mercury Sprint (Gr.1) two seasons ago for yet another encounter with the odds-on Mythical Flight, at level weights over Clairwoods’ 1200m track.

At last, he came to conquer the horse that had beaten him in the Computaform Sprint (Gr.1) in Johannesburg, and having just got the job done, and with victory looking like it was in the bag, War Artist flashed up to beat him by a neck.

Of course, we know that War Artist has gone on to Group race glory in Europe during the past season, as well as running a narrow third in the Prix de ‘l Abbaye (Gr.1) Longchamp’s showcase for the best sprinters in Europe. Again, at Dubai’s Meydan Thursday evening, War Artist showed his mettle by lowering the colours of a strong field of sprinters, reminding us of his battles with Rebel King.

Very recently, our Bloodstock Manager, Kerry Jack, visited Rebel King at his new stallion home at the prestigious Klawervlei Stud (translated, literally, “clover vlei”). There’s hope in the Klawervlei quarter that he will be the successor to his own illustrious father, National Emblem.

Patronised by the owners of more than a hundred broodmares in his first season at stud, he’s an obvious hit, and a tribute to the horses graduating from our paddocks. His half-brother, Uncle Tommy, was 2009’s highest priced yearling at all sales in South Africa last year at R2,5 million, knocked down to the bid of Mike Bass acting on behalf of the doyen, Graham Beck.

DUBAI FLASH : ANOTHER BIG NIGHT FOR SOUTH AFRICA

mike de kock and christophe soumillon meydan dubai
mike de kock and christophe soumillon meydan dubai

Mike de Kock and Christophe Soumillon

(Image : SA Pride/HKJC)

MIKE DE KOCK

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL

Mike de Kock is a legend in Dubai, but that probably also applies to most parts of the world. It was here that he first really made his international mark, having been the Champion Trainer in the Emirates on several previous occasions. By any of his best standards though, five winners in the first two meetings this year, including both the Guineas Trials (for fillies and colts), would have to be rated alongside his best.

Chatting to him about Imbongi’s condition for this evening’s Jaguar XJ Trophy, he mentioned how pleased he was at the Trial victories, suggesting Musir could well be up with the best three-year-colts currently in Dubai, while Raihanacould be something special. That’ll warm the hearts of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa’s team, for sure.

Multiple champion French jockey, Christophe Soumillon, takes the ride on Imbongi, whom De Kock says has been working well on the Tapeta surface, though it remains to be seen what he’ll be like under race conditions. He does say though, that the horse is only 85% fit, and having to give up to 7kgs to the field, his performance is going to hinge to a fairly significant degree, on his fitness.

He runs over seven furlongs, the trip at which he demolished five Grade One winners in the Drill Hall Stakes (Gr.2) as a three year old during the Durban season, so that’s not a problem; we’ll have our eyes glued on Tellytrack (Channel 232) at 19:10 pm this evening.

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

DUBAI DEBUT

mike de kock raihana christophe soumillon sheikh mohammed bin khalifa al maktoum
mike de kock raihana christophe soumillon sheikh mohammed bin khalifa al maktoum

Mike de Kock, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Yousuf Al Sayegh, Christophe Soumillon, Lizard’s Desire and Raihana

(Photos : Mike de Kock Racing / Andrew Watkins)

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL

MEYDAN RACECOURSE

What better way to honour the opening of the world’s most-talked about racecourse, the Meydan, than the “arrival” of two South African-trained winners in the first two thoroughbred races ever to be contested there. Mike de Kock’s Raihana and the ex Port Elizabeth horse, Lizard’s Desire, pretty much skipped across the new Tapeta surface, to register impressive first-up victories, and while he may have been tainted by the moment, Mike de Kock was quick to proclaim the venue “outstanding”.

It only took three more days before South Africa was celebrating again with Silent Jet’s Listed Stakes victory at the Jebel Ali track in the Shadwell-sponsored sprint. The seven year old son of Jet Master came home by half a length from some decent sprinters, ensuring him a Stakes success in every season since he arrived in the Emirate.

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MEYDAN MASTERS JOCKEYS' CHALLENGE 2010

meydan racecourse grandstand
meydan racecourse grandstand

Meydan Racecourse

(Photo : Meydan)

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL 2010

Dubai Racing Club has announced the launch of “Meydan Masters”, an international jockeys’ challenge to be held on 5th March at the new Meydan racecourse.

Held during the Dubai International Racing Carnival, the “Meydan Masters” will feature winning jockeys from the world’s 11 premier races of 2009, plus a special invitation to another rider to bring the number to a twelve.

“The races we have identified have been won by jockeys that are true masters of their craft and we are very excited about this initiative. We look forward to celebrating what will surely be a fantastic opening season at the Meydan racecourse,” said Dubai Racing Club CEO, Frank Gabriel.

The riders are: Aaron Gryder (won the Dubai World Cup) Ahmed Ajtebi (Dubai Sheema Classic) Calvin Borel (Kentucky Derby) Norihiro Yokoyama (Japanese Derby) Ryan Moore (King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes) Johnny Murtagh (Irish Derby) Corey Brown (Melbourne Cup) Mike Smith (Breeders’ Cup Classic) Olivier Peslier (Hong Kong Cup) *Mick Kinane (Derby) *Michael Kinane (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe) **Christophe Lemaire (Prix du Jockey-Club) **Ted Durcan (St Leger)

*subsequently retired from race-riding

** offered places due to Kinane’s retirement

Meydan Board member Malih Lahej Al Basti said that the Meydan Masters will be a competition with a difference: “With racing now being so international, it is difficult to establish a formula for which jockey should represent which country. Jockeys now don’t necessarily ride full time in their home country. With the Meydan Masters, these world-class jockeys will represent themselves against their contemporaries from across the globe, those that excelled and triumphed on the biggest stage throughout 2009. There could be one rider fortunate enough to win more than one of the races we have identified, in which case we have identified alternate races in the same jurisdiction to invite another rider. For instance, Michael Kinane was invited courtesy of his Derby win, but having also won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, we have had to go to the alternate French race, the Prix du Jockey-Club, and its winning rider Christophe Lemaire. Kinane’s retirement means that we have also had to go to the alternate race in England which, for 2010, was the St Leger and its winning rider Ted Durcan.”

The Meydan Masters will be held over four support races on the programme that features the recently upgraded Gr.2 Zabeel Mile.

The Meydan Masters will conclude six weeks of racing, comprising nine meetings and 18 Group and Listed races, beginning with the opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge on 28th January.

Extract from European Bloodstock News

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