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Pocket Power



pocket power and trippi
pocket power and trippi

Pocket Power and Trippi

(Photo: Gold Circle / Drakenstein Stud)

Pocket Power bags another win

One South African based stallion who’s screaming from the rooftops, is Drakenstein Stud’sdual Grade One winner, Trippi, who already has a USA Grade One-winning juvenile in R.Heat Lightning. That this was no fluke, is evidenced in the many Stakes winners that Trippi has thrown during his sojourn in Florida, USA, and this weekend he added to his list of accomplishments when Gourmet Dinner took the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (GrIII) by an increasing 2 ¼ lengths. Gourmet Dinner’s record reads four victories and a second from five starts to date, and now you’d have to believe his trainer, Steve Standridge, is catching Kentucky Derby fever for next May.

Back at home, the Ocean Basket Green Point Stakes (Gr.2) served as the ideal prep for theL’Ormarins Queens Plateand the J&B Met, for three-times Horse Of The Year, Pocket Power, who strode away impressively from a team of young luminaries, which included the hitherto unbeaten Bravura, and Kahal’s Matchem Stakes hero, Tales Of Bravery.

Of course, this race was run under weight-for-age conditions, which means the principal protagonists started on pretty much equal terms, and that will be the case again in the L’Ormarins Queens Plate, for which Pocket Power tilts at victory for an astonishing fifth consecutive time.

However, the J&B Met will see the candidates separated in the weights to a degree, and that could bode well for those who toiled in his wake this weekend. The one thing we don’t know is just how wound up Pocket Power was, but if he was anywhere near his top, then the improvers could be closing on him when it gets to the business end of the J&B Met.

We’ve been saying all along, if Tales Of Bravery could finish within three lengths of Pocket Power on the weekend, he’ll still go to the Met with a pretty decent prospect of picking up the silver. He did just that on Saturday.


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TEAM POCKET POWER make the Pilgrimage

bike bass, carol bass and marsh shirtliff
bike bass, carol bass and marsh shirtliff

Mike Bass, Carol Bass and Marsh Shirtliff pictured awaiting their

famous Hartford salmon omelettes

(Photo : Leigh Willson)

Marsh Shirtliff is not a superstitious man, not as far as we know, yet he does know that there hasn’t been a July winner in the past twenty years whose connections have not made it to Summerhill for the July, or at the very least, for our Stallion Day on the Sunday afterwards. The trick is either to make it beforehand or to make sure you’ve accepted the invitation in advance for Stallion Day, otherwise you risk taking on history. So Marsh dragged Mike and Carol Bass to the farm on a spectacular Sunday morning, and they took up their lodgings in the Inkanyezi and Nhlanhla suites while the Bass stable was cleaning up in the big events in Cape Town.

Logic tell us Pocket Power is a shoe-in for the big race, but Mike Bass (and you’d better be listening, if you intend having an interest in the big event next Saturday) thinks River Jetez is twice the filly she was last season. Let’s not forget what a big race she ran in the 2008 Vodacom Durban July, and if she’s twice as good as that, Pocket Power himself will need to have made some improvement to keep her out. And that he undoubtedly has, having had a trouble free “prep” for the first time in his life.

Of course, with three of our own in the line-up, it would be uncharitable of us not to wish them everything of the best, but we really hope that if either of them fluff their lines, the gates will open for Thandolwami, Outcome or Catmandu.

hartford house website link
hartford house website link


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POCKET POWER claims tenth Gr.1 victory

Pocket Power
(Photo : Gold Circle)

The amazing six-year-old Pocket Power raced to his tenth Gr.1 victory in Saturday’s Gold Challenge over 1600m at Clairwood. The son of Jet Master, who has now earned more than R8.3million, beat Kapil (Jallad) by just over a length. Pocket Power’s year younger full-sister River Jetez was third.

The European Bloodstock News reports that Pocket Power was bounced out of the stalls very smartly by his regular jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe and took a strong hold down the back straight, settling in behind his pacemaking stablemate Blue Tiger and Buy And Sell. Bernard Fayd’herbe had no option but to let him go at the 400 metre pole but, as is customary, he slipped into cruise control at that point and contributed no more than he had to, to hold a fast-finishing Kapil at bay.

Pocket Power will head for Greyville early next month where he will attempt to claim a second Vodacom Durban July victory.

THE CHAMPIONS MILE (Gr.1) : Sunday dawns in Hong Kong

Imbongi 23 April 2009
(Photo : Hong Kong Jockey Club)

You can go into any worthwhile website on racing anywhere in the world right now, and you can pick up news of this weekend’s big events in Hong Kong, including the Champions Mile. However, the one thing you won’t get is a statement from the horse’s mouth, so we thought we’d bring you news of our most recent bulletin from Mike de Kock, who sends our home-bred, Imbongi to post on Sunday.

Anyone hoping to make any sort of impression in this race would have to take history into account in their calculations, knowing that in all its time, the Hong Kong Champions Mile has yet to witness a placed runner among its foreign raiders, and that last year’s spectacular hero, Good Ba Ba reached the post in an amazing 1min 31.3 secs, and you know what you’re up against.

However, Mike de Kock is of the firm view that Imbongi is a real contender, provided he is over the troubles which confronted so many of the Mike de Kock stable in Dubai over the World Cup, and if Imbongi can get back to a modicum of the form which carried him to stardom in two Guineas and a triumph over Horse Of The Year, Pocket Power ans well as four other Grade One winners in the Drill Hall last season. Mike tells us though, that Imbongi managed an official “bullet” 21,5 secs for the last 400m of his final workout on Tuesday. If that’s not notice he’s ready to run for his life, tell us what is?

Keep your heads down, there could be an explosion Sunday morning (9:55 am our time).

Dancer's Daughter in Mint Condition

dancers daughter empress club stakesDancer’s Daughter winning the Empress Club Stakes (Gr1)
(Photo : Phumelela)

David Thiselton reports that Dancer’s Daughter on Monday checked into Clairwood for the Champions Season 2009.

Trainer Justin Snaith rode Dancer’s Daughter out yesterday and said that the superstar grey mare was very well. Jockey Bernard Fayd’herbe will work ride her today.

“She has been in a very bad mood today,” said Justin Snaith, who has always stated that a foul mood is the signal to him that the mare is in the mint of condition.

Pocket Power, arch rival to Dancer’s Daughter, settled in at Clairwood just under two weeks ago, with the pair’s rivalry promising to feature epic in the Champions Season.

The first Dancer’s Daughter versus Pocket Power clash might once again be delivered in the form of the Grade 1 Gold Challenge over 1600m at Clairwood, come 13 June.

To date the score stands at : Pocket Power two-and-a-half and Dancer’s Daughter one-and-a-half; with Dancer’s Daughter beating Pocket Power when taking victory in last season’s Gold Challenge, the pair dead-heated in the 2008 Vodacom Durban July thriller and Pocket Power beat Dancer’s Daughter when finishing second in the 2008 Champion’s Cup.

Pocket Power took an historic third victory in this year’s renewal of the J&B Met and Justin Snaith will be determined for Dancer’s Daughter set the score straight in the 2009 Vodacom Durban July.

The El Padrino’s of the Game

emperors palace sale (michael nefdt)

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

Emperors Palace National Yearling Sales 2009

If you’re a Summerhill devotee, you’d have to be more than satisfied at this weekend’s events. Both the top colt and top filly of the sale, were graduates of our draft. With IMBONGI’s sister, a stunning daughter of debutante sire, SOLSKJAER, bewitching the attention of no less an investor than Team Valor’s Barry Irwin, who had to fend off two bouts of international competition to claim his prize at R1.5million.

In as classic an event as any breeder could wish for, three “patron saints” of the game clashed in a mighty battle for the right to own UNCLE TOMMY, a strikingly good-looking son of KAHAL, and half brother to aspiring Sprint champion, REBEL KING.

The early stages witnessed a sparring match between the incorrigible Markus Jooste and his right-hand man, Charles Laird, located high up and out of sight, in what might be called the ”Gods”, an appropriate station for two men who wagered as much as they did on the day’s trade.

Just outside the Equine Insurance cubicle, Mike de Kock took up position for Dubai’s Deputy Ruler, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose eagerness to acquire this son of his own stallion, was evidenced in the rapidity with which Mike answered Charles Laird’s bidding.

The time came though when Mike called it a day, and just as it looked as though the Jooste team might fire the winning salvo, POCKET POWER’S conditioner Mike Bass, joined the fray with a determination that looked likely to prevail. And prevail it did. But not without one helluva scrap, as the two teams traded their way through the R2million barrier and onwards to R2.4million.

So who was it behind Mike Bass? No less a man than one of the EL PADRINO’S of the game, Graham Beck, who has terrorised under-bidders for decades now. These two, Jooste and Beck, have ascended the stairs to the loftiest of stations, willing to put their money and their reputations on the line for the sake of a racehorse, and the honour of beating all-comers when the chips are down.

In the end that’s what this sport is all about, and it’s thanks to them that the drama of the sales ring remains one of the most exhilarating contests of our game.