Mike de Kockwho is back in South Africa after visiting Australia for the past few weeks, gave feedback on the global strategy he and son Matthew have sought to implement before the latter leaves to join Robbie Griffiths’ stable at Cranbourne in early 2020 . .
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Mike de Kock, who spent time in Cranbourne at the Griffiths De Kock stables, said their plans to switch horses between their respective operations in South Africa, Dubai and Australia could go ahead because there is enough evidence that South Africa, and particularly Dubai form will be made in Australia.
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Writing on Mike de Kock’s website, he said: “Our Grade 2 SA Nursery winner Najem Souhail (Starspangledbanner) jumped out at Cranbourne very recently, it was a trial run before he went to the racecourse and he destroyed the other runners without breaking away. We don’t know the strength of the other runners, but the way Najem Suhail ran was most encouraging. He’s been struggling for two years, there’s a lot more to come, and the trails in general show what to expect. He has really turned into a good horse, a good prospect.
“Then we raced Magical Land (Frankel) recently, he finished third in a handicap over 1200m, not long after being slow and looking very good at a distance less than his best. This is a horse that placed three times for us at the Dubai Carnival earlier this year and narrowly missed winning on his Meydan debut.
“So although they are two strong batsmen, decent runners, we could bring in even better ones from Dubai and even from South Africa. Our former runner Yulong Prince, winner of the G1 in South Africa, failed to win at the top level in Dubai but later won the G1 in Australia for Chris Waller and was described by Racenet as an “elite type of racehorse”.
“We are looking forward to the lifting of restrictions on blood stock from South Africa, the long-awaited audit by the European Union will take place in October. We still believe in the South African Thoroughbred and are very keen to see how they will perform in Dubai and South Africa. We believe they will hold their own at the top level like Yulong Prince. There is great potential for Australian buyers to buy pets in South Africa, especially with exchange rates. Especially top level mares at well below market prices they will pay elsewhere to export to Australia.
“Our aim now is to move runners between the annual Dubai Carnival and Australia and the benefits are clear. Shipping horses between Dubai and Australia is a relatively quick and seamless process; the betting on offer in both jurisdictions is simply phenomenal, especially at Carnival where above-average runners can earn life-changing purses during the magnificent Meydan Racing Extravaganza.
“The important thing is that we can send runners who would normally have about eight months off between the end of the carnival in April and next January, to Australia to compete in some of the best races here. They will achieve a good level of fitness and will have the chance to win bets throughout the year and thus maximize their income potential. Likewise, when they finish their Australian spells, they can return to Dubai for Carnival.”
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Mike de Kock appealed to the owners to support the venture and said: “We will make individual plans for each runner, looking at the best opportunities in both race calendars and directing them to the most suitable events.”
The Griffiths De Kock team won two races last Sunday, one of which was owned by the partnership of leading South African owner/breeder Gaynar Rupert, along with Arun Chadha and Warne Rippon.
“Gaynar, Arun, Warne and people like Basie and Suzette Willjohn, Mary Slack, Lindsay Ralphs, Laurence Vernars, Vermaak Equine, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Mohammad Mardouda’s Syndicate Blue Stables, International Racing Club, America’s Gary Barber and especially Larry Nestadt was steadfast in his support of Matt and Robbie. They are starting to see results, we are very pleased. The training facilities at Cranbourne are excellent, it’s a first class facility.”
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