Treasure Beach to carry De Kock’s hopes

The stables of South African trainer Mike de Kock will be well represented in the nine-race-card of the 18th running of the Dubai World Cup. De Kock is reportedly happy that 13 runners from the stable have been invited to compete in various races at Meydan on March 30.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Thu 21 Mar 2013, 11:53 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:05 AM

Treasure Beach, a five-year-old son of Galileo, formerly trained by Aiden O’Brien in Ireland, will carry the stables’ hopes in the 2000m Dubai World Cup Gr-1 (tapeta). He was narrowly beaten by the French raider Pour Moi (Mickael Barzalona) in the 2011 Investic Derby Group-1, but he went on to win the Secretariat Stakes Grade-1 (3-year-old turf) at Arlington Park in US and didn’t impress thereafter. He finished poor sixth to the World Cup favourite Hunter’s Light in the Al Maktoum Challenge G-1 (tapeta), over the World Cup’s distance and course on the Super Saturday a couple of weeks ago.

Treasure Beach will carry the hopes of the stables of South African trainer Mike de Kock’s in the 2000m Dubai World Cup Gr-1. — KT file

In the Dubai Sheema Classic Gr-1, a turf event contested over a mile and a half, the stables will be represented by Await The Dawn, another top performer who was transferred from the Aiden O’Brien’s yard to Mike de Kock. A decent performer at the age of two and three years, but is still hoping to find his strides in a Group-1 contest. He showed good signs of returning to form in a Handicap race and finished good second to Jakkalberry (Marco Boti/Ryan Moore) in the Group-2 Dubai City of Gold on the Super Saturday. However, Boti confirmed that his horse has suffered a setback and he’s back to Newmarket. De Kock has won this race in 2008 with the brilliant (filly) Sun Classique under Kevin Shea.

However, De Kock will be holding the ace to claim his third winner of the 1800m Dubai Duty Free Gr-1 (turf) through one of his three runners. Ipi Tombe (Kevin Shea) and Right Approach (W. Marwing) have won it for the South African in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s duo Igugu (A. Delpech) and The Apache (Christophe Soumillon) will be joined by Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s, Mushreq (Paul Hanagan), with the latter looking unbeatable in this particular contest.

Meanwhile, Dubai Golden Shaheen Gr-1 (tapeta) remains among the night’s events which Mike de Cock seeks to win and Kavanagh could give him the clue. The South African-bred has finished a length behind Mental in the Al Shindagha Sprint Gr-3 and went on to win a handicap race, but needs to improve further before lining up against the great sprinters on September 30.

But, after all, Shea Shea (Christophe Soumillon) will presumably cruise to a comfortable victory to hand de Kock his second silverware of the newly introduced 1000m Al Quoz Sprint Gr-2 (turf) after having won it with JJ The Jet Plane (Kevin Shea) in 2009. But, some observers noted that the draw will play a crucial role in Shea Shea’s campaign and the outside stall improves his chances.

Zahee and Emotif will face an uphill task in the UAE Derby Gr-2 (tapeta) with the Godolphin runners looking good to do the better work against the stars of the future. De Kock has won this race five times before, including with the only winner of the Triple Crown Asiatic Boy (W. Marwing).

The unbeaten colt Soft Falling Rain (Paul Hanagan) may earn De Kock his second crown of the Godolphin Mile Gr-2 after the 2005 winner Grand Emporium (W. Marwing) and Star Empire (Christophe Soumillon) will face the toughest challenge of his career against the stayers in the 3200 Dubai Gold Cup Gr-3.

More news from Local Sports