MIKE de Kock, in Dubai for Super Saturday, described the success of his home team at Turffontein as “momentous on a bittersweet day”.
The De Kock stable won three Graded features on Guineas Day at Turffontein, including the Gr 2 Gauteng Guineas itself with Janoobi, who brought up 3000 career winners for the master trainer, with his son Mathew in command at the home base.
“I am very happy, especially since this happened with Mat and my grooms in charge on the day. Mat will eventually take over the string, I am very proud of him and my team.”
In Dubai, however, things went awry as De Kock’s UAE Derby candidate Fawree burst through the stalls ahead of his rivals, dislodged jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe and was bizarrely declared a runner in an incident that may affect his chance of getting into the Derby on World Cup night.
Later in the day, former Gr1 Cape Derby winner Ertijaal (AUS) fractured a sesamoid shortly after the start of the Jebel Hatta and had to be euthanized.
At Turffontein, however, the champagne flowed after Piere Strydom had booted Janoobi home by a neck following an exciting Guineas battle with Al Sahem.
Mathew de Kock commented: “We couldn’t have written the script any better. The last three wins, all achieved on the afternoon, were in feature races and that’s just a testament to my dad and the man that he is,” said Mathew after the Guineas and following earlier wins in the Gr2 Hawaii Stakes and the Gr3 Acacia Handicap.
Strydom quipped that it was suitable that he had to be the man on Janoobi to bring up Mike’s South African first, 3000 winners, as he was the first jock to have ridden 5000 winners here. He said: “I’d ridden Janoobi here and in Cape Town, I thought he was a decent horse but he was over-racing a bit. The jockeys were telling me that Janoobi had improved and that he was all relaxed. When I cantered him down today he was a different horse, he’d grown and improved since last I sat on him.”
Janoobi is by former champion stallion Silvano from Shasta Daisy, by Rakeen and was a R1,2-million buy for Sheikh Hamdan at the 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale. His earnings top R2,2-million thus far.
Photo: Janoobi (blue silks), keeps going to win the Gauteng Guineas from Al Sahem. (JC Photos).