MIKE de Kock has his full team on call in Dubai for the start of the 2017 Dubai International Racing Carnival at Meydan tonight.
With Bernard Fayd’Herbe having held the fort for the last few weeks, Christophe Soumillon is back as stable jockey, retained for the runners of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Irishman Pat Cosgrave has returned to the desert after being suspended for the atrocious act of “looking back” when he was riding Anaerobio in the 2014 Gr1 Jebel Hatta.
Some dude in a Bible story was turned into a pillar of salt for doing the same back in the day, so perhaps Cosgrave was lucky only to have paid a fine of £48,000 (R800,000!) to get his UAE licence back, though he complained earlier this week that it was up from the original £35,000 due to exchange rates and Brexit and all those nasty things.
But all is fair in love and war and Cosgrave will get a leg over tonight on the De Kock runner Mastermind in Race 7 over 1400m on turf.
“It’s nice to have Patsy back, it feels like my whole Dubai family is together again,” joked De Kock yesterday. He also welcomed UK champion Jim Crowley, who will be riding Sheikh Hamdan’s runners as retained jockey, including Ertijaal (AUS), in the Listed Singspiel Stakes over 1800m
De Kock suggested on his website, www.mikedekockracing.com, that he’s expecting good runs tonight from his new import, Lino Amor, a Gr1-placed colt in his native Argentina (Race 5), while the former Glen Kotzen-trained Light The Lights was one to keep an eye on in the Singspiel.