IF this is what Mike Shea, Mathew de Kock and Murray Makepeace looked like after yesterday’s Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas at Turffontein, imagine the festivities in trainer Mike de Kock’s Fun Box on the grandstand a few hours later!
The trio posed for a photo with Racing Association CEO Larry Wainstein and Makepeace was ready to pop the first cork on their three-year-old Takingthepeace, who’d minutes earlier won the first leg of the 2018 Triple Tiara with an electrifying late run under jockey Callan Murray.
It was an emotional moment for Mathew de Kock, whose thoughts went back to November 2016, when he selected Takingthepeace from the CTS Ready To Run Sale staged in a big marquee tent at Randjesfontein while persistent rain came down all day and night.
Makepeace had cut short a business trip to Scotland and Mat’s childhood friend Shea, son of Mike de Kock’s former stable jockey Kevin Shea, was in attendance too. They’d decided to take a share in whatever Mat was offering. They wanted to get involved. They were there to invest and for Makepeace it would be a first venture into horseracing.
Two days earlier, Mat had been impressed with the breeze-up of a then two-year-old filly initially named Sagano and had also visited her in her stable at the Summerhill Stud Sales Barn.
He said: “She had that classic look. I pulled her out and had a good look at her conformation. Then I put her back very quick and closed the stable door. I didn’t want anybody else to see I’d spent longer than usual looking at Lot 121.
Sagano was secured for R280,000, almost R100,000 above the sales average and was registered with the name ‘Takingthepeace’.
Shea told: “We wanted the word ‘peace’ in the name since it was Murray’s first horse, so we submitted seven or eight names to the NHA for approval. They were all rejected and I said, “What? Are they taking the piss?” And right there, the name Takingthepeace was conceived!”
She’s now won four from eight, a Gr2 feature and over R800,000 in stakes in the can. Plus, she’s never run ‘loose’. Shea, who is an accounts executive at Betting World and Makepeace, a sports betting consultant, have placed bets on Takingthepeace every time she’s gone to the track.
“My money is behind her whatever the form says,” Makepeace told interviewer Andrew Bon before the race. He and Shea got some 25-1 about her with Betting World and helped themselves to more as she came into 20s and then 16-1 before drifting out again.
“I think our winnings will open the door to future investments in the game,” joked Shea, who promised to get his Dad Kevin to shake loose some of the Kruger Rands stashed under his mattress for some involvement of his own!
Callan Murray, who rode a well-timed race, commented: “She was last, but I knew we had the race won as we turned for home, that’s the way she was travelling. This was a great win today and I am so happy to have won it for the boys. Takingthepeace is a star!”
Takingthepeace is a daughter of Visionaire, who has moved from Summerhill to stand at Pieter Graaff’s Lammerskraal Stud, Western Cape.