MIKE de Kock was so surprised to get off the mark at the 2019 Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan on Thursday evening he told the interviewer, “I had to look again. I thought the commentator had called the wrong horse!”

But the caller was right. De Kock’s Baroot, a seven-year-old owned by Sheikh Ahmed (son of Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum), had flashed up late under Adrie De Vries to take the Cepsa Energy Cup over 1600m on turf by two lengths, going away.

De Kock, like most SA viewers, was watching his more fancied runner Bold Rex move up to challenge at the business end, but he ran into traffic trouble at the 200m-mark and found no way through a wall of horses. More or less at that time Baroot got lucky, squeezed through a gap of his own and won impressively. He paid R27,90 for a Saftote win.

“Baroot was just waiting for a gap and went through a narrow one. When he did, it was over,” said De Vries, who was impressed and suggested there “could be more in the tank.”

Added De Kock: “Baroot surprised us tonight, we thought he’d need the run, but he is by Dubawi and they just get better all the time.”

Photo: Erika Rasmussen/Emirates Racing.



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