Champagne Cocktail puts daylight between herself and the opposition (JC Photos)
Mike de Kock had a fine day on Saturday and looks to have a potential star in the Silvano Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfonetein Stud homebred filly Champagne Cocktail, who is out of the useful former De Kock-trained British mare Espumanti (Dansili).
Having won her debut by 7,50 lengths over 1700m, De Kock put her into a MR 89 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1800m, where she had to run off a 94 merit rating.
She was up against the like of Say Yes, a four-year-old Gimmethegreenlight filly who was going for a hattrick.
The time of Champagne Cocktail’s debut effort was not great, but on that occasion she was just about tripping over herself sitting behind the pacemaker as she is a big fillly with a big stride.
On this occasion JP van der Merwe took her to the front where she was able to use her big stride.
She set a nice gallop with ears pricked.
In the straight that big stride took her clear while still under the hands.
Van der Merwe shook the reins at the 200m mark and she stretched away from the nearest challenger Say Yes to win by five lengths.
Van der Merwe said, “She is quality, we will see how good she is later on.”
De Kock said, “I liked the way she did it, ears pricked, not green at all, not even first time out was she green, she didn’t shift her ground at all. Total professional and going the right way. These horses always create a bit of pressure, but I would rather have the pressure than not have it to be honest.”
He doesn’t believe she is a filly who needs a lot of racing and said she would either go for the Gr 3 Betway Fillies Mile on Betway Summer Cup day or the Gr 1 WSB Fillies Guineas on December 2.
He said he was leaning towards the latter race saying, “I believe she deserves a crack at it … we will raid in and let’s hope she gets a half decent draw.”
He added, “I think she is one of those horses who can go any distance you put her. She has the ability to relax and she has a massive stride. She probably puts them all under pressure in the first 1000m of a race. I think she will go the Oaks distance. The Triple Tiara is the obvious future with her here, but you can’t ignore the Fillies Guineas in Cape Town, that is always a quality race and quality fillies win it.”
De Kock later had an easy winner in the Danika Stud-bred Heavenly Blue colt Zinovi, who is owned by the ASSM Syndicate.
He won a Progress Plate by 4,75 lengths and this franked the form of his stablemate GimmeAnotherChance, who runs in the Gr 2 Betway Graham Beck Stakes on Saturday.
He has breathing issues and De Kock said an operation would eventually probably have to be done.
He has been impressed how well he has done with the breathing issue, so a successful operation could see him becoming some horse.