IT doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Mike de Kock may well have a decent sort on his hands in Astronomer (IRE – photo), who makes his debut for the yard in the Jafza Handicap over 2000m on turf at Meydan tonight. Olivier Doleuze has been booked to ride him.

Rated 109, Astronomer is a son of Galileo formerly owned by Markus Jooste and the Coolmore crew of Messers Magnier, Tabor and Smith, and he’s a four-time winner from only six starts.

A closer look shows that Astronomer is an out-and-out stayer. He made his career debut over 2000m and finished fourth, followed by four wins on the trot over distances from 1700m to 2400m, and ending in 3.5-length win at Dundalk last September.

Astronomer was beaten into second in the Old Rowley Cup over 2400m at Newmarket last October before being transferred to De Kock’s Dubai yard.

De Kock replied to our enquiry about Astronomer, saying: “He looks like a nice horse, I like his form and he has definite potential.

“He had one or two issues we’ve sorted out and we’ll be aiming him at the Carnival’s stayers’ features.  He’s very fresh, he should run well but whatever happens he will improve for this run.”

Light The Lights will go to post in the same race, back on turf after an unsuccessful try on dirt, and is expected to do better. “Light The Lights is well exposed, it’s his third run after a rest and he’s very fit, should run well,” De Kock said.

 

 

 

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