Mike de Kock has returned from his Australian sojourn and he reported on Friday that the stable’s runners are looking good for Classic Day at Turffontein, Saturday. With his up-and-coming-three-year-old Safe Passage having won both the G2 Dingaans and the G2 Gauteng Guineas, most experts have nailed their colours to the mast with a prediction that this gelding will take the 2022 Triple Crown like stablemate Malmoos did last year.
Mike said: “Safe Passage and Aragosta come into the Classic in the same vein of form as they did for the Guineas, and both will enjoy the 1800m of this race. This looks like a more competitive field than last time, but the longer trip is right up their alley and I’m confident they’ll be up there again, fighting it out.”
“We have two fit and strong runners in Desert Miracle and Clafoutis for the G1 SA Fillies Classic. They’ve both had good, straight forward preparations. Desert Miracle’s getting surprisingly beat last time throws the race wide open, there are other fillies in here with chances. I can’t have our pair better than they are, so I’m expecting big runs.”
Here are Mike’s comments for his other runners on the day:
Race 3: 1160m
“Bonnaroo is coming back from throat surgery. She hasn’t been in action since last September. We’ve always though she was a half decent filly, but she had some serious problems breathing and hopefully the operation did the trick. She’ll come on for the run, we’re hoping she shows up well.”
Race 4: 1160m
“Magic Dancer was disappointing after his rest last time, we expected more, he was flatfooted and needed the run badly. But I also think he wants a bit further than a sprint. He’ll have an eachway chance, likely to improve.”
Race 5: 1400m
“We’ve got Al Muthana in good form coming into the G2 Hawaii Stakes. This is a weight-for-age contest, a totally different race to the ones he has been running in. He is fit and well, but takes a step up in class and this will show us whether he has the mettle to be entered for the G1 Horse Chestnut Stakes. He is doing well, on the up, include in your play.”
Race 9: 2400m
“Barak needed his last run a bit, he is fitter now and a good run is expected from him, he has prospects here.”
Race 10: 1160m
“Bold Act reverts to a sprint, as we noted last time she looks better over the shorter trips, she hasn’t performed to her best over further than 1200m and we’ll be looking for a better run. It’s a competitive field with Graded winners against her, place chance.”
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Picture: Safe Passage (JC Photos).