MALAN du Toit, South Africa’s leading Equine Behaviour Therapist, reported success on Friday morning having worked all week with Mike de Kock’s troublesome UAE Derby prospect, Fawree.
Three-year-old Fawree was passed through the pens without hassles at Meydan in Dubai after having his starting stall certificate withdrawn following the recent Al Bastakiya, in which he burst through the stalls early, dislodging jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe.
Du Toit commented: “Fawree is actually a very nice horse. I’ve taken much pleasure in working with him. He’s an insecure horse, he was uptight when I came to meet him, but he’s responded positively every day he was very quiet and well-behaved when we took him to the pens on Thursday. We loaded him without a hood and he was calm and relaxed. He stood next to his companion for a few minutes without playing up at all.
“This morning Fawree was a bit bullish after he completed his work on the track, but we pushed him back and he loaded fine, once again. He stood still, this time he was assisted by the same handlers who will work with him on Dubai World Cup night.
Du Toit praised the Dubai starters: “Shane Ryan and his lads have been very helpful and they know exactly how to handle Fawree now. I told them not to be scared of him. Knowing the signs of previous horses I have worked with, a few even worse than Fawree, I think that we’ve got things under control. There were horses galloping on the track around him yesterday and today, and some other activities in the area, but he stood completely still, he wasn’t fazed. That is always a sign of progress and I am delighted with what we’ve achieved.”
Du Toit won’t be allowed to work at the starting stalls on Dubai World Cup day, but said he will be staying Dubai a few more days to reinforce Fawree’s new behaviour patterns. “Anything can happen on World Cup night, but I am confident we have done enough. I feel like a double brandy now,” he quipped.
De Kock commented: “Everyone has been suitably impressed with Malan’s work this week, he’s made some good friends and Fawree has benefited greatly.”
Fayd’Herbe also reported a marked difference in Fawree’s attitude.
Mubtaahij gave De Kock his sixth win in the UAE Derby two years ago and Fawree is fourth favourite for this year’s renewal with Betfair behind Thunder Snow, Epicuris and Master Plan.
Headline photo: Fawree (no hood), in the pens, assisted by Trevor Brown.