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Gimme A Nother will be out to make it seven wins from seven starts and a second Gr 1 win (JC Photos)

Mike de Kock won’t be at Champions Day as he is attending a Sale in Australia, but he ws interviewed by Johnny Geroudis about his Champions Day runners on Saturday, where he has plenty of chances of Graded race victory.

Race 1, Maiden Plate 1160m:

Ingqwele (Fire Away first-timer): “He is quite a nice horse, but in my opinion he is going to lack experience. It’s a fairly competitive field and I think he will be better off for the run.”

R4 Gr 2 TAB Hawaii Stakes 1400m

Mujbar (British-bred six-year-old entire by Muhaarer): I quite like this horse. At the ratings he has a lot to do. It is his second run and he was problematic in the U.K. He’s been okay here but we haven’t really been too tough on him. I think he is still a run short of his best, but it would not shock me to see him flash home into a place.

White Pearl (3yo Danon Platina filly): She has just been the most unlucky filly ever. She really deserves a good stakes race. I think 1400m is her best trip and she is drawn well. I like where she is weighted … if one just goes on ratings she is just two pounds (1kg) out with Sandringham Summit, whom I presume will start favourite. I would leave her out of nothing, I think she is a huge runner. This filly is really, really well and she is over her best trip.

R5 Gr 2 Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer SA Oaks 2450m

Silver Sanctuary (3yo Silvano filly): She is unlucky to have been born in the same year as Gimme A Nother and has had to be bridesmaid to her twice. But that doesn’t detract from her her ability … she was also only just beaten in the Cape Fillies Guineas. She has been on the go for a long while, but she is quite a tough filly. On ratings there is not much between herself, My Soul Mate and Let’s Go Now. There is only two pounds (1kg) in it and I believe that those three will really dominate as there are a lot of lowly rated horses down at the bottom end. She is actually a full sister to Safe Passage, so I don’t believe the trip is any problem with her and the way she kicks late one has to be confident of her staying.

R6 (Gr 1 Empress Club Stakes 1600m)

Gimme A Nother (unbeaten 3yo Gimmethegreenlight filly): If you put a Gr 1 on the same day as the Oaks and she is suited to the Gr 1 then it doesn’t become a decision in my opinion. It is all about Gr 1 racing. I know the Triple Tiara us tempting, but the stud has won two Triple Tiaras and I have won one and that does make the decision easier to go for the Gr 1. If owners Jessica and Stephen had wanted to go for the Oaks I wouldn’t have minded, but I just find that so many of them go through this Triple Tiara … a lot of them get that mile-and-a-half in the end but a lot of them get it with difficulty and it seems to whack them. It knocks them back and I would like to give Gimme A Nother two months going in to Durban, there are a couple of really nice races there and I would like to really have her nice and fresh. Anyway, those are all theories, but the filly is fit and well. She has been fit for a long time and is really going to be overdue a rest after this.

Asked how she rates among the best fillies he’s trained, Mike said, “It’s  a question that has been asked of me a  umber of times and I keep trying to compare her to some of the greats and I can’t put my finger on her really, because it’s hard to assess the form around her. She’s beaten the best Jo’Burg has to offer, but she hasn’t beaten anything out of this province and nothing’s come here to take her on. She’s got to go to Durban and has to beat the best Durban and Cape Town have to offer. The thing with her is I keep seeing she’s getting better and better, there is always a step up. You squeeze her a little more and there’s another step up. She is quite straight forward, so I haven’t got to the bottom of her so it’s going to be unfair now to make any comparisons to the superstar fillies I’ve had, because I think she is on the way there, but I would still like to see her beat a bit more than she is at the moment.

Humdinger (5yo What A Winter mare) – you couldn’t really get a more solid, sound filly in training than this. She is always thereabouts. I like the way Piere rides her. She has obviously got a bit to find on Gimme A Nother, but if Gimme A Nother fluffs her lines this filly will be all over them , she is really, really well. At the ratings she looks second best, but she is really tough. A mile is not her best trip, but if she gets to the front and gets a soft lead she gets a mile … just.

R7  Gr 1 Jonsson Workwear Computaform Sprint 1160m

Iphiko (5yo Trippi mare) – You’ve got Thunderstruck and Dyce and they have the most favourable draws too (high draws). (Iphiko is drawn quite well in 8) She is very quick and if the ground is on top she is going to rattle and their are very few who will go with her early – it is whether she can maintain that all the way to the line. She is a filly who cannot be left out of anything and a must for quartets and trifectas etc. If it does rain the outside draws become even more important.

R9 Gr 1 TAB SA Derby 2450m

Marauding Horde (3yo Vercingetorix colt) – He’s another one who we’re getting to the bottom of and he keeps rising with every race. I was in two minds whether to run him or not given the fact that he’s ony rated 96 and we are up against horses that are 120 (Purple Pitcher) and 116 (Pure Predator and Hotarubi). The genuine Gr 1 horse here is Purple Pitcher and I think it is Purple Pitcher’s race to lose, the rest are a bunch of handicappers … there are horses right at the bottom rated 78 who are at level weights with a 120. Pure Predator the way he was finishing last time must also be a huge runner. Marauding Horde has only won handicaps but he’s won them well. This is another huge step, but I think he is a horse who is stepping up quite well. Whether it’s too soon we will only know on the day, but he goes in to the race very fit. He’s had two runs two weeks apart, he’s hard fit for the race. There’s no doubt he will stay the trip. The fact he has this amount of speed and is able to win over shorter and accelerate the way he does is a very good sign because there are mile-and-half, two mile horses … a lot of stamina … in his female line. In theory we should be at our best trip here at a mile-and-a-half.

R9 Gr 1 World Pool Premier’s Champions Challenge 2000m

Dave The King (Global View 4yo gelding): He is a tough, hard-knocking horse. He got the 2000m at Greyville only just, just got run out of it. I think he could be a little stretched here, but I think Piere rides him well and I also like the fact that since he’s been gelded he is not an aggressive front-runner. He’s now a bit more relaxed up front. If something else wants to go quicker than him good luck to them, but he certainly is a horse who if he gets to the front with no pressure he’s now relaxed which he didn’t used to be so there is a good chance he will now get the 2000m at Turffontein, although I think Piere is going to cuddle him until the last little bit to get home. That is the big question mark but I love the fact that he is drawn one, so you’ve got a lot of options. I couldn’t want his preparation any better.

Aragosta (5yo Rafeef gelding): Last year he had a similar prep and ran third. He came off a campaign in Cape Town, so needed a bit of freshening up. Drawn two is a big advantage for him, he’s not under any pressure. A horse who must be included  in everything … on his day he is not bad, he’s quite tough and he’s quite consistent … he might just lack that little bit of class at the end, but you are dealing with a horse who is a hard knocker.

Safe Passage (5yo Silvano gelding): If you back to his three-year-old form there is a lot of class here, but he picked up a fracture in the foot quite srangely in Cape Town and we have struggled with him since then, not in terms of soundness hut just in terms of consistency. That is his biggest problem at the moment is his consistency. He can run you a cracker, he ran a great second in the Summer Cup … on weight for age terms in theory he could be all over them if the Safe Passage of old arrives. Certainly you couldn’t leave a horse like this out … he is capable any day of the week of winning a race like this.

R10 Listed 4Racing Caradoc Gold Cup 2850m

Black Thorn (6yo Pomodoro gelding): He’s got one or two niggles we’ve got to keep working with, but I don’t think we will be far off. .I think he’s improved with his last run, but this is a really open race, I would say you have to load up here.