Farm news

Queen Supreme just put them to bed!

By | Farm news

Saturday’s Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap over 1800m at Turffontein was a race that was always going to be at the mercy of Exceed and Excel’s daughter, Queen Supreme (IRE), and punters and race watchers were delighted to see one of the day’s “good things” arrive in thrilling fashion.

The details leading to the last 400m of horse races are often on the boring side. So let’s focus only on Queen Supreme moving up oh-so-smoothly at this point, taking command and putting her rivals to bed, in a deep sleep too. Her winning distance over the capable Ronnie’s Candy was 4.25-lengths.

“I knew what I had under me,” said jockey Callan Murray, himself a picture of confidence since his return from Singapore (though it seems he can do with a good meal!).  “Queen Supreme is very smart out of the gates and she puts herself in the race. She makes my job easier, and she’ll improve in leaps and bounds.”

Mike de Kock agreed, saying: “She was very impressive today, she is getting better and better.”

In good spirits after the stable’s fifth success of the day, Mike said: “There is nothing better than to win with mates, the partners in this filly are JJ “Van Tingeling” (Van der Linden), Larry (Nestadt), Jessica (Slack) and Jehan (Malherbe). We bought her in Ireland. This is what it’s all about!” Yes, like doing the Hokey Pokey. Easy.

Mike added: “Queen Supreme is headed for a Grade 1. She’s Paddock Stakes and Sun Met material, she’s that good. Our next stop will probably be the Paddock Stakes, though we’ll have to deal with travelling to Cape Town which is never easy.”

Mike de Kock Racing

Read more:

Barahin hit them for a six!

By | Farm news

There was a perception among some racing fans going into Saturday’s Gr2 Charity Mile at Turffontein that the 1600m would be Barahin’s absolute minimum trip and that he wouldn’t find it easy against a few proven milers, but he gave them a hiding all the same!

Sometimes obvious pointers are overlooked. The form book shows that Barahin had won twice over 1400m as a two-year-old, once defeating his star stable companion Soqrat in a Gr2 race at the tight Greyville track.

Barahin had also been fitted with a pair of blinkers and made his return to a galloping track, two other factors which made his odds of 6-1 look tempting to those who actually bothered to dig a little deeper than pre-race conjecture.

“The blinkers made a massive difference,” confirmed jockey Callan Murray after steering Barahin to a 3.50-length success over Chijmes, Flying Winger and Cascapedia. “We just tracked the speed and when we turned into the straight it felt like a five furlong race the way he quickened up.

“I just held on to him, he extended to the line impressively.”

Mike de Kock, for whom the Charity Mile was the middle leg of a sensational six-timer on the day, saw this as only the beginning of big things for Barahin, who is likely to go into the Summer Cup as favourite, with his first Gr1 win beckoning.

“Barahin has always been a nice horse, in fact he’s a proper horse. He was unlucky as a three-year-old to be bumping Hawwaam all the time. But today the rain helped him, he’s never been the greatest mover or strider. The sting out of the ground was fantastic for him.”

Mike said he has been “threatening to cut” Barahin, but for some reason has exercised a little restraint. “He’s a Mauritzfontein-bred with a really nice pedigree.” Mike thanked Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his ongoing support and said: “He has been an unbelievable patron for South African racing!” He also conveyed thanks to Bob Yearham of Peermont Emperors Palace for his unwavering support of racing.

Barahin, by Gimmethegreenlight from Mocha Special (Silvano) is now five from 10 with over R1,8-million in stakes earnings. Mike and the stable is hoping he won’t be lumbered too heavily by the handicapper after this win, but he’s a strong horse that can carry weight, he’s in form at the right time and all we can say is, “Roll On Summer Cup!”

Mike de Kock Racing

Read more at:

A first winner for Rebecca Oppenheimer

By | Farm news

Spero Optima was stepped up from 1160m to 1800m and ran on strongly to win his second career start on the Inside track at Turffontein on Saturday. Spero Optima (15-10, Callan Murray) was impressive in the way he quickened up and he drew away smartly to win by four lengths.

The gelding by Dynasty provided Rebecca Oppenheimer with her first winner. Rebecca, sister to Mauritzfontein’s Jessica Slack, was an accomplished show jumper and has always been a horsewoman and Mike de Kock commented: “Rebecca had a spell in the United States and she’s settled back in South Africa now.

“I think Jessica wooed her into racehorse ownership. She saw Spero Optima as a young horse on the farm and liked him. He was a nice first choice for her. We are very pleased to have been involved in her first winner.” He said about the win: “Spero Optima obviously enjoyed the extra ground, his minimum trip will be 1600m and he will like it even further than 1800m too. He’s by a champion stallion from a Gr1 winning mare and has obvious potential, but he didn’t beat much today.

“It will be hard to find a suitable next race for him, the handicappers are not making it easy for us.”

Mike de Kock Racing

Read more:

De Kock’s Met Filly?

By | Farm news

The Paddock Stakes and Sun Met were mentioned by the high-riding Mike de Kock as possible engagements for Saturday’s Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap winner Queen Supreme. That’s fighting talk from the multiple champion trainer after his 4yo daughter of Exceed And Excel had demolished her opposition at her first attempt at stakes opposition and beyond a mile.

“She’s a proper racehorse and she certainly looks Gr1 material. She is owned by a whole bunch of good friends. Isn’t that what it’s actually all about?” chimed De Kock as he reached the summit of a memorable day at Turffontein, that started with the Boks setting the tone down at Yokohama.

Callan Murray has put the memories of a trying overseas campaign well behind him and he was a mere passenger as he booted home his fourth winner of a cracking day at the office.

The Irish-bred Queen Supreme (12-10) opened her stakes account in style off a solid formline of 3 wins from 4 starts when she cruised into the lead and won easily by 4,25 lengths in a time of 112,72 secs under her 52kgs.

Ronnie’s Candy and KZN visitor Roy’s Riviera ran into the trifecta in another race. The 1800m contest was run slowly early and turned into a dash for home – the 400m to finish time was considerably faster than the same segment in any of the other races on the afternoon.

Bred by Thomas Hassett, Queen Supreme is a daughter of the unraced Gone West mare Call Later, who has now produced three Stakes winners including Be Ready, a son of New Approach who won the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes.

Queen Supreme was purchased as a yearling at Goffs by Mayfair Speculators for €130 000.

Her victory rounded an excellent day for Exceed And Excel after he sired the first two in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes in Australia through Exceedance and Bivouac. Exceed And Excel has sired 164 individual Stakes winners, third only behind Galileo and Dubawi amongst active European stallions. Queen Supreme has won 4 races with 1 place from 5 starts for stakes of R333 450.

Gr3 Yellowwood Handicap (SAf-Gr3)

Turffontein, South Africa, November 2, R200k, 1800m, turf, soft, 1.52.72

1 – QUEEN SUPREME (IRE), 52.0, ch f 4, Exceed And Excel (AUS) – Call Later (USA) by Gone West (USA). Owner Mauritzfontein (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Miss J B Slack) & Messrs M F de Kock, L M Nestadt, J R van der Linden & Mrs N P Malherbe; Breeder bred in Ireland; trainer MF de Kock; jockey C Murray
2 – Ronnie’s Candy (SAF), 59.5, ch f 4, King Of Kings (SAF) – Bennie Andthe Jets (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)
3 – Roy’s Riviera (AUS), 58.5, b m 5, All Too Hard (AUS) – Donna Amata (AUS) by Anabaa (USA)
Margins: 4.25, 0.25, 2.25

Read more: