Dubai century for de Kock

There’s no stopping Mike de Kock in Dubai.  The champion South African conditioner prepared another four winners at Meydan on Thursday evening including an Australian bred quinella in the UAE 1000 Guineas with Galileo fillies Mahbooba and Reem.

Mahbooba (3f Galileo – Sogha by Red Ransom) was widely expected to avenge her recent defeat at the hands of stablemate Reem in the Guineas Trial last month.  She did so emphatically once able to build momentum over a mile.

Reem (3f Galileo – Al Afreet by Danehill) had forged clear in the straight but the shift to level weights and the extra furlong played right to Mahbooba’s hands.  She eventually galloped to a near four length victory to give de Kock his 100th winner in the Emirates.

Mahbooba had been crowned Champion 2YO Filly for 2009-10 at the South African Equus Awards in Johannesburg.  An Australian homebred for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa, she won on debut at Greyville and rose to a G1 victory in the Golden Slipper at the same venue.

Mahbooba is from the last Australian-bred crop of foals by outstanding sire Galileo and is the first foal for Sogha who was purchased for $300,000 at the 2004 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.  Sogha won three races at Muswellbrook and Scone and is a three-parts sister to French Group 3 winner in Slew the Red.

“We were very hopeful and that was a good performance from Mahbooba,” de Kock said.  “Her next target is the UAE Oaks on February 24.”

Earlier on at the Meydan meeting, de Kock and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa teamed up with jockey Christophe Soumillon to punish a deep field in the G3 Maktoum Challenge Round 2 with Bold Silvano (Silvano).  Spring of Fame (Grand Slam) and Argentinean Horse of the Year Interaction (Easing Along) filled the placings.

Bold Silvano was racing first-up since his signature victory in the Durban July Hcp at Greyville and staked his claim for another G1 in the Dubai World Cup on March 26.  Soumillon could afford a couple of pats on the shoulder as the South African star strode clear at Meydan.

“That was exceptionally pleasing,” de Kock said.  “The World Cup is his aim and he will have a final lead-up on March 3.”

Connections have always rated Bold Silvano very highly.  Back home in South Africa last year, champion rider Anthony Delpech compared him favourably to former Hong Kong standout Vengeance of Rain.

Bold Silvano is by leading young sire Silvano from stakes-placed mare Bold Saffron (Al Mufti).  The dam is a half-sister to G3 winner Cape Saffron (Mullineaux).

de Kock also lifted turf handicaps with Star Empire (Second Empire) and Warsaw (Danehill Dancer) at Meydan.  

Before arrived in the Gulf, Star Empire completed a hat-trick in the LR Darley Arabian Stakes at Clairwood.  Warsaw scored under a well-timed Kevin Shea ride.  The chestnut denied Godolphin’s Quick Wit (Oasis Dream) by a neck to post his sixth win in 20 starts.

The only major event that eluded De Kock on Thursday night was the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint which was claimed by Hong Kong based flyer Dynamic Blitz.  It was his ninth win in 27 starts.

Dynamic Blitz (7g Elusive Quality – Assertive Lass by Zeditave) was bred by former Racing NSW Chairman Phillip Esplin and is trained by Ricky Yiu.  His Zabeel half-brother Reset was a G1 winner of the MRC Futurity Stakes and VRC Australian Guineas before retiring to Darley where he is carving out a successful career at stud.

Their dam Assertive Lass was a G1 winner of the AJC Flight Stakes and STC Coolmore Classic.  

Dynamic Blitz is being set for the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 26.  He originally raced as Stage Presence in Australia and won three races under the care of Lee Freedman.