Mike De Kock's Horse Racing Picks: Turffontein

Betway Ambassador Mike de Kock has five quality runners at the meeting scheduled for Turffontein’s standside track on Saturday, which coincides with a meeting at Durbanville, postponed from last Tuesday.

Mike has booked the confirmed title-chaser, Richard Fourie, to ride four-year-old Tyrconnell in Race 2 over 1400m. This gelding by The United States will have his first outing for the stable following a long, injury-enforced layoff. He hasn’t raced since October 2022 and Mike explained: “After his good debut for Sean Tarry he picked up a serious injury behind which required surgery. Given the fact that he’s been off for so long he has obviously fully recovered. There is no hint of the injury now.”

He added: “Tyrconnell is doing well, we’ve done as much as what we could with him at home. The form of runners behind him, from his debut, looks good. He has done plenty of work on the sand, not too much gallop work. But he is definitely fit enough to give a good account of himself. His undoing might be that he will be a little ring-rusty, but he is quite a nice horse. He has a bit of a temperament but I don’t mind that at all. He should be a contender in this race, has a chance.”

There was a lot to like about Outer Dimension’s 1400m debut at this track a fortnight ago. She stayed on nicely after receiving a bump at the start and her pedigree suggests she’ll be well suited to Race 3 over 1800m. “She wasn’t showing all that much before her first run so that was a pleasing performance. She’s a half-sister to our Derby winner Aragosta, so this distance looks ideal for her. She has improved, she needs more experience and has to race with older fillies, but I’m expecting a good run.”

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Silver Sanctuary, full-sister to Safe Passage, was given a rating of 87 for winning a Maiden Plate last month and she takes a step up in Race 5, an open Novice Handicap over 1600m against older horses.

Said Mike: “Silver Sanctuary is a three-year-old starting off a high rating and with male runners, but she is a filly on the up. She needs a bit of racing to strengthen up and her greenness may prove to be against her. But that said, I think she has ability, she is a filly with a future so must be considered here. She should run a decent race.”

The stable holds a strong hand with Sharapova and Simple Simple in Race 6 over 1400m. Mike commented: “Sharapova’s coming off a wind operation, she hasn’t raced since April, but she is doing really well at home. She hasn’t had a lot of gallops, but she is talented. She had wind problems before, but seems perfectly fine now and her work is excellent so I’m expecting a big run. Simple Simple has to give weight all round, but she’s a nice filly too and can’t be left out of anything.”

There are nine races on the Durbanville card. Strong galloper Firealley (Race 2, 1600m) was quietly fancied before an improved last run at Kenilworth. His rating has dropped to 106 and, as the only course-and-distance winner in the field, his customary front-running tactics can flatten his rivals.

Track suitability will also come into play in Race 8 over 1250m, where Durbanville specialist Champion Warrior is expected to bounce back to best and his opening odds of 11-2 look tempting.

Trainer Gareth van Zyl is on record expecting a big run from his recently rejuvenated Moya Waya Liga in Race 9, though All About Al is a nice 8-1 shot to include.

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Published: 08/11/2023