Mike De Kock's Horse Racing Picks: Turffontein

On a roll with three winners on the inside track at Turffontein on Thursday, Betway Ambassador Mike de Kock will be hoping he can maintain his winning form when racing moves to the standside track on Saturday.

The stable has six runners on the day, and the first one is Al Bayreg in Race 3 over 1400m. The son of Silvano placed over 1600m and 1800m before a poor last run when he found 2400m too far. He has changed ownership since and has been rested. Mike said: “We’re trying him over 1400m for the first time, I think he is better over further but this is a good starting point after a rest. He has freshened up and has a chance from a good draw – the form in the race doesn’t look too good.”

Rowyaana was expected to find 1160m too short on her moderate debut last week and she’s entered for 4, a Maiden Plate over 1400m. She’s nicely bred, may improve now but Mike said: “Rowyaana isn’t showing much at all, I cannot recommend her.”

Lightly raced Tyrconnell will line up in Race 5, a Graduation Plate over 1400m. He has his problems, but is a horse with ability and warrants consideration. Mike said: “Tyrconnell is better than his 78 rating, he steps up here against several higher rated three-year-olds, but he has a decent draw and must have a money chance, he is on the up.”

Trois Trois Quatre goes to post in Race 6 over 1800m. He has dropped two points in the ratings to MR88 and has won and placed over this distance. Mike said: “We are fitting Trois Trois Quatre with blinkers, he has been working well with them at home. We’re expecting a good run, he has consistent form and should give a good account.”

Safe Passage represents the stable in the G3 London News Stakes over 1800m and he has a winning chance at the ratings, and on his good recent comeback run. Mike said: “Safe Passage ran very well over 1400m last time. He is being prepared for the Horse Chestnut 1600 and the Premiers, but is another who should not be far off.”

Bonete, with her good second in the Spook Express Handicap last month, showed that 2400m is not out of her reach. She was run out of it late, by Explosive Bond, but stayed on. She’s up against a few fair staying colts and geldings and a promising filly in Indian Ocean, and Mike said: “Bonete is in a good space and is one to include in your play.”

There are four handicaps in the second half of Saturday’s Kenilworth card, all competitive and hard to assess. It will pay to focus on the four earlier races, in which a few standout betting prospects can provide some early lolly.

Ricky Maingard’s Bohemian Grove is a better horse than his formline suggests. In Race 1 over 1000m he contests his third run after being gelded and, that top work rider William Bambiso has been engaged, speaks to his chances for winning at good odds.

Candice Bass-Robinson’s Iko Iko made marked improvement and showed pace in his most recent run. The stable is red-hot, he would have come on a few lengths from that run and looks set to exit the Maiden rank in Race 2 over 1000m.

In The Green Zone and Sheets and Goggles were second and third respectively in a close finish to promising All Is Green, in December. They should fight out Race 3 over 1000m.
Spelling Bee, plagued by wide draws, gets the inside berth in Race 4 over 1600m and a big run is expected.

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Published: 02/17/2024