De Kock: Rudra
TRAINER Mike de Kock is having a phenomenal year and on Saturday saddled his eighth Steinhoff International Summer Cup winner with top-notch four-year-old Rudra.
<p>Although only a two-time winner leading into the Summer Cup, Rudra had most promising form and was always a warm order in the betting for the big race and was as short as 2-1 at one point before going through the stalls at an easy-to-back 3-1 in what looked, on paper, an open race.</p>
<p>That turned out to be a fallacy – Rudra, under a superbly confident ride from De Kock’s international No 1 jockey, led Rudra loose 500m from the wire. The Parade Leader colt boltged clear in a matter of strides and went on to win easing up from second favourite Smart Banker in the hands of French champion Christophe Soumillon.</p>
<p>De Kock has a knack of tuning his runners to the minute and Rudra’s preparation for the race was not smooth sailing. However, he commented that Rudra was improving all the time but that the colt would probably be given a break before the Johannesburg Autumn Racing Season and the KwaZulu-Natal winter.</p>
<p>"It’s lovely to win abroad, but it’s also nice to win at home345," he said with a broad grin.</p>