Grab the De Kock Gavel


Nicci Garner: Trainer Mike de Kock’s horses are in red-hot form at the moment and the…

Nicci Garner: Trainer Mike de Kock’s horses are in red-hot form at the moment and the stable celebrated eight home-based winners last week, four last Saturday. 

There is no reason to suppose their momentum is going to slow down and they could enjoy another good meeting at the Vaal on Thursday.

Racing takes place on the Outside track and all the races will be run on the straight course.

Four De Kock horses will be sent to the country racecourse for the meeting, one of them a first-timer – Grab The Gavel, a R260,000 Fort Wood filly who is co-owned by her trainer. Watch the betting.

His other three horses all have winning claims and, although they are likely to start near the top of the betting, they look worth backing for Win bets.

In Race 4, a 1200m Maiden Plate, Afdeek could go one better on his promising debut. He drifted in the betting that day but only failed by a neck against The Tin Man over 1200m on the Inside track here. Six of his rivals have run since without franking the form, but that should not deter backers.

It is worth noting The Tin Man runs in Race 9 at the same meeting. His prospects will improve if Afdeek runs well.

Afdeek’s main rival looks to be Premier Show, who has finished third in his last three of four career starts. Take the Exactas and Swingers.

Next up for the De Kocks could be Noble Secret in the main race of the afternoon, a Progress Plate over 1200m.

Noble Secret steps up in class, having won his debut. He raced greenly and was injured in that 1200m race at this track but still cruised away to win by 9.25 lengths. With one winner from four starters among his rivals that day, the form is looking pretty hot. The only reason he does not rank a banker is that he has not run since that 20 July event and a few of these runners have race fitness on their side.

Rebel’s Champ, promising following a layoff last time out, So Var who met tougher than this and needed the run last time, and Port Elizabeth trainer Dorrie Sham’s three runners, Pinnacle Peak, Battle Creek and Dorman, might be the right ones for Trifectas and Quartets.

Yet another debut winner represents De Kock in Race 6 over 1200m – Rajasthani Queen. This Greys Inn filly, who is owned by De Kock’s wife Diane, took off late and beat Schippers by a neck over 1000m on the Inside track here last month. The form has been franked by two subsequent winners and she should take a rise in class in her stride. 

KwaZulu-Natal raider Royal Kaitrina and Sham-trained Kungfoofighting could fight it out for second, although Trifecta and Quartet punters will have to include a number of other horses.

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