Jack Milner: Trainer Mike de Kock was all smiles after Soqrat won the Grade 1 Premiers Champions Cup – for a number of reasons.
Not only did the Australian-bred son of Epaulette indicate he is the best two-year-old colt in the country but he also gave De Kock his 117th Grade 1 winner, equalling a record set by Terrance Millard.
“It’s an honour to be in the same breath as Terrance Millard. He was one the trainers as a kid everyone looked up to,” said De Kock. “I am blessed. Over the years I’ve had some great people riding for me, working for me, to train for the clients I have, to have played a part in South African racing.
“Kevin Shea was quick to point out that I probably would have been on 67 if it wasn’t for him.
“But it’s nice now to have settled down with my son and family and to train like this, like a family business.”
Soqrat won by two lengths under Randall Simons, beating his stable companion Alyaasaat into second. Both horses are owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, as is Barahin, the only horse to have beaten Soqrat.
“Sheikh Hamdan is almost the biggest owner in the world right now and for him to have the confidence to race horses in South Africa, and with our stable, is a great honour,” said De Kock.