MIKE DE KOCK
Australian racing website justhorsracing.com.au this morning reported that South African trainer Mike de Kock will be setting up an operation in Australia training out of Cranbourne with his son, Mathew.
“De Kock will set-up fifty boxes at Cranbourne and will train in partnership with his son Matt,” reported justhorseracing.
In an interview last Week with De Kock, the trainer said that he does not want to comment about speculation “until anything becomes official”.
“As far as any future plans are concerned I do not want to comment until anything becomes official,” said De Kock.
“We travelled around the country (Australia) to look at what they have and I was impressed with the facilities we saw there.
“What particularly impressed me was the fact that the racing industry is very well supported by the government, who understand the industry is a major employer of labour in the country.”
De Kock did, however, admit this morning that he and Mathew will be setting up a satellite yard at the Cranbourne Racing Centre outside of Melbourne, Victoria.
In a post on his website he said that his South African racing operation will remain the stable’s main base for the time being, to be employed as a platform to feed the Australian stable with horses from South Africa.
He explained: “We are doing this as a pre-emptive move for our exports protocols opening up, we are confident this will be happening soon. We have been doing things the other way around, focusing on importing horses from Australia. Soon we’ll be exporting from South Africa at an exchange rate of roughly 10 rand to the Australian dollar, which is a great opportunity and makes good business sense. We will also be supporting the Australian market as we have been doing.”
De Kock said that Australian Racing and officials at Cranbourne have bent over backwards to accommodate the venture. He commented: “They have been unbelievably helpful. They are building us new stables with a number of other benefits included. The training facilities are excellent with everything from treadmills to good tracks.
“We’ve been going to Australia for a number of years and Mathew will soon be leaving to gain work experience in their industry, to pave the way. Australian racing is run in a very professional manner, they have great organisational acumen and integrity.
“Setting up the new operation won’t happen overnight. There are many official and administrative arrangements to put into place, this could take from six months to a year.”