Jack Milner: Some top horses from the De Kock, Tarry and Spies stables will begin their search for feature-race success this season at today’s Turffontein meeting.
An assemblage of Mike de Kock runners are carded to make their seasonal debuts in Race 7 at Turffontein on Saturday, a Pinnacle Stakes over 1600m on the Inside track.
While horses such as Like A Panther and Noble Secret will play their parts in the upcoming season, the two most pundits will be keeping an eye on are Soqrat and Barahin. They are expected to play a large role in not only the Highveld Summer Season but also in the Western Cape in the early part of next year.
Soqrat, with a merit rating of 131, is the best handicapped runner in the field and is 2.5kg better weighted than stablemate Barahin. However, he is drawn at No 11 which is not a great place to start your race over this distance on the Inside track.
This was not one of the De Kock runners Callan Murray got to ride in a race before he left for Hong Kong last year but he has got that opportunity now. Soqrat has raced on the Inside track and that was in last year’s Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m in which he finished third.
He will have to be smart about it as Barahin is perfectly positioned in stall No 3 and that could make life comfortable for jockey Muzi Yeni. Yeni rode this four-year-old son of Gimmethegreenlight in the Durban July but after an awkward start, failed to get the horse into the race. He would no doubt love to make it up this time and secure a few more rides on this talented colt.
Noble Secret has not been seen since running unplaced in the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup at Greyville in June but one would imagine the Gauteng Summer Cup is on his wish list. He is currently in 16th place on the log which leaves him in quite a precarious position. He might find 1600m a touch sharp but he races well when fresh and one can expect a forward showing from this five-year-old.
An interesting runner is Roy Had Enough who also is trying to confirm a Summer Cup appointment. He is in seventh place on the log so short of a disaster, he is almost guaranteed a place in the R2-million race field. He is likely to find this trip too short and it is questionable as to whether he will take to the Inside track.
However, he does have Piere Strydom up and is another who could run into the places.
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