Mike de Kock. File picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Mike de Kock. File picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Despite his plan to open a yard in Australia, Mike de Kock is a man feared by bookies and they quote him at a short price to capture the 2019/2020 trainers’ championship.

World Sports Betting have both De Kock and ruling champion Sean Tarry at 16-10 with Cape-based trainer Justin Snaith on offer at 33-10.

When one looks at the eight-strong team De Kock sends to Turffontein on Saturday, one then understands the bookies’ caution. It would be no surprise to see the stable win three races.

Far and away the best-bred horse at the meeting is Queen Supreme, a daughter of Exceed And Excel who has been responsible for more than 150 stakes winners worldwide. She takes on nine rivals in the eighth race.

De Kock will be hoping Queen Supreme turns out as talented as another of Exceed And Excel’s daughters Nafaayes who captured last season’s Ipi Tombe Stakes and Gauteng Fillies Guineas.

The four-year-old certainly began her career in good style when running out a comfortable winner in the hands of Anton Marcus on her debut at Turffontein in June. This has prompted bookmakers to price the filly at 15-10 in early betting.

Trainer Paul Peter, who saddles the 9-2 second favourite Promise, knows he has one thing going for him — his runner will be 100% fit after her second behind Soul Of Wit in August.

Jockey Warren Kennedy may try to slip the field on front-running Promise, but this will be something Queen Supreme’s rider Callan Murray will be aware of.

Murray has five booked rides for the De Kock stable on Saturday and will be looking forward to partnering the three-year-old Nimitz for the second time in the ninth race.

A son of deceased champion sire Captain Al, Nimitz was beaten in a photo-finish on his debut a fortnight ago and — with that experience under his belt — rates a Pick Six banker at the meeting.

Two older horses, Left Hook and Jungle Book, rate the chief dangers to Nimitz though it will be interesting to see if there is any support for Candice Dawson’s newcomer Seven Nation Army.

The first race is made up of a number of first-timers and they include Peaceontherocks, a daughter of Ideal World from the De Kock yard, Crissy’s Gold and Tropic Sun from the stable of Tarry and a Var filly named Serenity representing Mike and Adam Azzie.

Given his outstanding pedigree, it is perhaps surprising that Marmara Sea is still in the maiden ranks after three outings, but the son of Soft Falling Rain looks worth another chance in the second race.

The colt’s opposition includes Nordic Queen, placed in three of her last four starts, as well as Clinton Binda's five-year-old Inside Politics.

Aussie-bred five-year-old Infamous Fox has done Ralphs Racing proud in 2019 and the import is another good ride for Murray in the seventh race. However, Russian Prince, who showed good pace for a long way in the Spring Sprint, could be the joker in the pack.

Perhaps swingers coupling Infamous Fox and Russian Prince could be the best way to bet on this 1,400m contest.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: No Selection

2nd Race: (6) Marmara Sea (16) Nordic Queen (2) Inside Politics (5) Doublethink

3rd Race: (12) Tobefair (1) Tuscan Light (4) Mazavaroo (9) Fairy Godmother

4th Race: (9) Indy Go (2) Crown Guardian (5) Gimmethenight (6) Chief Of State

5th Race: (6) Alex The Great (2) Tripod (1) Capetown Affair (5) Scarlet Tiger

6th Race: (1) La Bella Mia (6) Ulla (3) Dalai’s Promise (5) Operetta

7th Race: (6) Russian Prince (1) Infamous Fox (7) Flying Winger (8) Approach Control

8th Race: (4) Queen Supreme (3) Promise (6) Flying High (8) Just Kidding

9th Race: (14) Nimitz (4) Left Hook (2) Jungle Book (1) Dogliotti