De Kock has Marcus in mind in for July
Trainer confident top jockey will ride July favourite Hawwaan
Top jockey Anton Marcus is in high demand for Vodacom Durban July rides and he was likened this week to the legendary Lester Piggott, who had to box cleverly before he accepted mounts for the Epson Derby.
It appears Marcus will be riding the ante-post favourite Hawwaam for Mike de Kock’s stable in favour of his other regular champion, Eric Sands’ Rainbow Bridge, though no official announcement has been made.
“I am fairly confident that Anton is going to ride Hawwaam,” said De Kock. “He hasn’t told me he is not so I am taking that as a yes. Anton takes juggling to another level but he is coming and riding work every morning like a man that is riding the horse.”
For punters, De Kock’s recent association with Marcus has proved very profitable. They had four winners together at Turffontein last Saturday, including two feature races, and the veteran rider is flying from his Durban base again to take four mounts for De Kock at the city track on Saturday.
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Assistant trainer Mathew de Kock said: “We have every intention of saddling four winners again, but whether things will work out like they did last week I don’t know.”
The young De Kock said Marcus’s mount Lagertha (race 5) was the best of his quartet and also mentioned newcomer Afraad (race 4), a R2,4m National Sales purchase by recently deceased champion stallion Dynasty.
“Afraad is a bit soft still, he needs racing but he shows pace so we give him a chance.”
Wily Vaal trainer Scott Kenny has booked S’Manga Khumalo to ride his 4-year-old Lone Survivor in race 6 over 1,450m. This one is likely to start at decent odds and is the weekend’s best value bet.
Turffontein selections, Saturday
Race 1: (8) Steak and Ale (10) Vaseem (5) On My Mind (9) Tiger’s Rock
Race 2: (6) Escape To Victory (5) Diorama (8) Flaming Opal (10) Nazareth
Race 3: (3) Arabian Air (1) Crown Guardian (2) Flash Burn (7) Comaneci
Race 4: (10) Afraad (1) Orchid Street (3) Campanilla (9) Shady Affair
Race 5: (8) Lagertha (1) Britannia Queen (4) Ocean’s Pride (9) Ocean’s Charm
Race 6: (11) Lone Survivor (9) Tarsus (2) Greenwood Drive (1) Rocky Night
Race 7: (3) Silver Spectrum (1) King’s Archer (5) Private Ruler (7) Marshall Foch
Race 8: (8) Pale Lilac (4) Jamra (5) Tammany Hall (6) Fariha
Race 9: (2) Sans Regrets (1) Ruby Dancer (6) Countess Trenton (5) Frankly