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

Eight-times champion trainer Mike de Kock has announced he will be setting up a satellite yard in Melbourne that could be operational within six months to a year.

Commenting on his website, De Kock said his SA operation would “remain the stable’s main base for the time being to be employed as a platform to feed the Australian stable with horses from SA”.

“We are doing this as a pre-emptive move for our export protocols opening up — we are confident this will be happening soon,” he said.

De Kock said he had received immense help from the Australian racing authorities and had been granted 50 boxes at Cranbourne Racing Centre near Melbourne.

“Setting up the operation won’t happen overnight and could take six months to a year.”

The decision is a bombshell for SA racing, with the sport facing the loss of a legendary character who has won more than 3,200 races and saddled 122 grade 1 winners. In football terms, it can be likened to the Portuguese football team without Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Sporting Post commented on their website: “Given the export protocols and the volatile economic situation in SA, coupled with uncertainty emanating from financial issues at our racing operator, Phumelela, the gross lack of leadership here makes Australia an attractive destination.”

Paul Peter will be as proud of his sixth-place finish in the national trainers log for the 2018/2019 season as Aussie cricketer Steve Smith will be following his two centuries in the first Ashes Test in England.

Last term Peter sent out 120 winners from 816 runners, amassing stake earnings of more than R1.17m.

In the final two months of the campaign, Peter turned to jockey Warren Kennedy to ride a lot of his horses and the combination was regularly among the winners.

At the Vaal on Tuesday, Peter has two runners in the 1,800m fifth race with Kennedy booked for Seventh Of June and Sherman Brown on stablemate Corrido.

The problem for punters is that both horses are in good form — Seventh Of June ran second on his last outing at Turffontein while Corrido is bidding for a hat-trick following victories at Turffontein and Scottsville.

Kennedy rode Corrido in the KwaZulu-Natal race, so the fact that he now switches to Aussie-bred Seventh Of June suggests the six-year-old is probably the stable elect.

However, this is a competitive handicap and the duo face a number of in-form rivals, including Powered Beauty, Madida, Master And Man and Elegancia.

Powered Beauty, also bred in Australia, kicked on well to hold the challenge of Fire And Rescue here 12 days ago and Madida looks on the upgrade after a comfortable maiden win. Gavin Lerena retains the ride on trainer Lucky Houdalakis’s four-year-old.

Master And Man has been placed in his last three outings and trainer Gary Alexander’s five-year-old should be in the money once again. His regular pilot, Denis Schwarz, will be in the saddle.

Dorrie Sham’s six-year-old mare Elegancia has also been paying her way and it would be unwise to leave Raymond Danielson’s mount out of any exotic bets.

Peter and Kennedy  team up with Theatre Of Dreams in the third race, and the daughter of Ideal World is likely to improve on July’s debut at this track. Even so, she could battle to beat stablemate Little Sparrow if an inside draw does not hinder her chance.

Selections

1st Race: (1) Karakoram (2) Western Oasis (6) Amazing Tune (3) Lion King

2nd Race: (2) Nordic Rebel (1) Greenwood Drive (4) Manitoba (5) I Am Batman

3rd Race: (2) Little Sparrow (1) Princess Penelope (15) Theatre Of Dreams (12) Princess Nicole

4th Race: (6) Pink (2) Bid Before Sunset (7) Kirkconnel Lass (10) Jenny McGee

5th Race: (1) Seventh Of June (3) Corrido (2) Powered Beauty (4) Madida

6th Race: (1) What A Red (5) I Aint Trippin (6) Tombola (8) Ficticious

7th Race: (2) Battle Creek (6) Ice Eater (9) Basilica Santo (5) Alex The Great

8th Race: (8) Western Dance (1) Cold Cash (2) Pilgrim’s Progress (6) Illuminate

9th Race: (4) Jacko Boy (2) African Sunbird (12) Plum Field (3) Always Red