De Kock hopes filly can shine for family
Trainer wants In Limbo to enjoy success as a tribute to Chris Gerber
Of all the horses in his care, trainer Mike de Kock will be hoping his three-year-old filly In Limbo has a successful career.
There is a simple reason for this — the filly is co-owned by Bridget Gerber, wife of the late Chris Gerber, who died in October 2018 after complications after a bout of malaria.
Along with many in the racing fraternity, De Kock was devastated by Gerber’s death. He told Business Day: “Chris’s loss is incalculable. He was a man who cannot be forgotten, who cannot ever be replaced.”
Gerber owned the top performer Rainbow Bridge, who was later sold to Mike Rattray and went on to become one of the best horses in the country. His dam is Halfway To Heaven, and In Limbo is the six-year-old’s half-sister.
As they write out their jackpots and Pick 6s, punters are likely to be more interested in form than pedigrees. Even so, it’s a fair bet — if there is such a thing nowadays — that they have heard of champion mare Halfway To Heaven.
Both Rainbow Bridge and his half-brother Golden Ducat are on course for the Cape Met on January 30 — once a must-go event when sponsored by J&B. Last year’s backers, Sun International, do not appear to be involved any more and it is now titled the Cape Town Met and will be run behind closed doors.
At Turffontein on Saturday, In Limbo takes on 11 rivals in the fifth race and, after a promising third last time out, will be fancied to open her account from a favourable draw.
There is one horse standing in the way of a first win for In Limbo and that is the Sean Tarry inmate Aryaam. This daughter of Dynasty has been placed in each of her three outings and should go close in the hands of Lyle Hewitson. Perhaps the boxed exacta is the safest wager.
Later in the meeting, another member of the De Kock camp, Push Off, will try to win his second race when he takes on nine rivals in the seventh race.
After a close second in the Heritage Consolation, the Irish import started at 3-1 to win his next start but ran no sort of race and trailed home in seventh place. Admittedly, he had a wide draw but it was still a disappointing performance.
With a better barrier on Saturday, Push Off may well bounce back, though he faces a Sean Tarry runner, Invincible Warrior, who made a winning debut at the Vaal 18 days ago. The three-year-old is a son of Vercingetorix, sire of last season’s Allan Robertson winner Vernichey.
Paul Peter has star filly Summer Pudding safely back on the highveld and will be hoping for a big run from another female member of his stable, Way Of The World. The daughter of Var, who runs in the eighth race, has been a model of consistency this season with four wins and two placings from six starts.
Once Again, it is a Sean Tarry runner with a big shout as the champion trainer saddles the Skitt Skizzle mare Cordillera. She is 2kg better off with Way Of The World compared to their last meeting.
1st Race: (6) Warrior Captain (7) On Cue (2) Dockofthebay (8) Take Control
2nd Race: (1) Arctic Skyline (9) Southern Cape (4) Gin And Tonic (10) Twice The Trip
3rd Race: (2) Namaqualand (3) Have A Go Jo (1) Puerto Manzano (4) Lady Amherst
4th Race: (9) PrideofFranschhoek (6) Chariot Master (7) Governors Glory (2) Smuts
5th Race: (11) In Limbo (4) Aryaam (6) Mauby (5) Mirren
6th Race: (2) Push Off (7) Invincible Warrior (1) Kingsley's Heart (3) Call Me Master
7th Race: (2) Sultanah (8) Curvation (1) Franklin (5) Ocean Forest
8th Race: (4) Cordillera (5) Way Of The World (8) Flaming Duchess (2) Kayla's Champ
9th Race: (2) Spice Market (1) Chloris (4) Netta (3) Bella Rosa
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