Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH
Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IAN FORSYTH

Top SA race mare Queen Supreme has begun the long journey from Johannesburg to San Diego in California with the five-year-old being aimed at one of the Breeders Cup races in the first week of November.

The exciting plan was revealed by trainer Mike de Kock who also disclosed that US filmmaker Gary Barber had bought a share in the daughter of Exceed And Excel. Barber has owned a number of top horses including 2019 Preakness Stakes winner War Of Will.

Queen Supreme gained an automatic invitation to the Breeders Cup as a result of her win in the grade 1 Paddock Stakes at Kenilworth in January.

For the normal traveller it is a 16-hour journey between Johannesburg and San Diego but because of stringent export protocol restrictions Queen Supreme’s journey will take four months. After three weeks in the quarantine facility in Cape Town, she will go to Mauritius where the required spell in quarantine on the island is three months.

The mare will then travel on to Abington Place at Newmarket in the UK. “It is there where we will be pretraining her for the Breeders Cup before she leaves for San Diego,” De Kock said.

“We’ll be cutting it fine with her travels, but there’s no easier way. It would have been great if we could ship straight to Europe, but that’s still not possible and I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record. A lot will depend on the groundwork we can do with her in Mauritius,” De Kock added.

The 2021 Breeders Cup meeting will be held at Del Mar racecourse which is situated close to the beach. Its advertising slogan is: “Come to the racetrack where the Surf meets the Turf.”

In the more immediate future, De Kock is putting the finishing touches to Malmoos’ bid to win the Triple Crown by capturing the SA Derby at Turffontein on April 3. A R4.4m son of Captain Al, Malmoos goes to post as the winner of six of his seven starts — his only defeat coming in the Cape Guineas at Kenilworth in December.

The Turffontein meeting — still behind closed doors — also features the final leg of the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara as well as the grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes. TAB is predicting a Pick 6 pool of R5m.

In the UK, the British Horseracing Authority announced that from March 22 two owners per horse will be allowed on racecourses in England and Scotland. An increase of six owners per horse is planned from April 12 tying in with the further easing of government virus restrictions. Light refreshments will be allowed for the first two weeks back.

Ged Mason, one of the UK’s leading owners, commented: “There was great coverage of Cheltenham on ITV, but you can’t beat the experience of being there for your runners and being able to see them after the race. I’ve worn the carpet out watching our runners from home.”

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