Exciting news emerging from Mike de Kock’s six winners at Turffontein Standside on Saturday is that he is “seriously” thinking of running the impressive four-year-old Irish-bred filly Queen Supreme in the Grade 1 Gauteng Summer Cup on November 30.
On Saturday she became the third stakes winner for her USA-bred Gone West dam, Call Later, when cruising to a 4,25 length victory in the Grade 3 Yellowwood Handicap over 1800m, beating two classy fillies in Ronnie’s Candy and Roy’s Riviera.
It was her fourth win in five starts.
Queen Supreme is by Darley shuttle stallion Exceed And Excel, who was Australian champion sire in 2012/2013.
De Kock said, “She didn’t beat much but I have been impressed with the way she has gone through the divisions and am seriously thinking of running her in the Summer Cup. She will go down to Cape Town for the Paddock Stakes and Sun Met later.”
Queen Supreme was originally bought at Ireland’s foremost yearling sale, the Goffs Orby Sale, in September 2017 on behalf of Markus Jooste.
She was landed for 130,000 Euros.
De Kock bought her back at a later dispersal sale and she is currently owned by a syndicate consisting of Mauritzfontein Stud, De Kock himself, Larry Nestadt, JR van der Linden and Noeline Malherbe.
Queen Supreme is six months younger than her contemporaries, being Irish-bred, and will be improving continually.
She wears a sheepskin band on her forehead to solve a habit she had developed of rearing up.
De Kock’s Grade 2 Peermont Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile winner Barahin sounded a warning to his Summer Cup opponents.
Jockey Callan Murray said after the 3,50 length win on Saturday, “The blinkers made a massive difference. We just tracked the speed and when we turned into the straight it felt like a five furlong race the way he quickened up. I just held on to him, he extended to the line impressively.”
The maestro trainer added, “Barahin has always been a nice horse, in fact he’s a proper horse. He was unlucky as a three-year-old to be bumping Hawwaam all the time. But today the rain helped him, he’s never been the greatest mover or strider. The sting out of the ground was fantastic for him.”
Barahin was raised nine points by the handicapper to 131, which is going to make his Summer Cup task tough. The weights for the big race were set on Monday and he was allotted joint topweight of 60kg together with his stablemate Soqrat. They will have to give the field 5,5kg and more. On the other hand there are only 13 horses in the handicap as it stands, the rest are under sufferance.
Before Saturday, a mile was considered to be a touch on the sharp side for Barahin, but three of his earlier wins were from 1200m to 1400m. However, he ran on strongly when winning the Jubilee Handicap over 1800m last season so should enjoy the Summer Cup trip.
Queen Supreme was raised from a 97 to 110, but she will nevertheless be 3,5kg under sufferance as it stands if she lines up in the Summer Cup.
Another impressive winner for the yard on Saturday was the three-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding Frosted Gold. This strongly built grey is by All Too Hard, a four-time Group 1 winner in Australia from 1400m to 1600m, and he is out of a stakes-placed sprint-miler by Verglas. Frosted Gold won the Grade 2 SA Nursery last season and also looks to be a sprint-miler, although his second dam produced the winner of the Grade 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud over 2400m.
De Kock said, “He is a nice horse although he is temperamental. He will go for the Dingaans and we will take it from there.”
Frosted Gold was raised two points to 114, which puts him level with last season’s Equus Champion two-year-old male Got The Greenlight.
One of De Kock’s maiden winners on the day, the Noble Tune colt Hellofaride, looks a possible SA Derby prospect as he is an imposing horse who won effortlessly over 1600m in just his second start despite still being green.
However, De Kock is never one to jump the gun and said, “It was a weak field, but I liked the improvement he made from one run to the next, it was impressive. But he needs to improve again. I am not one to overrate a horse like the handicappers do. He is definitely looking for further though.”
The yard’s Australian-bred gelding Atyaab won for the first time since his victory in a weak renewal of the Grade 1 Cape Derby at the beginning of the year. He stayed on to win the Listed Java Handicap over 2400m. De Kock said he had “come well” and gelding him in June had made a big difference. However, he admitted he was no more than “a handicapper.”
His other winner on the day was the Australian-bred Snitzel gelding Alameery who won a maiden over 1160m. De Kock said this horse was looking for further.
Copy David Thiselton, Gold Circle
Images: JC Photography