South African trainer Mike de Kock is teaching the locals a thing or two out in Dubai and took his total to eight winners for the carnival with a stunning four-timer on Thursday that included success in the UAE 1000 Guineas with odds-on favourite Mahbooba and a Group 3 victory with the exciting Dubai World Cup prospect Bold Silvano, writes Elliot Slater.
De Kock started as he planned to go on with Mahbooba's classic victory being at the expense of her stable companions Reem and Empire Rose who finished second and fourth respectively. The daughter of Galileo, who was crowned champion juvenile filly in South Africa last season, looks a smart performer and her handler expects her to improve and take all the beating in the UAE Oaks back at Meydan on February 24 over an extra furlong-and-a-half.
Christophe Soumillon, who partnered Mahbooba, would complete a treble on the night, the second leg being the handicap victory of de Kock's 7/4f Star Empire. In and amongst, de Kock also sent out 14/1 winner Warsaw, ridden by Kevin Shea, before Soumillon returned to complete a great night's work for trainer and jockey when Dubai World Cup hope Bold Silvano created a tremendous impression by making just about all the running to easily land the Group 3 Al Makhtoum Challenge over nine-and-a-half furlongs.
Soumillon had few anxious moments on the five-year-old who made a stunning Meydan debut, proving far too strong for Frankie Dettori's mount Spring of Fame, with French raider Interaction back in third. Fourth placed Al Shemaali and the fifth placed Gitano Hernando, favourite in the horse racing odds for last year's World Cup and given an awful ride by Weichong Marwing, give the form a very solid look.
On the strength of this performance Bold Silvano has advanced to a best priced 11/2 for the Dubai World Cup behind Cape Blanco and Twice Over, although a couple of firms were sufficiently impressed to make him their new 4/1 ante-post favourite.