In suburban Chicago for the 2011 International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park, trainer Mike de Kock told DubaiRaceNight.com that his stable has acquired 2011 UAE Derby (G2) second Master of Hounds. The colt by Kingmambo will race for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, deKock’s main UAE owner. “The 2012 Dubai World Cup would have to be the goal,” the South African trainer said just after observing River Jetez complete her morning trackwork a day in advance of the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (G1).
After his solid performance in Dubai, Master of Hounds was shipped to the US and finished a highly credible fifth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) while in the care of Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle operation. He was sent back to Ireland and prepped for the Belmont Stakes (G1) where he caught a rail draw and sloppy track, finishing tenth.
“I think the 12 furlongs was a bit too much for him,” said deKock. “He’ll ship from England to Dubai with some of our others as the season gets closer. He clearly enjoyed running in Dubai, so it is an exciting addition.”
The deKock yard is familiar to former runners out of the Coolmore operation. Golden Sword and Frozen Fire were accomplished runners out of Ballydoyle to go on to race for deKock in Dubai, with the former getting on incredibly well in his desert surroundings, winning twice at the 2011 Carnival. Golden Sword had been second in the 2009 Irish Derby (G1) for O’Brien.
Also identified as new deKock runners for the 2012 Dubai International Racing Carnival were maiden Mickdaam, currently with Richard Fahey, and Mutahadee, in Ireland right now with Tommy Stack. A 2-year-old colt by Dubawi, Mickdaam “will be pointed for the UAE classics,” deKock reported. A recent third in the Royal Whip Stakes (G2) at the Curragh, 3-year-old Encosta de Lago colt Mutahadee will also join deKock’s stable after running in Ireland out of the Tommy Stack yard. Both horses race in the yellow and blue silks of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa.
Thursday, deKock was crowned champion trainer for the 2011 season in his native South Africa, with his son receiving the award on his behalf. Igugu, winner of the 2011 Vodacom Durban July (G1) was named South Africa’s Horse of the Year and could possibly run in Dubai should current shipping restrictions be lifted. “There has been no change in the current situation with shipping, and all that is needed is some common sense,” deKock said, “so I just hope that with time, some like-minded people can sit down and get it worked out.”
“I have between eight and twelve horses I’d send for the Carnival, but if this doesn’t get fixed, it won’t happen.”