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Mike de Kock - Dubai World CupMike de Kock
(Image : HKJC/GBGC)

Meydan, Dubai
30 March 2013

There is an irony to religion, and I speak of the conventional form, not the kind racing fans tend to worship. For the Christian world, the coming weekend marks the observation of Easter, whilst some Muslim circles simultaneously celebrate one of the planet’s great pagan festivals at Meydan racecourse in Dubai. On Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed and his cohorts will distribute US$37.36 million (a staggering R355 million) in prize-money on the occasion of the 17th World Cup meeting, the biggest hand-out in racing.

For the past couple of seasons, South Africa has had at least three stables represented at this showpiece, Mike de Kock, Herman Brown Jnr and and Singapore-based Patrick Shaw. This year, the burden is more concentrated, though it has to be said, De Kock has ample shoulders and he won’t mind the fact that he’s our only flag-bearer. At this stage, the entries have a rich international flavour, covering 22 time zones from the United States to Japan, and the programme has a smack of an Olympiad to it, with contestants competing over distances from 1000 metres to 3000 metres. While we’ll be speaking to Mike de Kock and a few others during the course of the week and bringing you first-hand news of what you can expect, it’s eye opening to witness the banter, the horse-trading and the jostling that goes on ahead of the final gallops and Wednesday’s draw. It seems there is no end to what one rich man will pay not only to beat another one, but just to have a ticket in a race on the day.

Here are Mike’s runners on the night :

US$1 Million Godolphin Mile (Group 2)
All Weather, 1600m

# Horse Owner Jockey
8 MASTER OF HOUNDS (USA) Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum Christophe Soumillon
9 REROUTED (USA) Chubby Chandler and Lee Westwood Weichong Marwing
13 SOFT FALLING RAIN (SAF) Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Paul Hanagan

US$1 Million Dubai Gold Cup (Group 3)
Turf, 3200m

# Horse Owner Jockey
10 STAR EMPIRE (SAF) Mohammed Khaleel Ahmed Christophe Soumillon

US$2 Million UAE Derby (Group 2)
All Waether, 1900m

# Horse Owner Jockey
6 EMOTIF (ARG) Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum Patrick Cosgrave
8 ZAHEE (NZ) Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum Christophe Soumillon

US1 Million Al Quoz Sprint (Group 1)
Turf, 1000m

# Horse Owner Jockey
7 SHEA SHEA (SAF) Brian Joffe, Myron Berzack et al Christophe Soumillon

US$2 Million Dubai Golden Shaheen (Group 1)
All Weather, 1200m

# Horse Owner Jockey
7 KAVANAGH (SAF) Wilgerbosdrift Pty Ltd (Nom: Mrs Mary Slack) Christophe Soumillon

US$5 Million Dubai Duty Free (Group 1)
Turf, 1800m

# Horse Owner Jockey
6 IGUGU (AUS) Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Andre Macdonald Anthony Delpech
10 THE APACHE (SAF) Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Winston CHow Christophe Soumillon
11 MUSHREQ (AUS) Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Paul Hanagan

US$5 Million Dubai Sheema Classic (Group 1)
Turf, 2410m

# Horse Owner Jockey
11 AWAIT THE DAWN (USA) Katrina Partridge, Mike de Kock, Chris Haynes et al Patrick Cosgrave

US$10 Million Dubai World Cup (Group 1)
Turf, 2000m

# Horse Owner Jockey
() TREASURE BEACH (GB) Fitri Hay, Derrick Smith, John Magnier and Michael Tabor Christophe Soumillon

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