Mike de Kock
(Image : Thoroughbred News/PTTextures)
“Any day now I expect to hear the cry “Nationalise De Kock!”
De Kock is a strategic resource, a wellspring of revenue and a maker of legend. What self-respecting member of the political gang can resist the temptation to grab a bit of that action? Or indeed all of it?
The glorious revolution demands De Kock be put in the service of the pals, uh sorry, the people.
Why is such a valuable commodity the preserve of the rich? Even worse, De Kock is used by the despicable likes of farmers, bankers and foreigners to build their fortunes. It’s imperialist pillage, colonial rape and cultural hegemony all over again.
If the government owned and ran De Kock, the entire country could share in the bounteous benefits of the phenomenon - as it does with Telkom, South African Airways, the Limpopo education department… oh wait…
If anyone hasn’t twigged, I’m talking of Mike de Kock, world-renowned racehorse trainer extraordinaire who has exhausted every superlative and cliché.
Seriously, come to think of it, our feeble government could well do with a bit of Old Mike Magic; with a wave of the wand, he turns horses into winged wonders. Imagine the clots in the cabinet under the De Kock spell; there’d be a dangerous speed wobble.
Last Saturday at Turffontein, in a line-up of 16 horses in the Charity Mile, five contenders came from the De Kock stable.
One of them won the race - Mujaarib, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai. As if he needs the cash. It could have gone a long way towards building a nice comfy bunker for the people in a compound somewhere.
The other De Kock runners finished in third, fourth, fifth and 14th positions. So, four of the five prize cheques went to the trainer’s connections.
Oh, and he had two other winners on Saturday’s card.
It was the first major meeting of spring and the champ simply picked up where he left off winning in the last Highveld season, and in the Natal winter season, the Cape summer season, the Dubai Carnival.
Mike holds 20 of the 60 early nominations for the Sansui Summer Cup, to be run on December 1, and one wouldn’t bet against his taking the lion’s share of that R2million stake.
There are scores of racehorse trainers in the country, so for one of them to have a full third of the top runners in Johannesburg’s premier race is astonishing.
It tells the story of a compelling winning record and of owners clamouring to have a wizard prepare their nags.
Racing might be an elitist, bourgeois, running-dog capitalist evil to our vapid class warriors, but no one can say De Kock’s success isn’t a product of honest ambition, hard work and talent.
There was no family silver spoon or BEE ladle involved in the rise of the national treasure from Alberton.
Extract from The Times