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mike de kock trainer

Mike De Kock: claimed sixth South African trainers' championship

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

De Kock looks to Dubai after sixth trainers' title

South Africa: Mike de Kock, who became South Africa's champion trainer for the sixth time on Sunday, is optimistic that he will be able to take Igugu and his other stars to Dubai despite the two-year ban imposed on exports to Europe and elsewhere after outbreaks of African Horse Sickness earlier in the year.

The normal procedure has been to quarantine Dubai-bound horses in Europe for 30 days but Racing South Africa has made an approach to the United Arab Emirates to allow a limited number of direct horse transport flights.

De Kock warned last month that he might be forced to give next year's Dubai Carnival a miss.

Speaking on Tuesday, he said: "I am hoping that common sense will prevail and that the Dubai authorities will realise that we have exported direct out of South Africa before, and that there is no risk."

De Kock's haul of the country's 32 Grade 1 races dropped to six in the 2010-11 season from ten in 2009-10, but his prize-money total was only just over SAR600,000 short of the previous season's record.

His victories included the country's biggest race, the Vodacom Durban July, with Galileo filly Igugu.

"Obviously that, and Igugu's other wins, were the highlight," De Kock said. "She has been a pleasure to train and to watch her progress as she did was most rewarding. She improved with every run."

Justin Snaith narrowly beat his own record for races won by a Cape-based trainer while Mike Bass's total of 123 was his best in 35 years as a trainer.

Anton Marcus

Anton Marcus: champion jockey


Anton Marcus got the better of a hard fought battle with Anthony Delpech to become champion jockey for the second successive year and the third time in all.

Although he had nine winners to spare at the end, he was behind with only a week to go.

Marcus said: "I've had problems with my respiratory system so it hasn't been easy, and we all know what a tough competitor Anthony can be."

Delpech, who rode Igugu to five consecutive victories, had the consolation of setting a prize-moneyrecord of SAR21m (£1.9m).

J.P.van der Merwe was champion apprentice and the other tables have a familiar look to them.

Markus and Ingrid Jooste were the leading owners for the fourth consecutive season and Mick Goss' Summerhill Stud champion breeders for the seventh straight season.

Jet Master was champion sire for the fifth time in succession although on this occasion Captain Al ran him close.

Top jockeys

1. Anton Marcus          234 wins (838 rides)

2. Anthony Delpech   225 wins (1,089rides)

3. Muzi Yeni                  133 wins (1,243 rides)

4. Felix Coetzee             126 wins (987 rides)

5. Sherman Brown      115 wins (1,265 rides)

Top trainers

1. Mike de Kock         21.7m (157 wins)

2. Justin Snaith       12.6m (149 wins)

3. Mike Bass               12.5m (123 wins)

4. Joey Ramsden      9.0m (129 wins)

5. Charles Laird        8.0m (75 wins)

Prize-money in SAR; statistics courtesy of National Horseracing Authority


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