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Soft Falling Rain win the Joel Stakes Newmarket 27.9.13

Soft Falling Rain: wouldn't want it too soft at Ascot says Mike de Kock

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

De Kock admits to going fears for QEII favourite

PADDY POWER narrowly favour Soft Falling Rain in their Queen Elizabeth II Stakes market but his trainer, Mike de Kock, is under no illusion at the task his recent Joel Stakes winner faces and also raised doubts about his effectiveness to handle testing ground.

Last year the Qipco-backed £1 million Group 1 was run on soft ground and, having only run when conditions have been good or faster on turf to date, De Kock thinks similar underfoot conditions on October 19 could cause problems.

"From what I know about him, I don't think it would suit him if it got too soft," said the South African trainer.      

He added: "If it gets bottomless I'd probably have to discuss with [owner] Sheikh Hamdan about what we'd do. My gut feeling is that he wouldn't want it too soft."

The mile contest is shaping up nicely with perennial rivals Dawn Approach and Toronado on course to clash for a fourth time this season in the mile contest.

Paddy Power make Soft Falling Rain their 9-4 favourite, with Dawn Approach next at 5-2 and Toronado a 4-1 shot.

On the prospect of Soft Falling Rain tackling the top milers from Britain and Ireland, De Kock told At The Races: "The QEII will be a massive step up and a really good test.

"He came out of Newmarket very well, it is hard to say whether he has improved or not but he seems to be doing very well."

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