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The Apache rounds up De Kock hat-trick

Report, Thursday

AFTER a slow start to the 2013 Dubai Carnival by his own standards, with just one previous winner a fortnight ago, the Mike de Kock bandwagon roared into life with a treble, highlighted by The Apache in the featured Group 2 Al Rashidiya.

Having his first start for the trainer, The Apache was never far off the pace under Christophe Soumillon and, once hitting the front a furlong out, they were always holding the challenge of City Style - runner-up to the De Kock-trained Musir in this race last year.

De Kock said: "That is very pleasing because we really thought he would need this having been off the track for almost a year, and having spent so long getting here via Mauritius and England.

"His last run was behind our Igugu and we hope to get her out in two weeks."

Soumillon added: "He had been working well and I was actually quite hopeful - probably more so than the trainer."

Described by his trainer as " the most unlucky horse I have brought here in ten years", it was a case of third time lucky for Mushreq on whom Paul Hanagan won the opening 1m2f turf handicap, the pair pulling well clear of Godolphin's Royal Empire.

De Kock said: "He was too keen behind Royal Empire first time and just had nowhere to go last week, so Paul has done the right thing and kept out of trouble."

The trainer's second winner initiated a double for Soumillon who partnered Rerouted, once Frankel's pacemaker when trained by Barry Hills, in the 7f Tapeta handicap.

Lee Westwood Golf

Lee Westwood: winning owner

  PICTURE: Getty  

The pair caught long-time leader Van Ellis near the line to the delight of part-owner Lee Westwood, who had enjoyed a good afternoon on the golf course in the Dubai Desert Classic.

Westwood, proudly carrying his jockey's whip, said: "Our syndicate have had a few winners here with Right Approach winning the Al Rashidiya before dead-heating in the Dubai Duty Free. This horse has run some good races and deserved a win."

Medicean Man provided trainer Jeremy Gask with a winner with his very first Meydan runner in the 5f turf handicap in which the Tom Dascombe-trained Bear Behind set a scorching pace. However, Harry Bentley was easing closer on the winner, who hit the front over a furlong out and ran on strongly.

With Gask absent, Bentley explained: "A flat five furlongs really suits him and that early gallop has given him tiring horses to aim at.

The Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night would be a target but the end of March is a long way away and he will probably need to win again to receive an invitation. Super Saturday in early March would be an option."

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