x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Galileo filly 'a bargain' for the trainer De Kock

The new UAE racing season has just started, but the trainer Mike de Kock is already laying the foundations for next year.

The new UAE racing season has just started, but the trainer Mike de Kock is already laying the foundations for next year with the purchase of the South African filly Uthawini for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. De Kock acquired the filly, who was one of two daughters of Galileo listed at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale in Gosforth Park, South Africa, for R2.1 million (Dh1m), making her the most expensive purchase at the event.

Fillies rather than colts dominated the sale, which produced a record turnover of R27,155m, bucking the trend that has seen decreased levels of investment in major horse auctions around the world. With her sire a winner of the Epsom Derby, the Irish Derby and King George V and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, de Kock was happy to add Uthawini to his stable and felt he had paid a very fair price for her. "She is everything you could want," said the trainer, who will be back in Dubai to contest the Dubai International Racing Carnival on January 28 with a strong string for Sheikh Mohammed that includes South Africa's Group One Golden Horseshoe winner, Musir.

"She has everything, pedigree, looks and conformation. Galileo stands at stud for something like ?300,000 (Dh1.65m) which shows you that this filly can be considered a bargain." Uthawini will not be able to compete in Dubai this season as she missed the 90-day quarantine window for the transport of horses from South Africa to Dubai. @Email:stregoning@thenational.ae