x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Horse racing: Mike de Kock's Mars on the shelf until Dubai World Cup

Mars was sixth in the Derby at Epsom in June on only his third start after coming sixth in the English 2,000 Guineas, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

Mike de Kock has revealed that the recent acquisition Mars will not run again in Europe this year and will be aimed at the Dubai World Cup in March. Andrew Matthews / PA
Mike de Kock has revealed that the recent acquisition Mars will not run again in Europe this year and will be aimed at the Dubai World Cup in March. Andrew Matthews / PA

NEWMARKET, ENGLAND // Mike de Kock has revealed that the recent acquisition Mars will not run again in Europe this year and will be aimed at the Dubai World Cup in March.

Mars was bought out of Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle operation earlier this week by a South African syndicate. Coolmore, the previous owners, retain a minority stake.

Mars was sixth in the Derby at Epsom in June on only his third start after coming sixth in the English 2,000 Guineas. He then ran third to Dawn Approach and Toronado in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot two weeks later.

The son of Galileo was then fourth to Al Kazeem in the Coral Eclipse and last ran when second in the Group 3 Meld Stakes over nine furlongs at Leopardstown last month.

He made his debut at Dundalk last year and his juvenile victory on the all-weather in Ireland remains his only career success in six starts.

"He is just having a rest in Ireland and we'll ship to Dubai and start all over with him again," De Kock said. "He ran very well in the Derby and that was a hell of a run at Royal Ascot against two of the best milers this season.

"We want to put our heads down, give him a good rest and build him. He's our only 2,000m all-weather older horse and he's our main hope. "We will have a go at the Maktoum Challenges and then see. He's hugely exciting."

De Kock runs Soft Falling Rain, his unbeaten Godolphin Mile winner, in the Group 3 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury today when he faces four rivals, including Godolphin's Tawhid.

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