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Alexandra Palace in prime spot for SASCOC Triple Crown

One of South Africa’s finest sporting ambassadors, the racehorse trainer Mike De Kock, sends out three runners, including the favourite, in the first leg of the SASCOC Triple Crown series of races at Turffontein on Saturday.

The Grade 2 race over 1 600m at the Johannesburg track showcases the meeting and opens the Triple Crown, where there is a R2-million bonus for any horse who goes on to capture the Grade 1 SA Classic over 1 800m on 30 March and the Grade 1 SA Derby over 2 450m on 27 April as well.

De Kock is widely considered the world’s best trainer and he plies his trade between South Africa, Dubai and England. Over the years he has become a formidable force on the global scene. In South Africa he has sent out the winner of every major race and will be looking to add to that glittering CV this weekend.

The bookmakers have installed his Alexandra Palace as the 4-1 favourite in what is a competitive race and De Kock’s son, Matthew, who looks after the stable’s runners when his father is on overseas duty, spoke highly of the three-year-old who has won two of his six career races.

‘Alexandra Palace is a classy horse but he’s still learning to race. His main mission is the SA Classic but he’s good enough to run a big race over 1 600m. If he gets away with the first leg, he could be a SASCOC Triple Crown contender,’ the young De Kock said.

There is a big field of 16 runners for the main race which will be held at 4.20pm.

A horse worth watching could be Tellina, who wears saddle cloth No16. Trained by Geoff Woodruff ÔÇô who is currently looking at horses in Australia ÔÇô he has won two of his last three races.

Woodruff’s son, Tim is hopeful of a decent run. ‘He is unproven but you’ve got to respect Robbie [Fradd’s] decision to ride him as he had the pick of our rides, and probably a few others, and chose this guy. He is a terrible work horse and gives you no confidence but he just turns it up at the track.’


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