Thursday, 7 June 2012
: Trainer Mike de Kock has dismissed Link Man's recent failure when last in the G1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint and predicts a big turn around in his form in the G1Rising Sun Gold Challenge over 1600m at Clairwood on Saturday.
| Mike De Kock|
Photo by Liesl King
“Link Man pulled up 100 percent sound and has been working very well since,” said De Kock.
The Golden Horse was Link Man's first outing since his last in the G1 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate where he was reported to have bled as the result of a broken a blood vessel, earning him an automatic three month suspension.
Link Man showed good pace in the Golden Horse but did not settle and the soft ground on the day made the 1200m a tough test for him.
He can bounce back on Saturday as he is likely to not be as fresh and might also appreciate faster ground from the favourable rails draw.
The Joey Ramsden-trained Variety Club looks to be a world class miler and will be hard to beat but Link Man proved when winning the G2 Gauteng Guineas over the tough Turffontein 1600m last year as a three-year-old that he stays a mile.
Anthony Delpech keeps the ride on Link Man
, one of a typically strong De Kock team engaged at the meeting.
De Kock's runners include Welwitschia
in the G2 Tibouchina over 1450m with the mare having her last race for the season.
De Kock said Welwitschia had been going for long enough this season and deserved a rest after nine runs.
De Kock admitted after her brilliant win in the G2 Camellia Stakes over 1160m at Turffontein that he had been too stubborn in trying to make her stay further and that she was probably a sprinter.
However she has won twice over the 1450m distance before on the Turffontein inside track and once over 1600m.
De Kock also runs Checcetti
, who won the G3 Jacaranda Handicap over 1800m in her penultimate start.
Welwitschia met Checcetti over this distance on the inside track at Turffotein in January and her regular rider Delpech stays aboard.
De Kock runs the G2 Dingaans (1600m) winning three-year-old Silver Flyer
and last season's dual Guineas winner Solo Traveller
in the G3 Cup Trial.
Silver Flyer's reluctance to work in the mornings has been well documented and he will be an interesting horse to follow now that he has been gelded.
De Kock warned: “He won't be 100% fit for his first start after gelding.”
Solo Traveller came from well back in the field in the Betting World 1900 in his last start to finish just under two lengths behind Beach Beauty from whom he received only 0,5kg.
Anthony Delpech, who rode Solo Traveller in the 1900, will switch to Silver Flyer while Kevin Shea will ride Solo Traveller.