Britain for De Kock


Last updated at 22:43 27 March 2008

Mike De Kock, the

South African trainer

who has made such a

big impression in

Dubai in the past four

years, is to take out a licence to

train in England.

He had a satellite yard at Geoff

Wragg's Newmarket yard last year from

where he sent out stable star Asiatic

Boy to run well in the Sussex Stakes

and the Juddmonte International.

Mike De Kock

Dubai Carnival king: De Kock

But Racemail understands that De

Kock has been told by the British

Horseracing Authority that he needs a

full English licence to make the arrangement


He plans to concentrate his attentions

in future on Dubai and Europe at the

partial expense of South Africa where

he has been champion trainer several


The 44-year-old, who has won the

Dubai International Carnival Championships

for the past four years, fields a

six-strong team at tomorrow's Dubai

World Cup £10.5million meeting at Nad

Al Sheba, spearheaded by Asiatic Boy,

who De Kock believes is back to his best

after running poorly at the track last


He said: "He is fitter than he was then

(when third to Elusive Warning). He'll

be a lot fitter, a lot tighter and a lot


"He was carrying some condition, a bit

like his trainer, and was lethargic when

beaten last time. He is in better shape

now and definitely readier but the question

is whether he is good enough.

"If the old Asiatic Boy turns up he'll

run a good race but I guess the reality is that Curlin will have to run below his

best if anybody else is going to win."

Curlin, America's Horse of the Year and

1-3 for the £3m World Cup, is drawn wide

in stall 12, but Scott Blasi, assistant to

trainer Steve Asmussen, said: "I don't

believe the outside draw is an issue."

French raider Kocab, trained by Andre

Fabre and drawn widest in 13, has run

once on dirt, when winning easily at

Deauville last time.

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager of

Kocab's owner, Khaled Abdullah, said:

"This is a huge adventure for Kocab and

it is a big step up but he is the most consistent

horse we have in training. He

won well at Deauville so we thought

we'd go for the big one on the dirt."

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