Mike Moon
Horse racing correspondent
2 minute read
1 Jun 2021
8:49 am

Al Sakeet is a life raft in high seas at the Vaal

Mike Moon

The step-up in trip should be just the ticket, with rider Craig Zackey marking this as one of his best chances on the day.

Racing horse Al Sakeet. Picture: Phumelela.


Stand by for large exotic-bet pay-outs at the Vaal Classic meeting on Tuesday. At least three legs of the Pick 6 have warning lights flashing and klaxons blaring, so punters are forced to go a tad wide.

To smooth the furrowed brow, we have Mike de Kock and his sprinter Al Sakeet as a banker in Race 6, Leg 3, of the Pick 6.

The estate of the late Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum might be winding down his racing interests elsewhere in the southern hemisphere, but his horses gallop on in South Africa – and long may they do so. Good horses pleasing the public might be a key to keeping the famous blue and white silks on our racecourses.

Rising star jockey Luke Ferraris dons the colours for his assignment on Al Sakeet and they are likely to start well in the red on the betting boards. But who cares? The mission is to take one Pick 6 leg and deposit it safely in the most impregnable bank vault.

With three victories in four outings, Al Sakeet looks a few levels above his opposition in a MR94 Handicap over the minimum trip. The three-year-old started his career in February, quickly reeling off two 1000m wins before being tested in the 1100m Man O’War Sprint at Turffontein. He disappointed that day, finishing third, adrift of fellow joint-favourite Celestial Love.

De Kock diagnosed an issue and had the youngster gelded. The offspring of Var are nothing if not fast and resilient and this son took that unkind cut very well, stepping out less than a month later and demolishing a Graduation Plate field – over this course and distance.

As the Computaform pundit puts it, Al Sakeet is destined for higher things and this race is an early step on his journey and he will take with a degree of springiness.

It could pay to be with De Kock earlier in the day, too, in Race 1, in which he saddles Pink Legacy for a 1600m Maiden Juvenile Plate. The filly had her sole race in early May and showed decent pace and a smidgeon of staying capacity in running second over 1450m.

The step-up in trip should be just the ticket, with rider Craig Zackey marking this as one of his best chances on the day.


Race 1:

6 Pink Legacy, 2 Fashionigma, 4 Lollapalooza, 1 Canary Walk

Race 2:

5 Iron Will, 9 Motown Magic, 7 Litigation, 10 Transvision Vamp

Race 3:

3 Princess Thiana, 1 Last Song, 6 Ocean’s Pride, 2 Fort Snow

Race 4:

7 Arizona Lady, 2 Barometer, 1 Understated, 8 Intercity

Race 5:

1 Countfonic Legacy, 6 Fred, 9 Black Thorn, 5 Great Warrior

Race 6:

1 Al Sakeet, 3 Captain Hindsight, 7 Enjoy The View, 4 Chief Of State

Race 7:

1 Bella Black, 4 Upcloseandpersonal, 7 Fantasy Flower, 3 Twelve Oaks

Race 8:

2 Miss Costa Rica, 1 Un Deux Trois, 12 Bangor Night, 9 Roger The Dodger

Race 9:

1 Funky Music, 4 Essence, 3 Brooklyn Bridge, 5 Louvain

Pick 6:

1,2,7 x 1,4,5,6,7,9,12 x 1 x 1,3,4,5,6,7 x 1,2,9,10,12 x 1,3,4 (R1890)


1,3 x 2,7 x 1,6,9 x 1 x 1,4,7 x 1,2 x 1,4 (R144)