The Apache Retired



The Apache Retired

The Apache winning the Gr2 Al Rashidiyah at Meydan last year. Image: Dubai Racing Club

In a recent tweet on his DubaiRaceNight Twitter feed, Pat Cummings made the following announcement:

“Trainer Mike de Kock confirms The Apache has been retired and will go to stud in South Africa.”

The Apache, bred by Scott Bros at their Highdown Stud, is by resident stallion Mogok out of Apache Rose (by Dolpour). He went under the hammer at the 2009 BSA Two Year Old sale and was knocked down for R80,000 to Mr Winston Chow.

Being earmarked for export to Hong Kong meant that local conditioner Gavin van Zyl had to plan his colt’s career carefully, as Hong Kong Jockey Club rules preclude imports of horses with more than 17 starts. The Apache progressed rapidly, winning his maiden at the third time of asking and soon proved himself in stakes company, winning the Gr2 Dingaans in November 2010 by 1.25 lengths.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum purchased a 50% interest in the colt and he set sail for Dubai in early 2012, having been declared Equus Champion 3yo Colt and winning six of his 15 starts and accumulating R1,9 million in stakes, including the Gr1 Daily News and the Gr 1 Champion Stakes, a fourth place finish in Igugu’s 2011 Durban July and sixth in the 2012 J&B Met, beaten under two lengths by the star mare.

His debut for the Mike De Kock yard was his first in almost a year, and he lined up in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya over 1800m on the Meydan turf under Christophe Soumillon on 31 January 2013. The pair hit the front about 200m out to deny Godolphin’s City Style by three quarters, giving Mike a record fifth career win in this race.

His next outing was the Gr1 Jebel Hatta on 9 March 2013, where he took on stable mates Masterofhounds and Igugu. It looked all over at the 200m mark, but then Godolphin’s talented filly Shajjhaa swooped to beat him by a narrow 0.75 lengths. The Apache followed up with another good second in the Gr1 Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night, again being denied by the Godolphin runner by 1.75 lengths.

The Apache then boarded a plane for the UK, where he ran 4th under Pat Cosgrave in a Gr2 Sky Bet York Stakes on 27 July 2013, finishing 4 lengths behind the talented Mukhadram from the William Haggas yard.

Mike de Kock’s main objective for the colt had always been the Group 1 Arlington Million and by the time The Apache landed in the United States, he had completed five long distance flights and visited four countries in just over a year! The 31st running of the Gr1 Arlington Million over 2000m took place in Chicago on 17 August 2013 and will no doubt live on in racing folklore. The Apache crossed the line ahead of nearest rival Real Solution, only to lose the race on objection in the boardroom.

The next target was the 8 September Gr2 Topkapi Trophy at Vellefendi Racecourse in Istanbul. However, their nomination was rejected by the Turkish Veterinary Authority in a move Mike described as “completely senseless”.

It seems that the connections have decided to bring down the curtain on the colt’s racing career, but his globe-trotting days are not yet done and there may well be another plane trip in his future, depending on where he lands at stud.

*The Apache has a half-brother coming up for auction at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale. Named Red Apache, he is by Miesques Approval out of Apache Rose by Dolpour – bred and consigned by Scott Bros. This is the last foal from Apache Rose as she passed away last year in foal to Mogok.

– sportingpost.co.za


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