De Kock Again Ready to Rock in 2000 Guineas
By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile
Mike de Kock is again at the top of the trainer stats at Meydan Racecourse, and he looks to win Thursday's one mile, Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas again with Zanzamar.
The South African conditioner has won this race four times and seeks a repeat with the South African-bred Zanzamar. Richard Hills will ride Zanzamar, who won the prep for the 2000 Guineas three weeks ago.
Last year's 2000 Guineas winner, Musir, went on to win the Group 2 UAE Derby, as did previous De Kock winners Victory Moon and Honour Devil. Asiatic Boy, also trained by de Kock, won the Al Bastikiya as well, sweeping the UAE Triple Crown four years ago.
Godolphin has two entries among 12 finally declared for the race--Buffum (Worth Watching), who won in New York last year, and Bridgefield.
Paulinho, an Argentinian-bred, tops the official ratings for this group with a 109. Zanzamar has a 104, and Buffum has a 98. Clive Brittain trains Autumn Stakes winner Abjer, a French-bred that has a 104 rating, topping entries foaled in the Northern Hemisphere.
Buffum impressively won his debut on Oct. 30 in New York, only to finish last of five in the Grade II Remsen Stakes on Nov 27. Darley bred and raced his sire, Bernardini, and the outfilt bought Buffum for $1.2 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale in 2009.
The 2000 Guineas is restricted to 3-year-olds bred in the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere; however, the latter ones are considered 4-year-olds under North American racing rules and so aren't eligible for the Kentucky Derby.
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