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The Argentine import Honour Devil is just a head shy of being unbeaten.
For his trainer Mike de Kock, the good news when he was defeated was that it was by a stable companion, Royal Vintage. The pair had a real tussle in the Al Bastakiya over 1800 metres on Super Thursday. On Dubai World Cup night they meet again over the same distance, in the UAE Derby (G2).
The Argentine import Honour Devil is just a head shy of being unbeaten. For his trainer Mike de Kock, the good news when he was defeated was that it was by a stable companion, Royal Vintage. The pair had a real tussle in the Al Bastakiya over 1800 metres on Super Thursday. On Dubai World Cup night they meet again over the same distance, in the UAE Derby (G2).
HONOUR DEVIL (ARG)
4 b c Honour and Glory – Diamond Fitz / Fitzcarraldo
Trainer: Mike de Mock
Honour Devil did enjoy fitness advantage when he beat Royal Vintage by half a length in the UAE 2,000 Guineas (G3) over 1600 metres in February, as he had run once this season and his rival was making his reappearance. It was not the biggest shock of the Carnival when Royal Vintage turned the tables next time. One point to make, however, is that Honour Devil was not at all the same, well-balanced and smooth galloper in the Al Bastakiya. His Guineas run was simply faultless, but he was hanging a bit and looking uncomfortable as he kept on trying to peg back Royal Vintage on Super Thursday. He was ridden differently, and the added distance may not have been ideal for him – but one did get the feeling that he can do better in the Derby. The trouble is, of course, so can Royal Vintage. He was making only his second start of the campaign and should move forward again.
A son of the North American sprinter Honour and Glory, Honour Devil was bred in Argentina, and he was an impressive maiden winner over 1200 metres at Palermo last March. Impressive enough to make Make de Kock and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum interested. They purchased the colt, who is already a Group 3 winner for them and he is an exciting prospect.
How good are these horses? Last year, de Kock and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa enjoyed tremendous success with Asiatic Boy, who swept the Guineas, Al Bastakiya and Derby treble without much fuss. He was outstanding among the young horses at Nad Al Sheba at the 2007 Carnival. Honour Devil is not as good as Asiatic Boy was, not quite yet anyway. That does not mean that he will not become a top class horse one day. This colt has little experience and with just four career starts under his belt, he is open to plenty of improvement. He is a leading contender for the UAE Derby but it is my guess that he is more of a miler. The pace will therefore be so important to his chances on the big night. Often, it is strong in this Derby (sometimes it has been a run at a wild pace) and that would not be in his favour.
Published: 2008-03-09 08:03:19
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