Brown happy to follow in De Kock's footsteps

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 April, 2007, 12:00am

Mike De Kock may not have been the first but he has helped build the confidence of South African trainers to travel horses as much as anyone, and compatriot Herman Brown is heading down the same path.

In town with Linngari for the Champions Mile and Sushisan in the QE II Cup tomorrow, Brown said the frequent sightings of South Africans at big international meetings now was likely only the start.

'Obviously, there is a financial aspect to it with the difference in the prize money outside and what we race for at home,' he said. 'But there's also the need to be excited. Mike has trained for 20-odd years, I'm about the same and you reach a stage where you need something or you start to get a bit bored.

'It's nice about the money but once it gets into your blood to compete at this level, you want to do it more and more.'

De Kock whet his appetite with the champion Horse Chestnut winning in the United States and he has travelled widely since, including last year's QE II Cup in Hong Kong and big victories at the World Cup meeting in Dubai.

Brown, by his own admission, 'just took a fly' at Dubai's fledgling international carnival and now has 16 stables there for a meeting which grows by the year.

'I needed something new, I didn't have any stars but a couple of decent horses and my first year in Dubai turned out quite good. I've built on that and I'm hoping that with the new racecourse developments they've just announced there that the carnival will be extended,' he said.

'In my view, South African horses still offer the best value in the world. We don't have the same depth as Australia or Europe but there are always 15 or 20 horses worthy of international competition and I'm sure others from South Africa will do it.

'Probably they haven't yet because it's financially taxing to start. You're spending money on staff, horses and nothing's coming in. In Dubai, you don't get paid for the first four months, but after that initial period it becomes easier.'

As for tomorrow's big events, Brown goes into both with live chances - Sushisan probably regarded more as a knockout hope and Linngari, runner-up in the Dubai Duty Free, one of the frontliners if he can secure the right run.

'He's gone so well here in the Hong Kong Mile and then Dubai from bad gates but he doesn't have to get back and should be closer this time,' he said. 'Sushisan ended up back in the Sheema Classic after interference early and it was a place he's never been before, so to be beaten three lengths by Vengeance Of Rain was very good.

'I would probably want something to lead him first run at this track, but he likes to be on the pace and he'll jump out quickly then if something wants to go around and lead him that would suit us.'