De Kock admits ground doubts
Mike de Kock admits he has doubts about testing ground ahead of Soft Falling Rain's tilt at the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
The South African champion, one of the stars of the Dubai Carnival, lost his unbeaten record on his debut in Britain in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
With that run under his belt, he looked a different proposition when winning the Joel Stakes at Newmarket by over three lengths.
He is likely to clash with the likes of 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach on Qipco Champions Day, but De Kock has one eye on the weather with the October 19 race coming late in the year.
"He came out of the race very well, it is hard to say whether he has improved or not but he seems to be doing very well," De Kock told At The Races.
"The QEII will be a massive step up. I suppose reality sort of steps in when you go into those fields, it will be a really good test.
"I'm not sure how he'd go on soft ground. From what I know about him, I don't think it would suit him if it got too soft.
"If it gets bottomless or something, I'd probably have to discuss with Sheikh Hamdan (owner) about what we'd do, whether we'd take a chance. My gut feeling is that he wouldn't want it too soft."