19 March 2018

Bloodstock South Africa had more reason to cheer following the running of the G3 Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday.
This Abu Dhabi contest went the way of the Mike de Kock trained Light The Lights, who landed the 2018 Abu Dhabi Championship impressively.

Bred by the Hallmark Thoroughbreds, and racing in the familiar Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum silks, Light The Lights was steered to a three parts of a length win by Adrie De Vries, with Janszoon back in second, and Sharpalo two lengths away in third.

The gelding hit the front with 165 yards left to run and stayed on smartly to register his second Dubai feature race win.

Winning trainer Mike de Kock commented after the win, “He was  rated to win at 111,  the nearest to him was 108,  so he had a big chance racing in his class.
“Light The Lights has been a soldier to the stable and to  (owner) Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. He’s a consistent performer who has won at the Dubai Carnival. Adrie De Vries rode a super race, he is a very good rider and he did a lot of work for us last year so I am happy to have rewarded him with a feature winner.:

Light The Light, a R450 000 buy from the 2013 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, s has been a tremendous advert for the quality of thoroughbred produced in South Africa.

The six-year-old, who had accounted for subsequent G1 Jebel Hatta winner Blair House when victorious in a 2000m handicap earlier in 2018, had also won the 2017 Singspiel Stakes when making his Dubai debut.

A son of deceased champion sire Western Winter, Light The Lights is one of seven stakes horses produced by Zimbabwean champion and outstanding broodmare First Arrival. His siblings include a pair of Equus Champions in the form of Let’s Rock ‘N Roll and In The Fast Lane respectively, as well as this season’s classy 3yo, and potential Vodacom Durban July contender, Pack Leader.

Excitingly, Light The Lights has a Silvano half-sister (Lot 151) on offer at next month’s Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale!

The catalogue for the 2018 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale can be viewed online at