After winning the UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Nad Al Sheba last season, de Kock prepared Victory Moon for an ambitious European campaign which saw him contest three summer group 1 races over a mile, 10 furlongs, and 12 furlongs. His best performance came in the middle race, finishing fifth in the Coral Eclipse, finishing only 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner Falbrav."Falbrav was probably the best turf horse in the world last year. And we were a little unlucky, he could have finished fourth," de Kock said in praise of that effort at Sandown. "But this year we are going to give the dirt a chance. He's more comfortable on it--it's a firm, flat surface. We are thinking of America. We are going that way."Victory Moon, a 5-year-old South African bred horse by Al Mufti--Dancing Flower, by Dancing Champ was bred by Litchfield Stud Closed Corp. and is owned by the Mad Sydicate. A winner of seven of 12 starts, Victory Moon has earned $1.8 million while winning four stakes.
He's won two of three starts already this year: the Sheikh Maktoum bin Rhashid al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (UAE-III) at about nine furlongs and the Challenge Round 3 (UAE-II) at the World Cup distance of about 10 furlongs on March 6. The time for the last effort was 2:03.30, in which he defeated fellow World Cup hopeful Dinyeper by 2 1/4 lengths.Another former de Kock protege, the Zimbabwe-bred Ipi Tombe, also tried her luck in the U.S. under new connections, but her career was curtailed by injury. In her lone American start, she won the Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs for Team Valor, WinStar Farm, and Sunmark Stables and trainer Elliott Walden.