Mike de Kock’s Silvano colt Hawwaam staked his Cape Guineas claims in just over 97 seconds at Turffontein on Saturday when he charged clear to maintain his unbeaten record with an eyecatching victory in the R500 000 Gr2 Dingaans.
A traditional classic pointer, there is little question that the Dingaans class of 2018 had been considerably weakened by the withdrawal of Hawwaam’s Gr1 winning stablemate Soqrat.
Add to that the fact that the Yvette Bremner-trained Graham Beck Stakes winner National Park failed to repeat his effort when pulling off a giantkilling act beating subsequent Concorde Cup runner-up Chimichuri Run by close on six lengths.
So some may have been doubting the magnitude of the performance.
But there was much more to like than doubt about the inexperienced Hawwaam’s Gr2 victory at just his second start.
Jumping from a wide draw, the winner of South Africa’s historic first ‘no crop’ race on Charity Mile day was last turning for home, and had the best part of ten lengths to make up at the 500m marker.
But after the KZN raider Thanksgiving had hit the front at the 350m looking very dangerous, Gavin Lerena unleashed Hawwaam and the son of Silvano simply lengthened his stride impressively to make up lengths to win going away and full of running by 3,40 lengths in a time of 97,63 secs.
It was a nice effort from the Duncan Howells-trained Thanksgiving who had run a half length second to Stream Ahead in the Listed KZN Guineas Trial at his last start.
Green Haze showed his Graham Beck Stakes run to be all wrong and turned the tables on National Park – finishing a further 1,80 lengths back in third.
The fancied Graham Beck stakes winner National Park tried to go all the way, but came under early pressure in the home straight and hung on for a modest 7,40 length fourth. He seems much better than this.
KZN challenger White Lightning was pulled up and finished an official 32,25 lengths off the winner. The stipes report may tell us more.
Bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein, Hawwaam was a R1 million National Yearling Sale graduate for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum.
A son of multiple champion sire Silvano (Lomitas), he is a half-brother to Cape-based unbeaten Ideal World stakes winner Rainbow Bridge.
These two extremely smart males are out of the very versatile seven-time winner Halfway To Heaven (Jet Master), whose successes included the 2013 Gr3 Prix Du Cap. She was trained initially by Eric Sands and after changing hands, by Mike de Kock, during her racing career.
Halfway To Heaven is out of Pas De Basque, a somewhat light on pedigree Rambo Dancer mare that stood at Ingrid Klug’s Wynnholme Stud until her passing from a heart issue two years ago – she left behind a filly by Duke Of Marmalade.
Imagine the two half-brothers clashing in the Sun Met? But let’s not jump the gun. There is plenty of water to flow under the – excuse the pun – proverbial bridge, yet.
For now we will savour the clash that looms in the Cape Guineas on 15 December with another unbeaten 3yo in Vaughan Marshall’s One World.
Gr2 Dingaans (SAf-Gr2)
Turffontein, South Africa, November 24, R500k, 1600m, turf, good, 1.37.63
1 – HAWWAAM (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Silvano (GER) – Halfway To Heaven (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF). Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; Breeder Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein; trainer MF de Kock; jockey G Lerena
2 – Thanksgiving (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Dynasty (SAF) – Torrential Rain (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
3 – Green Haze (SAF), 60.0, b c 3, Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Mizzen Mist (SAF) by Western Winter (USA)
Margins: 3.40, 1.80, 2.20