Mike de Kock’s Australia—bound superstar Hawwaam is set to shorten dramatically in the betting for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and the Sun Met after a facile first victory in the Cape at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Defying an unwanted delay at the start and a less than ideal pace, the 4yo colt ridiculed the second run-after-a-rest bogey to win the R350 000 Gr2 Premier Trophy in style.
While his SA career is far from over, with two Gr1 commitments in the next six weeks, it was mission accomplished for the victorious De Kock team after their original Cape programme had to be aborted thanks to an AHS outbreak and the Gauteng weather.
A lamb in the parade ring and going down to the start early, the Hawwaam dream looked to have possibilities of unravelling after the start was delayed for some time with Bunker Hunt having lengthy equipment adjustments.
Cool as a cucumber, on the surface anyway, Anton Marcus jumped off the champion and allowed the handler to ring him behind the gates as the Cape starting team crowded around Bunker Hunt.
Having his first run on a left-handed track and only his second after a five month break, with a forgettable Vodacom Durban July bid sandwiched in between, Hawwaam (7-20) was always in touch with the top trio as Twist Of Fate led Tap O’Noth and Capoeira into the run for home.
At the 350m he ranged up and went on under a hands ride and drew clear to beat the late finishing Bunker Hunt (16-1) by 2,25 lengths in a time of 110,59 secs.
Twist Of Fate was 5 lengths off the winner in third, marginally ahead of the newly gelded Doublemint.
Ridgemont Highlands jockey Anton Marcus said he felt more relief than jubilation at the line.
“It’s comes with a bit of extra responsibility when you ride horses like this. I have so many people to thank. What a team effort. Malan du Toit, the starters, the stipes,” he added.
Mathew de Kock looked after Hawwaam at Milnerton.
“Everybody has gone out of their way. One gets the feeling that Hawwaam has something of a following. We are very fortunate to be able to train horses like this. It’s now on to the Queen’s Plate,” he said.
A R1 million National Yearling Sale graduate, the half-brother to Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge was bred by Mauritzfontein & Wilgerbosdrift, and is a son of multiple champion Silvano (Lomitas) out of the seven-time winning SA Broodmare Of The Year, Halfway To Heaven (Jet Master).
Hawwaam has won 8 of his 9 starts with 1 place for stakes of R5 922 275.
Excerpt from Stipes report:
- a) BUNKER HUNT was stubborn loading, bridle came loose and had to be refitted, causing a delay.
- a) In view of the report from the starter regarding BUNKER HUNT (B Fayd’Herbe), this gelding’s starting stall certificate has been withdrawn and he is suspended in terms of Rule 61.6.10 and until such time as he proves to be tractable with a companion. Suspension dates: 22/12/2019 to 28/12//2019 inclusive). BUNKER HUNT may not be presented for re-passing during this period.
- b) Jockey B Fayd’Herbe (BUNKER HUNT) appeared before the Board and was reminded that the Stewards expect him to make every effort to parade his mounts in front of the stand in future.
Gr2 Premier Trophy (SAf-Gr2)
Kenilworth, South Africa, December 21, R350k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.50.59
1 – HAWWAAM (SAF), 60.0, b c 4, 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 A Marcus
2 – Bunker Hunt (SAF), 58.0, b g 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Secret Obsession (SAF) by Captain Al (SAF)
3 – Twist Of Fate (SAF), 59.0, b c 4, Master Of My Fate (SAF) – Crescent Lily (SAF) by Counter Action (SAF)
Margins: 2.25, 2.75, 0.30