Mike de Kock’s newsmaking star Hawwaam returned to winning ways in style at Turffontein on Saturday when he posted the fourth Gr1 victory of his career with a smooth comeback showing in the R425 000 HF Oppenheimer Stakes.
In the surreal ghost town surroundings of Turffontein, Hawwaam was impeccably behaved and duly delivered the kind of blue chip display that will likely see him leaving our shores soon to compete on the world stage.
And his popular victory gave breeders Wilgerbosdrift-Mauritzfontein a terrific feature double on the afternoon, courtesy of Maine Chance’s super sire Silvano, who turned 24 last month, who produced the earlier winner, Summer Pudding.
De Kock, who saddled the top two, with Queen Supreme (10-1) dashing through late for second 1,40 lengths back, also made it a double in the feature after Soqrat’s smart win in the 2019 renewal.
The winner’s time was 96,10 secs.
Sean Tarry’s gutsy soldier Cirillo (15-2) plugged away all the way up the straight and finished a head back in third.
Mike de Kock, who has been in the news himself the past few weeks, said his horses ‘were flat in Cape Town’.
“Today Hawwaam walked around the ring quietly and ran accordingly. Sheikh Hamdan is deperate to have him abroad. So we have to think hard if we go to Durban or not. He is a horse who would fly the SA flag abroad. And, I have been threatened with my life if I don’t mention his number 1 fan, Frankie Zackey,” he laughed, in reference to the Sporting Post’s charismatic poster, who endured some stick after his idol’s two below-par runs in the Cape.
Ridgemont Highlands-sponsored Callan Murray, who was riding Hawwaam in a race for the first time, said his mount was always going smoothly and put in a polished performance. He said that it was a privilege to ride another Gr1 winner in the internationally famous blue and white silks.
A R1 million National Yearling Sale graduate, the half-brother to Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge was, as stated earlier, 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 now won 9 races with 2 places from 12 starts – his sole unplaced effort being in the Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate behind Vardy, back in January.
He took his earnings to R6 515 775.
We may have the pleasure of watching Hawwaam just one more time on SA soil!