All good things come to those who wait. That may well be the maxim by which the connections of the smart Trippi filly Hammie’s Hooker have persevered. But it now looks like payback time after Saturday’s R150 000 Gr3 Diana Stakes saw the 4yo register her first win in over sixteen months.
Hammie’s Hooker was an exceptional 2yo. A multiple stakes winner, she won five on the trot, including three features, after going second on debut as a 2yo.
She was pipped for the champion 2yo filly title at the Cape Racing Awards by the flying grey All Is Secret, who has proven herself to be quite something. Her most notable recent conquest being the defeat of the champion What A Winter on his swan song appearance in the Gr1 Mercury Sprint.
Hammie’s Hooker confirmed that she had trained on into her 3yo season when putting in a fine effort when second in the Gr1 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas.
A very talented filly, Hammie’s Hooker did not have the perfect prep for the Guineas, and it is an illustration of her class and raw ability, that she got so close to the unbeaten Rumya. She didn’t stay the 1800m of the Paddock Stakes, but then ran good places in the Majorca and Prix Du Cap.
She was thrown out for a well deserved break, with a blank 3yo scorecard.
She returned after a seven month break in September to run a superb second in a Conditions Plate. She upped the ante at Durbanville on Saturday.
While Jet Supreme effectively ruined her chances at the jump, it was Wood Nymph and Intimateconnection who went out to ensure a good gallop.
Van Niekerk had Hammie’s Hooker settled four lengths off the action and going very well.
Into the home run the leaders faltered as Captainofmysoul dashed down the inside, with Fly By Night looking for a gap. Hammie’s Hooker was going well down the centre and she was given the green light at the 300m marker.
In a matter of strides, the odds on favourite picked up her feet and went on powerfully under Grant Van Niekerk to win unchallenged by 1, 25 lengths in a time of 88,04 secs.
Captainofmysoul ran on best of the rest, to stay on for second, while her stablemate Jet Supreme ran a fair race after losing ground at the start. She finished a further 2,50 lengths adrift in third. Definitely one for the notebook at Kenilworth in a month or two!
Another to catch the eye was the Glen Kotzen Silvano filly Omaticaya. Outpaced early at her first sight of this track, she picked it up late in the race and only got going in the final 100m, to finish a 4,55 length fifth. She looks bred for a mile plus.
Messrs Marsh Shirtliff, Bryn Ressell and Markus Jooste went to R360 000 for Hammie’s Hooker at the Cape Regional Summer Yearling Sale in March 2011. She was bred at the home of Pocket Power, Zandvliet Stud, and is by Trippi out of the twice winning Damascus Gate mare Gem Queen, who was trained and owned in her racing career by Greg Ennion.
This was Hammie’s Hooker’s sixth win with 6 places from 14 starts and R645 870 in earnings.
It will have been a major confidence booster, and Hammie’s Hooker can now be followed this summer against her own sex.Gr3 Diana Stakes (SAf-Gr3) Durbanville, South Africa, October 5, R150k, 1400m, turf, good, 1.28.04 HAMMIE’S HOOKER (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Trippi (USA) – Gem Queen (SAF) by Damascus Gate (USA). Owner Messrs M J Jooste, Bryn Ressell & N M Shirtliff; breeder Zandvliet Stud; trainer MW Bass; jockey G v Niekerk Captainofmysoul (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Captain Al (SAF) – Ondina (SAF) by Caesour (USA) Jet Supreme (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Jet Master (SAF) – Solea (NZ) by Zabeel (NZ) Margins: 1¼, 2½, lng nk