Hawwaam has been cut from 15-2 to 9-2 favourite in ante-post betting for the Vodacom Durban July following his very impressive win in Saturday’s Premier’s Champions Challenge.
Punters should hold fire until such time as trainer Mike de Kock makes a public comment about the likelihood (or otherwise) of the horse running in the great race – and that seems unlikely to come until after the colt’s next race which will, in all probability, be the Daily News on 1 June or the Rising Sun Gold Challenge a week later.
Last year’s July winner Do It Again remains on 5-1, while Met hero Rainbow Bridge has shortened to the same peg after going so close on his reappearance in Friday night’s Drill Hall Stakes.
Jockey Anton Marcus’ choice of ride will be key. The four-time champion is the most successful July rider of all time and would appear to hold most of the aces. Do It Again last season was his record fifth win. He is the regular rider of Rainbow Bridge and now, presumably, of Hawwaam too. As if all that was not enough, he gives every impression of riding even better than ever this season.
Twist Of Fate, on whom Marcus won Friday’s KRA Guineas, is the other big July mover, being slashed from 40-1 to 25-1, while Do It Again’s stable companion Magnificent Seven has been shortened from 25-1 to 16-1. – Gold Circle