HAWWAAM WINS SA CLASSIC
Jack Milner: When one looks at past winners of the R2-million Daily News 2000 and the R1-million Woolavington 2000, many of them represent some of the best horses produced in this country.
This year will be no different as there is a huge buzz around the clash between Hawwaam and Twist Of Fate in the Daily News while the battle between fillies Front And Centre, Santa Clara, Return Flight and Blossom should produce a humdinger in the Woolavington.
While I am firmly in the camp of Hawwaam, bookmakers are not exactly flaunting their generous side by pricing Mike de Kock’s charge up at 3-10.
He has not run at Greyville, he only travelled to Durban yesterday and there are form lines that put him close to Twist Of Fate.
There is undoubtedly more value in backing Twist Of Fate for a place than Hawwaam for a win.
Fortunately, the son of Silvano will be guided around the Greyville 2000m by Anton Marcus, a jockey who is acquainted with every blade of grass on that track.
Assistant trainer Mathew de Kock confirmed yesterday that all was well with Hawwaam, a winner of five of his six races. “Everything has gone smoothly and we are very happy with him. Of the rest, I do respect Twist Of Fate because he’s proven to be a very good horse.”
De Kock also has Cape Derby winner Atyaab in the race and he could well be used as the pacemaker. “Atyaab is there to ensure there is an honest pace,” said Mathew.
Twist Of Fate won the KRA Guineas a Greyville and trainer Joey Ramsden feels his charge has come on since then. “I give him a serious chance,” Gold Circle reported. “He is such a tough, hard-knocking horse. He did 1 800m in the Politician at Kenilworth looking like he loved it and wanted further while he seemed to like Greyville in the Guineas and was only getting into gear when he crossed the line.
“I like him a lot for Saturday – he has had a great prep going into it with no problems. I am sure it is the same with Hawwaam and it looks like being a fabulous contest.”
Sean Tarry came within a hair’s breadth of winning all four Grade 1 sprints at Scottsville last week and could clock up another Grade 1 with Return Flight in the Woolavington 2000.
She has won at Greyville and has proven with her wins in the SA Fillies Classic, the SA Oaks and the Gerald Rosenberg that the distance will be no problem. Lyle Hewitson jumps from barrier No 1.
Blossom could still be better than her recent form but De Kock says it’s difficult for them to make a prediction, because she only joined the yard a few weeks back. “She’s done well and she is very well.”
One cannot leave Front And Centre and Santa Clara out of the reckoning either.
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