Jack Milner: One question on the lips of many pundits has been: “When will we see Hawwaam in action again?”
We now have the answer. The Mike de Kock-trained superstar will run in a Pinnacle Stakes over 1200m at the Vaal on Thursday.
This son of Silvano last ran in the Grade 1 Daily News at Greyville on 1 June.
He was due to contest the Vodacom Durban July at the same course on 6 July but was injured going into the starting stalls and was withdrawn.
De Kock has a trip to Cape Town, culminating in a quest to win the Sun Met over 2000m, in mind for Hawwaam but has said he aims to do all the preparation work in Johannesburg.
The trainer admits he does not know what to expect. “It’s hard to say how he will go. He has not raced over this distance and there are some good sprinters in the race but he is in very good form and I do expect him to run well.
“I just want to get through the start safely.”
It is also worth noting that Anton Marcus will be making the trip from Durban and then travel the 60km from Johannesburg to the Vaal for just one ride – Hawwaam.
We have often seen class middle distance horses come out and win after a layoff and that was the case with Legal Eagle a couple of years back.
But he will be taking on a very talented sprinter from the Sean Tarry yard and that is Chimichuri Run. This four-year-old son of Trippi has raced six times over the distance for three wins and two places.
He beat the best sprinters in the land in the Grade 1 Golden Horseshoe over 1200m at Scottsville and for Hawwaam to beat Chimichuri Run over this distance, he will need to find something special. Raymond Danielson takes the ride.
A race earlier, fillies and mares contest a Pinnacle Stakes and runners from the Tarry yard should dominate the first three places. He saddles the three best-handicapped runners and they should be hard to keep out of the Trifecta, even though this straight 1400m might be a bit short for them.
Celtic Sea will prove very hard to beat. She notched up two Grade 1 races during the winter season in Durban – the SA Fillies Sprint over 1200m at Scottsville and the strong Garden Province Stakes in which she beat Oh Susanna by just under a length.
She almost made it three in a row, this time against the boys, when she was caught late by Kasimir in the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint over 1200m at Greyville.
She is the best-handicapped filly by at least 3kg and has Gavin Lerena up for the first time.