MIKE DE KOCK
Jack Milner: Mike de Kock has pulled Hawwaam out of Saturday’s Green Point Stakes at Kenilworth but the colt will run in the Premier Trophy a week later.
This four-year-old son of Silvano was carded to come up against his half-brother, Rainbow Bridge, dual Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again and highly regarded One World in this Grade 2 race over 1600m.
The official reason is “interrupted work” and De Kock explained on Tuesday the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal.
“He was due to have a second prep run last Thursday in a Pinnacle Stakes. Then the rain came and that race got cancelled. He has missed out on too many vital workouts.
“He had a very good win over 1200m two weeks ago and knowing we had the Pinnacle Stakes coming up we didn’t press him. As a result, he would have gone into the Green Point Stakes having had two very easy weeks. And there is the travelling.”
Hawwaam is only scheduled to leave for the Cape on Wednesday by road which means he would only get there a day before the race and would not have had a chance to get a gallop in at Kenilworth.
“He hasn’t been to the track since last Tuesday. He also has his mental issues and with him not having a chance to see the track and with the added pressure of having him up as the 8-10 favourite, I’ve decided to err on the side of caution and pull him out,” added De Kock.
However, he has been nominated to run in the Grade 2 Premier Trophy over 1800m a week later, on Saturday 21 December.
“He will run in that race. That gives us a chance for him to see the course,” said De Kock. “It’s a weight-for-age race and he will be pretty well treated.
“He needed another run under the belt and I want him to go into the Queen’s Plate being battle hard. If I wait for a Pinnacle Stake here in Joburg we could have another outbreak of African Horse Sickness and we get have to put him into quarantine.”
Joining Hawwaam on the transport to the Cape will be Soqrat, Battleoftrafalgar, Atyaab and Dublin Quays.
However, De Kock has found himself a little stymied with Irish-bred filly Queen Supreme who finished fourth in the Summer Cup. “After the race I decided to put her in the paddock for 10 days. Then the rain came and I have not been able to work her at all – and she doesn’t go on the treadmill.
“So at this stage I’m uncertain whether she will go to the Cape for those Grade 1 fillies’ races.”
Also skipping the Cape trip will be three-year-old Frosted Gold. “He drew No 20 of 24 runners for the Cape Guineas. I’ve learnt my lesson. It’s a long way to travel for a gallop.”