Hawwaam to ‘Plate’ up


The Citizen (KZN) - - Racing Express - Jack Mil­ner

Front And Cen­tre the run­ner to beat in Cartier Pad­dock Stakes.

Mike de Kock re­alises the task ahead for his two run­ners in to­mor­row’s R1.5mil­lion L’Or­marins Queen’s Plate over 1600m at Ke­nil­worth.

The best horses in the coun­try will line up in this Grade 1 race but De Kock is qui­etly con­fi­dent Hawwaam will rise to the oc­ca­sion. This son of Sil­vano has his quirks but seems to have set­tled down nicely in Cape Town. “I have no com­plaints about the way things have gone with him. His at­ti­tude is good, he is re­laxed and he’s done well on the train­ing tracks,” De Kock said yes­ter­day.

“I’m not re­ally sure we’ve got to the bot­tom of him yet but I think we’re pretty close. I be­lieve this is the fittest we’ve had him com­ing into a race and I’m happy this is his third run af­ter a lay­off.

“He’s in a very good space right now.”

Hawwaam has been in the Cape for al­most a month and has al­ready dis­played his pen­chant for Ke­nil­worth with a flu­ent win in the Grade 2 Premier Stakes over 1800m, in what was his first start on a left-handed course. “I’m not con­cerned that he is com­ing back in dis­tance. The good horses deal with it.

“I’m also not con­cerned about the pace. He can run from the front and come from off the pace.

He’s drawn No 1 so I’m just go­ing to leave it up to An­ton (Mar­cus). He’s a pro­fes­sional.”

De Kock also sad­dles So­qrat, who ran sec­ond in this race last year. “He was beaten by Do It Again but he beat One World which puts him in the race on the Vardy form. I eased up on him a bit af­ter the Sum­mer Cup, but he hasn’t stopped work­ing so how un­fit can he be?

“He’ll be nice and fresh com­ing into the race and it will be a great prep for the Sun Met.”

Vardy is the new kid on the block but he will be hav­ing his sec­ond race af­ter a lay­off. Trainer Adam Mar­cus al­ways said this son of Var would be a bet­ter four-yearold and has been spot-on. The colt eas­ily won his last two starts, which in­cludes the Green Point Stakes in which he had all of these run­ners other than Hawwaam and So­qrat, be­hind him.

“It’s go­ing to be a great race,” said De Kock. “Un­for­tu­nately, we’ll never have a race like this in Joburg be­cause the Cape train­ers won’t come up, de­spite the fact there is a so much money on of­fer.

“They do the talk­ing but they won’t do the trav­el­ling.”

Brett Craw­ford-trained Front And Cen­tre looks to have the Grade 1 Cartier Pad­dock Stakes over 1800m at her mercy and could be a banker but De Kock is hop­ing for a big run from Queen Supreme. “She’s had less work that I would have hoped be­cause of all the rain so if she can fin­ish any­where near Front And Cen­tre, it will be a mas­sive run.”

To take a bet

Go to www.tabon­line.co.za or www.bet­ting­world.co.za

Pic­ture: JC Pho­to­graph­ics

ROYAL RUM­BLE. Hawwaam is in top nick ahead of to­mor­row’s L’Or­marins Queen’s Plate over 1600m at Ke­nil­worth.

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