Mike de Kock said Hawwaam would definitely be avoiding the Gauteng Summer Cup, for which he is the ruling favourite with bookmakers in the ante-post market.
De Kock said the champion Silvano colt was being targeted at the L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate and the Sun Met.
He plans to run him in two Pinnacle Stakes events in Johannesburg before taking him down to Cape Town.
Mike de Kock runs four horses in Saturday’s Grade 2 Peermont Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile, including topweight and favourite Buffalo Bill Cody.
This talented Irish-bred entire cost himself any chance last time in the Grade 2 Jo’burg Spring Challenge over 1450m, dwelling and losing a few lengths.
De Kock said, “He has been flying out the gates at home and always works well and this is probably his best trip. But he is becoming quite coltish and we have no intention of gelding him as he has great potential at stud. So if he misbehaves again I will have to sit down with Mary (Slack) and reconsider his future.”
The Redoute’s Choice five-year-old is unbeaten in four starts over a mile and in his first attempt at black type in last season’s strong Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m he wasn’t disgraced, finishing 2,90 lengths behind Rainbow Bridge.
He is merit rated 125 so has to give 1,5kg to the second top weights on Saturday and he has to jump from a tricky draw of 12 too, so his odds of around 2/1 look a bit cramped.
All three of De Kock’s other candidates, Barahin, Cascapedia and Noble Secret, have the Gauteng Summer Cup as their main target.
De Kock said about Barahin, who carries 58,5kg off his merit rating of 122, “I was happy with his last run, although he wants a bit further and could do with another run under the belt. He is doing well but is another who needs gelding.”
He said about his six-year-old Irish-bred mare Cascapedia, “She needs another run to reach her peak as she had a long holiday on the farm. But I expect improvement on her last run.”
He said about Noble Secret. “His last run was his first after a wind op so he needs another run and he needs further.”
By David Thiselton / goldcircle.co.za