Hawwaam And Celtic Sea Make Winning Returns

Hawwaam with team De Kock. Image: Candiese Lenferna

Hawwaam with team De Kock. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Hawwaam has accepted to run in a 1400m Pinnacle Stakes at the Vaal on Thursday 21 November after passing his first test of the season at the same venue yesterday.

Tabnews reports that Hawwaam went into the starting stall like a lamb, broke on terms and ran out a very easy winner of the Pinnacle Stakes over 1200m.

Mike de Kock had his charge looking in superb nick and the son of Silvano  behaved like a through gentleman throughout. Anton Marcus made the journey to the Vaal for just one ride and was all smiles after the race.

Hawwaam broke well and was always in the firing line. He  hit the front 400m from home and from that point had the race in the bag. Chimichuri Run, who looked Hawwaam’s main danger, ran on too late and was 2.50 lengths adrift at the finish.

Relief personified! Malan du Toit, Anton Marcus and Mike de Kock (Pic – Malan du Toit FB)

De Kock thanked everybody who assisted getting Hawwaam to the track. “Everybody knows there’s a big team around this horse, everybody putting in a special effort. It’s not about special favours or treatment. Everyone wants the horse to succeed and I appreciate that.”

Talking about the performance over 1200m, De Kock added. “The good horses do it. If they want to be the pretenders to the throne they have to produce the goods.”

Hawwaam found massive betting support, and after being on offer at around 18-10, shortened to 13-10.


Horse behaviouralist Malan du Toit  wrote in a social media post that to say he was  relieved is an understatement.

“The last time this horse saw the racecourse was on July day in Durban. Absolute devastation!! The favourite scratched because of behavioural problems in the starting gates. Between then and now there was a lot of brain storming on what would work for him. Between then and today, lots and lots of work was done with him by the team comprising of Mathew de Kock, Vengi Masawi (one of Team de Kock’s assistants), team de Kock’s work riders, Anton Marcus, Ben (one of the best handlers of Gauteng), the starters of Gauteng and myself. Today the plan came together. Well done guys! Success tastes so sweet! One of the important lessons we all learned is that you never know enough especially when dealing with a flight animal that can at best of times be completely unpredictable. Well, this is once again only the beginning! The best is yet to come. The lesson I personally learned out of this whole experience (and this applies to life in general) is what Winston Churchill once said: ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts’. Well done Team de Kock.

It was two prominent Gr1 winners that made winning comebacks with Celtic Sea winning the 7th race. Gavin Lerena was in the irons over the 1400m Pinnacle at the Vaal.

Both horses were bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein. Amongst her field was Gr1 winner Return Flight. Celtic Sea is the winner of two Gr1’s back to back, as well as a Gr2 and Gr3.

The daughter of Captain Al is trained by Sean Tarry, and owned by Mr A R & Mrs A B L Beck. With 7 wins under her belt, she has earned over R2,3-million in stakes.

-extract sportingpost.co.za

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