Mike de Kock said he was taking a one to two year view on getting his pending training operation in Australia going and thus his star horse Hawwaam would be racing in South Africa for the whole of this season.
De Kock commenting on Hawwaam’s starting woes said, “He is fine in the pens, in my opinion he just doesn’t need a handler, he becomes unsettled when they are standing above him.”
Hawwaam will thus be on course for the three-way clash of the century in next year’s Sun Met.
The country’s three big guns, Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge and Hawwaam are due to do battle in that race.
They were set to face each other in the Vodacom Durban July last month in an Equus Horse Of The Year decider.
However, Hawwaam had to be scratched after charging the gate and hurting himself.
Fortunately, the lameness was temporary and he was sound by the time he had returned to the parade ring.
Do It Again went on to beat Rainbow Bridge by 0,40 lengths despite giving him half-a-kilogram, thus exacting revenge for his 0,75 length defeat in the weight for age Sun Met.
De Kock still has to have stables built in Australia, work through the red tape of visa requirements and send staff over for work experience.
He said Hawwaam would obviously be a candidate to run for him over there when things were in place but it would all depend on the instructions of his owner Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
By David Thiselton