Hawwaam’s price for the Vodacom Durban July has predictably been slashed following his convincing win in Saturday’s Daily News and Mike de Kock’s public confirmation that he wants to run his latest star.
Track And Ball, one of the first off the mark, cut the colt from 10-3 to 2.35-1 but by mid-morning yesterday he was as short as 16-10. Rainbow Bridge and Do It Again have been pushed out to 5.25-1 while Saturday’s runner-up Twist Of Fate has come down markedly, from 25-1 to 13-1.
De Kock, who will be bidding for his fifth July but his first for eight years, answered ante-post punters’ prayers by spelling out the exact scenario in his post-race interview with Deez Dayanand.
He said: “The July is our premier race – it’s the one everyone wants to win – and I have always maintained that I am very happy to run this horse in it. If it is up to me, he runs. But I must emphasise the fact that this decision will be made by Sheikh Hamdan and Angus Gold (his racing manager) – the Sheikh likes to be involved in this sort of thing – but they will be encouraged by me to run and, as soon as I get the agreement from them, the public will be told.”
De Kock made the point that Hawwaam’s year older half-brother Rainbow Bridge (who runs in Saturday’s Rising Sun Gold Challenge) is second favourite – “It would be fantastic to see Hawwaam with an older sibling in the same race. It would be a great spectacle and something which I would hope can happen.”
By Michael Clower