July pair close

VODACOM Durban July favourite Hawwaam worked alongside his stablemate Soqrat at the public gallops staged at Greyville Thursday morning and Mike de Kock was pleased with his runner’s showing.

Mike, whose four July winners all won at 3 years of age, told Turf Talk: “That was a good gallop next to Soqrat, who is no slouch. Hawwaam has come through his preparation very well, he is sound and we’re happy with him going into the last few days before the race.”

Hawwaam remains the 17-10 favourite with his three-year-old stablemate Barahin as long as 6-1 despite Mike expressing his confidence of a “massive” run from the son of Gimmethegreenlight.

While Hawwaam has been prepared at Summerveld, Barahin stayed at Randjesfontein where his own preparation has gone according to plane. Mike said: “This is the best we’ve had him before a race, he was always underdone when previously facing Hawwaam and I reckon it will be a lot closer between them this time.

“Barahin gets 3kg from Hawwaam, and he may also still be a few pounds under-rated so at the weights I’d say he is the horse to beat. He will be travelling to Durban next Friday.”

National log-leading jockey Muzi Yeni was pleased with Barahin’s draw and commented: “Six is a very good draw and I appreciate getting it, particularly as I am drawn among the fancied horses like Rainbow Bridge (4) and Hawwaam (3) while I have Richard Fourie on Do It Again on my outside at ten.”

Last year’s winner Do It Again worked impressively too and gallop-watcher Warren Lenferna reported: “He was floating, he has a stride from here to Cape Town!”

Do It Again is the ninth ride in the July for Richard Fourie who won on Legislate (drawn 11) five years ago. “Ten is brilliant,” he said. “I prefer being drawn out a little because the inside is a big tussle.”

Fourie’s boss, Justin Snaith, said: “I think the older horses, Do It Again, Rainbow Bridge are consistently very strong, they will run their races and be in the firing line. The threeyear-olds will have to be very good.”

Snaith said about Hawwaam: “I think he has to prove it up against these older horses and we will see. He got it all his own way in the Daily News, It won’t be like that in the July. It will be game on. But it’s exciting. We can’t wait for next Saturday.” 

Photo: Candiese Marnewick.

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