THE members of Hawwaam’s growing fan club had to sweat for it at Turffontein on Sunday when Sheikh Hamdan’s star three-year-old was challenged for the first time in his short career, but he drew on his class and got up to win the Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1400m from Inexhaustible and Vontreo.
Hawwaam (1-4 favourite), in need of further, stayed in touch with his seven hard-galloping rivals in the early part. He moved up and put himself in contention to win over the last 200m, but Gavin Lerena had to drive him forcefully to keep his head in front and they got there, as expected, though not with the ease that was anticipated.
Mathew de Kock was impressed with Hawwaam’s guts in the finish and said: “When he won first up over 1400m and then took the Dingaans over a mile we all said, ‘wait till he goes over 2000m’. He dropped in distance today so this was a meritorious win because it really is too short for him now.
“We had to freshen Hawwaam, due to all the rain he came into the race a bit underdone. It was good to see him get into a fight and come out on top, he showed a desire to win and that is good!”
Hawwaam, by Silvano from Halfway to Heaven, was bred by Wigerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein.
Mary Slack and Michael Javett enjoyed plenty of good times with champion sprinter Alboran Sea and it was good to see their partnership silks in the winner’s box after a stakes win by three-year-old filly Storm Destiny in the Gr3 Three Troikas Stakes over 1400m.
This was a field of fillies of good quality and Dynasty’s daughter Storm Destiny (17-4 favourite) took advantage of a hot pace that helped her to kick on strongly late in the race. She loomed up from near last, raced up to join a frenetic battle for the lead and won under another good Lerena ride.
“Storm Destiny is a decent filly, also looking for a bit further and she’s a late foal, so showed today that she’s above average with good improvement to come. Well done to Mrs Slack and Mr Javett, we’re hoping she’ll go on to bigger things.”