PLANS to take star colt Hawwaam to Australia right after the 2020 Gr1 Sun Met have had to be altered, following a recent change of rules in Australia. Hawwaam will now be exported to the UK, via Mauritius.
Mike de Kock confirmed the news and explained: “The Australians now require runners travelling from South Africa to spend six months in the UK en route to Australia. Residency in UK was 60 days, this changed three months ago to 180 days and I have no idea why. Hawwaam will go into quarantine two weeks after the Met, then on to Mauritius where he will spend three months and then on to the UK for a further six months,” he said.
“The change of Australian protocol has hurt our contingency plans and business plan for setting up an operation in Australia. In effect it will take Hawwaam more than nine months to get to Australia. He will be in training in the UK for his period of residency there and will be entered to race. After the six-month period it will be up to Sheikh Hamdan to decide whether he still wants Hawwaam to go to Australia.” Mike is not sure whether he would continue training the four-year-old in England.
Meanwhile, Hawwaam remains 16-10 favourite for the Sun Met and is looking good despite his disappointing run in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. Mike’s advice? “Just put a line through that race. Things did not go his way.”
He added: “The Sun Met betting is as ridiculous as the Queen’s Plate betting. Given Vardy’s form and impressive manner of winning, how is he not favourite for the race?”