THAT 1-4 favourite Hawwaam only won the Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes at Turffontein Sunday by a hard-fought head was of no concern to his connections and shouldn’t be a worry to his supporters in the run-up to the 2019 Triple Crown.

Gavin Lerena had to get a bit more forceful than usual on the smart and unbeaten son of Silvano to claim victory in the last few strides, but assistant trainer Mathew de Kock said that he and dad Mike were happy to see that Hawwaam could handle a fight.

Mathew commented:   “Due to all the rain we’ve had at Randjesfontein we had to freshen Hawwaam up, he was a bit underdone and gave a spirited account over a distance too short.

“When he won over 1600m last time we were all predicting how well he’d go over 2000m so for him to drop back to 1400m to win a Gr3 was meritorious. It was good to see him get into a brawl and come out on top, he showed a desire to win and that is good!”

Hawwaam is on target for the Gauteng Guineas, the first leg of the Triple Crown, while his accomplished stablemate Soqrat will be returning to Johannesburg after his big run in the Queen’s Plate and will be aimed at the second leg, the SA Classic.

Photo: JC Photos.

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