THE punters’ hot-pot favourite Hawwaam was scratched from the Grade 1 SA Derby after bolting from the parade ring and running loose to the starting stalls.

Hawwaam – trained by Mike de Kock and officially rated the 10th best racehorse in the world – was quoted at 1-6 to win the famous race, the third leg of the Triple Crown series.

After playing up in the parade ring and getting away from his handlers, the superstar breezed the short distance down the racecourse to the starting stalls, where he was quickly caught. But, after a vet check, he was withdrawn.

Bizarrely Noble Secret, another short-priced De Kock favourite, was withdrawn on veterinary advice a minute before the start of the Gr3 RA Handicap.

Mathew de Kock reported late in the afternoon that Hawwaam had “no marks on him” after his ordeal. “He got a fright when Marco van Rensburg was dislodged from his mount in the canter past, reared up and then crashed through the rails. We are thankful he wasn’t hurt, this could’ve been worse, but we had no option but to take him out after what had happened.

Two cruel blows for punters meant that their exotic perms were riding on tote favourites. Derby favourite Zillzaal kept them in the Bi-Pot and P/A, but the next new favourite Wonderous Climber saw plenty of P/A tickets hit the bin after Race 9, in which he found the opposition too tough and faded away, unplaced.


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