HAWWAAM, withdrawn for loading problematically and bumping himself minutes before the 2019 Durban July for which he was to start favourite, was re-passed through the gates and galloped in public before the start of last Saturday’s Charity Mile meeting at Turffontein.
Hawwaam was handled by Mathew de Kock, Vengi Masawi and equine therapist Malan du Toit. He stood in the stalls without a snag, jumped well and galloped through nicely from the 1200m mark alongside Al Ramz.
Mike de Kock, keenly watching from the grandstand, commented: “Hawwaam went flawlessly into the pens, stood firm. He did what was required of him, this was his official start and he has earned back his starting stall certificate.
“He also galloped extremely well under Anton Marcus and pulled up sound. Thanks to Anton for flying up to gallop him, to the starter and my team involved. Mathew has been doing a lot of work with Hawwaam, also Vengi who has learnt from Malan.
“Of course with this now behind us, his race day remains a concern, and hopefully he behaves when we get there, this will be his big test. He will contest two Pinnacle Plates before going to Cape Town.”
Malan du Toit said: “Mathew and Vengi did most of the work with Hawwaam, they did a fine job, I was at the track in an overseeing capacity, we started attending to Hawwaam again about a month after the mishap at the Durban July.”
“Matt and Vengi discovered that Hawwaam doesn’t like a handler above him in the stalls when he goes into the pens. He likes to be led in, then he behaves and stands still.
“We did some ground control exercises on Saturday, procedural work to see Hawwaam’s control on the ground. Then we loaded him without Anton Marcus and then with Anton on his back and a stable companion on his side. There were no problems.
“Hawwaam was markedly a bit more excited being back at the track, but he was fine. I must re-iterate that this was a team effort with Matt and Vengi in charge. We may do some more work with Hawwaam at Randjes before his next race, but at this stage things look positive and we look forward to him campaigning again!”