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Australian Hopes For Hawwaam And Soqrat

In a recent interview, trainer Mike de Kock disclosed that his star colts Hawwaam and Soqrat would travel to the Cape by 10 December, before heading to Australia to further their careers overseas.

“Both my horses are on track for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Sun Met and then off to the UK en route to Australia. That is subject to the protocols being lifted and I’m confident of that happening,” said the multiple champion trainer. De Kock had announced in August that he and son Mathew would be setting up a satellite yard at the Cranbourne Racing Centre outside of Melbourne, Victoria.

He said at the time that they were doing this as a pre-emptive move for our exports protocols opening up and that they have been doing things the other way around, focusing on importing horses from Australia.

The once beaten Hawwaam, South Africa’s Champion 3YO Colt of 2018-2019, is set to have his second outing this season when the Silvano four-year-old lines up in the Betting World -087 741 2777 Pinnacle Stakes at Turffontein this Thursday.

Stablemate, and recent G1 Gauteng Chris Gerber Summer Cup runner up Soqrat (below), an Australian bred colt by Epaulette, races, like Hawwaam, for leading international owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum.

Current figures and stats for horse-racing in Australia, suggest there are a number of good opportunities “Down Under” for the Mike de Kock trained stars who, between them, have already wrapped up two Equus Awards.

Remarkably (and in marked contrast to the state of affairs in South Africa), prize money in Australia has increased by a whopping 84% over the past ten years.

The progressive nature of racing in Australia is also underlined by the fact that in 2019, no fewer than 60 races in Australia were run for a purse of $1 000 000 plus –in comparison, Europe held just 22 races with similar prize money during the same period.

In general, there are a large number of races run over a trip which should suit both colts, particuarly perhaps Hawwaam. No less than 36% (or 215) of the current black type races run in Australia are run over distances ranging from 1600m to 2400 metres.

In addition, both colts’ future stud prospects would undoubtedbly be helped by good runs in Australia, opening further interest in South African bloodstock.

Images: Chase Liebenberg Designs