Jack Milner: The scratching of Hawwaam from the R2-million SA Derby was a double blow for racegoers. Obviously, with Zillzaal, the TAB favourite running second, the remaining 915 Pick 6 tickets on the 1-10 favourite landed up in the dustbin, along with a number of Jackpot tickets.
The other reason is that Hawwaam’s appearance at the Turffontein was one of the main attractions of the day and many pundits were disappointed not being able to see him run.
It was quite clear early on that Hawwaam was quite edgy in the parade ring and was giving his two handlers quite a difficult time.
However, when Gift For The Gap dislodged jockey Marco van Rensburg,
Hawwaam reared, got away from his handlers and fell. He went through a rail and then got on to the racecourse. He then made the short 400m run to the 2450m start where he was caught. After a vet examined him, a decision was taken to scratch him.
Mathew de Kock confirmed the horse was fine and had no abrasions from the incident. “We weren’t sure if he hit his head or something and we couldn’t take a chance and run him.”
He also mused on the highs and lows of racing. “A short while before we were celebrating the victory of Soqrat to win our 120th Grade 1 race and then this happens.
“But Hawwaam will be back, we’re not going to dwell on this,” he added.
Remarkably, they had a further setback in Race 9 when Noble Secret was withdrawn from the Grade 3 Caradoc Gold Cup because he had blood in his nostril.
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