Trainer Mike de Kock and team won a pair of feature races, both over a mile, at Turffontein on Saturday for Sheikh Hamdan, snaring the prestigious Group 2 Dingaans with Hawwaam and the Group 3 Fillies Mile with Ghaalla. Hawwaam was a long way back turning for home but sliced through the field and came to the front with less than a furlong to run and won going away for Gavin Lerena. Ghaalla had to work a bit harder for victory, driven to the line in a close finish to prevail narrowly for Randall Simons, though she was always staying on strongly having led near the furlong pole. De Kock said: “We are very pleased for Sheikh Hamdan because Hawwaam and Ghaalla were two of five expensive horses purchased at the National Yearling Sale last year.
Three of the five are now Stakes winners. That’s a high percentage so well done also to Form Bloodstock. “We say it time and again, but Sheikh Hamdan’s support to South African racing is invaluable, his silks are synonymous with decades of the best racing and racehorses around the world. Every winner we train for him is special.” About Hawwaam he added: “He’s a horse who brings his good work to the racetrack; he has plenty of ability and we’ve always rated him. We’d like to look at the Group 1 Cape Guineas in three weeks next. “Ghaalla deserved her win; she has been knocking at the door and we’ve been waiting for her to score again. She needs further than the mile so this was a meritorious win. We’ll look at the Cape Fillies Guineas for her next, or keep her in Gauteng for the Triple Tiara. It will be draw dependent.”