He’s back. Silvano’s brilliant son Hawwaam added a fourth Gr.1 win to his resumé on what proved to be a red-letter day for both his sire and breeders Mary and Jessica Slack.
Last seen out third in the Gr.1 Sun Met at Kenilworth, his return to Turffontein, arguably his favourite racetrack, once again brought out the best in the champion, who recorded a sterling victory in the Gr.1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes.
With racing taking place behind closed doors, there was no cheering, noisy crowd to upset Sheikh Hamdan’s quirky four-year-old, who is renowned for his pre-race antics. Quietly taken down to the start by young Callan Murray, the colt loaded like a lamb and after racing prominently, claimed the advantage a furlong out. Once in the clear, he strode away from his rivals to land the mile race with authority from stable companion Queen Supreme, the winning margin a facile one and a half length.
Hawwaam’s victory set up a notable double for his sire and breeders and preceded that of undefeated paternal half-sister Summer Pudding in the Gr.2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks.
Sent off a warm favourite, the popular Mauritzfontein colour bearer made her forward move approaching the final furlong and powered home to win with plenty in hand, in the process stretching her perfect record to a perfect six from six, while succeeding in her bid to complete the coveted Triple Tiara.
Jockey Gavin Lerena, deputising for regular pilot Warren Kennedy, was suitably impressed and remarked: “She just glides over the turf and wouldn’t have blown out a candle afterwards!”
Hats off to trainer Paul Peter, who had kept his charge ticking over during the Covid19-enforced hiatus. Lest we forget, Summer Pudding was her trainer’s first Gr.1 winner when she was successful in the Gr.1 SA Fillies Classic back in March. In the post-race interview, a humble Peter paid tribute to retired veteran trainer Ormond Ferraris, whose skill and expertise had ensured that the filly would be primed for the Oaks.
A fourth generation Mauritzfontein homebred, Summer Pudding joins a long list of top fillies to have won this historic Classic in the famed Oppenheimer colours, one stretching back to Angola in 1958! Significantly, she also followed in the footsteps of her ‘aunt’ Cherry On The Top (Tiger Ridge), who claimed the coveted Tiara in 2013. Summer Pudding is out of the champion’s Gr.3 winning half-sister, Cherry On The Cake.
Silvano’s champion son Vercingetorix, the sire of Gauteng Guineas winner Ikigai, narrowly missed out on a second Classic winner when talented first-crop son Padre Pio was beaten the shortest of shortheads in a fierce heads up, heads down finish to the Gr.2 Guineas at Greyville. The Dennis Bosch-trained sophomore had led virtually all the way and was run out of a first black type success by Cape Town visitor Wild Coast. It was a mighty effort from the gelding, who lost nothing in defeat and will surely live to fight another day!