Jack Milner
2 minute read
24 Apr 2017
11:21 am

Hamaan to bounce back

Jack Milner

Econium Love could run well over this trip.

RACING ROYALTY. Jessica Slack (right) accepts the trophy from HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco after Nother Russia won the Grade 1 Empress Club Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday. (See Back Page). Picture: JC PHOTOGRAPHICS

Hamaan proved to be most disappointing in his last outing when he was beaten 10.25 lengths by Daytona Charger over 2000m at the Vaal.

While one does not like to make excuses for beaten horses, this was clearly not the same sort of performance that saw him finish a 5.30-length third to Pagoda in the Listed Derby Trial over 2000m at Turffontein a run earlier.

There could be a number of reasons for that poor showing, including some of the old superstitions of racing. Firstly, it was his second start after a layoff and he went flat. It was also his second run after gelding and sometimes that does not suit certain horses. Then there was the going. It was soft that day and in two previous outings in yielding going he did not really perform to his best. Finally, there was the issue of the virus that has haunted trainers at Randjesfontein of late and he could have been incubating a disease.

Sean Tarry’s charge is undoubtedly worth another chance.

Tarry would not have stuck him in a race like the Grade 2 Dingaans if he did not have belief in the fellow, especially from No 13 draw. With his merit rating now at 78, the son of Silvano contests Race 8 at the Vaal tomorrow, a MR 86 Handicap over 1700m.

He comes into this event with just 52.5kg on his back and will have the services of leading apprentice Lyle Hewitson. If he runs to the level he is probably capable of, he could be a banker in a tricky card.

An interesting runner is Joe Soma’s Econium Love. Judging by the way he has one race and is then rested, this three-year gelding must have his problems.

Nevertheless, he does have some commendable form, including a 3.80-length third behind Doosra in a Graduation Plate over 1400m at Turffontein in January.

This is his first run in a handicap and Soma has chosen to take on a reasonable field, but that does mean his runner will compete off a low weight of 53kg. The fact that Soma has opted to put S’manga Khumalo on Econium Love, despite the 0.5kg overweight, seems to indicate he is expecting a forward showing.

He tries 1700m for the first time but, based on his maiden win over 1600m, he seems to be looking for distance. Smart Mart had a good season in KwaZulu-Natal last year, especially in staying races, but he showed good pace in an 1800m event last time when fitted with blinkers. This is probably too short for him but he could finish in the Trifecta.

Cockade seems to be the opposite of Hamaan as he loves soft underfoot conditions. He is unlikely to get that at this time of the year but is not without a chance.