15 November 2019

A pair of Bloodstock South Africa sold Equus Champions made impressive winning comebacks at the Vaal on Thursday, with Celtic Sea storming home to a facile victory over 1400m and Hawwaam putting up a breathking effort over 1200m.

Remarkably, both champions were bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein.

The Sean Tarry trained Celtic Sea put up an impressive four-year-old debut when romping home, under 62kgs, to land a pinnacle stakes for fillies and mares over 1400m in eye catching fashion.
Under jockey Gavin Lerena, last season’s Equus Champion 3YO Filly sauntered home to a deceptively two and a quarter length win for owners Antony and Angela Beck.

A R325 000 buy from the 2017 National Yearling Sale, Celtic Sea has now won seven times (her previous wins include scores in both the G1 South African Fillies Sprint and G1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes), with her latest victory taking her earnings to R2 307 358.

By the late Captain Al, Celtic Sea was produced by the dual winning Mark Of Esteem mare Ireland, whose progeny also include the four time winner Cashel Palace –third in both the G3 Fillies Mile and G3 Acacia Handicap.

The magnificent Hawwaam, last season’s Equus Champion 3YO Colt, stamped himself as a leading contender for this season’s feature races when smashing last season’s G1 Tsogo Sun Sprint winner Chimichuri Run to win a pinnacle stakes over 1200m by two and a half lengths while making his four-year-old debut.

Despite fears the trip would be too short, the strapping bay colt dominated a high-class field, under regular rider Anton Marcus, to win as he liked going away –while confirming himself as one of the most exciting horses currently in training.

Owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Mike de Kock trained Hawwaam was a R1 000 000 buy from the 2017 National Yearling Sale.

Now a winner of seven of his eight starts (he won all of the G1 SA Classic, G1 Premier’s Champions Challenge, and G1 Daily News 2000 and two other graded races last season), Hawwaam is a son of Maine Chance Farms’ four times champion South African sire Silvano and last season’s Broodmare Of The Year, Halfway To Heaven.

The champion’s impressive latest win took Hawwaam’s earnings to over R5.7 million –with the promise of more to come!