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Jack Milner: Every country has a couple of races that, year after year, define the quality of the crop. The Grade 1 SA Classic is, for South Africa, one of those races.

It is a race that brings out the best in horses and that is exactly what happened at Turffontein on Saturday as Hawwaam proved his Guineas’ run was all wrong. The real Hawwaam (11-10) turned up and reversed a 2.70-length defeat in the Gauteng Guineas to beat stablemate Barahin by 5.75 lengths with Guineas winner National Park another 1.50 lengths back in the R2-million race.

It was a very relieved Gavin Lerena who brought Hawwaam back to the winner’s enclosure as he took a lot of flak for the Guineas defeat. This time there were could be no finger-pointing as everything went according to plan.

The half-brother to Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge was kept near the back as Approach Control and Alyaasaat ensured a stinging pace – one that saw Hawwaam lying third last with only National Park, who was adopting different tactics, and Owlinthetree behind him.

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