Erupt Sires Gr1 OK Grand Challenge Winner

Maine Chance stallion in the news

It was one of those remarkable days of racing that can only happen at Borrowdale Park. Packed stands, loud local music, 51 cars raffled and the nation’s best horses lined up for the Gr1 OK Grand Challenge over 1800 meters.

Amongst the fifteen contenders was the favourite, Raffles, recently imported from South Africa by his connections – at considerable expense – to compete in the nation’s big three, the Tankard, the OK and the Republic Cup.

Deryl Daniels has Buster Barnes in charge

Deryl Daniels has Buster Barnes in charge (Pic – Zimbabwe Racing)

He won the first leg convincingly with Gavin Lerena on board but the OK was going to be a bigger challenge – he was worse off at the weights carrying 62kg, he didn’t have Lerena as his pilot and there was a much younger pretender to his crown in the field.

Three year old, Buster Barnes had just nailed the Triple Crown and was now stepping up in class.

Buster is by a very underrated sire in RSA – the Maine Chase based Erupt by Dubawi – a horse that ran well in both the Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe and the Japan Cup – and was bought from Millstream Stud for R200,000. The winner is out of the Caesour mare, Servilia.

Lazarus man, Deryl Daniels wasted hard to get down to 52 kg so that he could ride without any overweight.

Throughout the race he had Buster positioned well and had him poised to strike as they entered the straight for the finish.

When he asked him for his effort, Buster Barnes obliged with enthusiasm cutting past the field of 14 in the last four hundred meters in effortless fashion and in doing so blowing away Raffles by an extending two lengths.

It is very rare that a three year old can take on the older and best horses in Zimbabwe and come out on top but Buster Barnes did so with consummate ease – he simply blew them all away – going away.

Centaur Chairman, “CJ” Smith said: “In truth I never had any doubt about the outcome of this this race, Buster Barnes is head and shoulders above every horse here. The exciting thing for us is that the boy is still totally unfurnished – his best years are ahead of him, as a three, four and five year old. But where should he race now? Prospects in Zim are a bit thin – so it will have to be elsewhere – RSA or even further afield.Well done to sponsors, OK, and to the MTC for keeping racing going – the future for Borrowdale Park is now very much assured – and for his sake, I hope Deryl’s future is assured too – he is certainly a jockey of immense skill and talent – his time has come”

  • The Centaurian

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