Plenty Of Punting In Zim Today

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Alyson Wright’s champion 2yo Picalilly runs in the Hachiman Sprint

Alyson Wright’s champion 2yo Picalilly runs in the Hachiman Sprint

We are set for a bumper day at Borrowdale Park today with ten races on the card, including the US $8 100 Hachiman Sprint and the $9 000 Guineas Trial, writes Sheldene Chant.

Two Zimbabwean bred horses, Thriller In Manila and Picallilly, get a chance to shine in the Hachiman Sprint  which will be run over 1100m.

Both greys are the progeny of Gharir (IRE). The pair have won four races each, but the three-year-old filly, Picalilly, will concede 1,5 kgs to the four-year-old gelding, Thriller In Manila.  Picalilly set the turf alight as a juvenile and won the Spey Bridge Award as Champion Two-Year-Old last season.  Thriller In Manila came to light at three, winning four races in quick succession.

This duo also share the somewhat doubtful distinction of having run second to Saturday’s runner, On This Rock, in recent outings. When Corne Spies’ charge won the 1200m HRIB Gold Cup on November 29, Picalilly (in receipt of 2,5 kgs) was 1.50 lengths behind him.  On Saturday the filly will be receiving 2 kgs and champion jockey Quinton Riddle has the ride.

Thriller In Manila, along with King Kahal, was withdrawn at the start of the Gold Cup, but was beaten a whisker by Super Trouper in the 1400m Zimbabwe Challenge on December 14. On This Rock finished much further back then, but got the better of the Thriller on November 16 when they met over 1100m at level weights.  Thriller In Manila will be 2 kgs better off here.

Of the 8 runners carded for Saturday’s race the Trippi gelding, On This Rock, can be regarded as the distance specialist having won twice over the Borrowdale 1100m.


Super Trouper – watch the going

Had the rain stayed away I would have suggested this trip was on the short side for Alula Borealis and Super Trouper but, with yielding going likely, neither can be discounted.  Apprentice Serino Moodley rides Alula Borealis and will claim 4 kgs, while Denicious Smith is on stable companion Count The Music.

It seems I can never resist making a case for King Kahal – and one day he is going to oblige. Having fluffed his start on HRIB Gold Cup Day this five-year-old son of Kahal finished 1.75 lengths behind On This Rock over 1100m on November 16.  He will be 0,5 kgs worse off weightwise, but with Sherman Brown aboard I have to give him another chance.

There is one other 1100m event on the card.  This comes in the third race, an MR 50 Handicap, where the 13 runners include one-time winner Rebel Pose who will be racing for the second time in Harare. Others to watch out for are Rocket Runner, Suave Singer, Hollywood Babe and Delta Special.

Borrowdale Park Quartets are often worth winning so why not try your luck in the second and fourth races where the maidens come out in full force.  Five of the 20 runners in the 1000m Maiden Plate will be lining up for the first time at Borrowdale.  Of the rest Burg’s Overture, after three close seconds, has to be included, and then just use a pin!

On previous Borrowdale Park form Merhaba, Spanish Matador, Run By Me and Ocean Boulevard look the pick in the fourth, a 1600m Maiden.  However, those horses having their first trip around the turn complicate things and there are some newcomers. All very confusing, I know…but.  At the last Borrowdale Park race meeting the Quartet on the Merit Rated 65 Handicap, with 20 carded runners, paid US $37 893.50.

Guineas Trial

Atso's Scheme

Atso’s Scheme – Corne Spies will be hopeful

Atso’s Scheme, from the Corne Spies yard, won his first start at Borrowdale Park on September 7 and since then has clocked up another two wins and several close seconds.  He is set to carry a massive 63,5 kgs in the US $9 000 Guineas Trial on Saturday and, if he adds this Open Handicap for all three-year-olds to his victory tally, this son of Atso will be considered a very good horse indeed.

Although drawn wide, with only 10 runners Fanie Chambers should be able to deal with this over the 1600m trip.   The stable fields three other horses – Snow Call, Autumn J and Motivate Mambo – but serious challenges are expected to come from former rivals Supa Challenge, Tallie Two, Eversolucky, Young Antwun and Mica Point.

Kirk SwansonKirk Swanson will saddle Champion Juvenile Stakes winner Supa Challenge who will receive 5kgs from Atso’s Scheme.  Last time out, in the 1600m Tote Free Handicap on November 29, Supa Challenge appeared to have the race won within strides of the finishing post but suddenly ducked to the left.  He was lucky to finish third behind the winner, Eversolucky, and Atso’s Scheme.  Kevin Derere has the ride again and will be hoping for better luck this time.

Young Antwun, trained by Amy Bronkhorst,  finished 2.85 lengths behind Eversolucky in the Tote Free, giving the filly 2,5 kgs. He meets her 1 kg better off on Saturday and regular jockey Karl Zechner, who missed out in the Tote Free, is back on board.

Alyson Wright sends out Tally Two and the only maiden in the race, So Ruler.  Tally Two, by Soar With Eagles, is definitely a main contender having won twice around the turn in impressive open company.  She won the 1600m ZRP Fillies Charity Stakes on October 19 and prior to that scored in a 1700m Graduation Plate, beating Iron Lady and Atso’s Scheme, who gave her 5.5 kgs.

Tally Two finished 3,50 lengths behind Eversolucky, at level weights, in the Breeders Fillies Mile on July 27, but will concede 1 kg to Eversolucky now.

The Ashaawes filly, Eversolucky, was completing a hat trick when she won the Tote Free at the end of November, holding off Atso’s Scheme by 0.10 lengths.  She will be 1 kg worse off when she meets the gelding in the Guineas Trial – so maybe Corne Spies’ charge can carry 63,5 kg and win.  Zimbabwe’s top jockey, Quinton Riddle, rides for Gokhan Terzi.

Mica Point from the Harris racing stable could also be in with a shout. He finished 2.60 lengths off Eversolucky in the Tote Free at level weights, and on October 5 was beaten 0.25 lengths by the filly at the same weights and over the same distance.  In the Guineas Trial he will be ridden by Denicious Smith and will be receiving 4,5 kgs from Eversolucky and 11,5 kgs from Atso’s Scheme.

Could this son of West Man be the joker in this pack, or, if there is going to be an upset, is Snow Call, by A P Answer out of a Northern Guest mare, the one?  Although Snow Call has not yet won any prizes for the Spies yard in Harare, she has run several reasonable races around the bend – dismissing her last start when she was well down the field behind Print The Pounds.

In the Tote Free Handicap, with apprentice Collen Storey in the irons, she was 3.85 lengths behind the winner when receiving 1 kg.  This time Eversolucky has to give away 6 kgs and I remain convinced that weight usually tells.  Snow Call carried 9kgs less than second placed Atso’s Scheme in the Tote Free and this rises to 13 kgs now.  Apprentice Storey might have to put up 0.5 kg overweight but I am finding it very difficult to get my mind around this. (more)

Whatever the outcome the Guineas Trial will be an interesting race.  If Atso’s Scheme makes it to the Winner’s Enclosure he will be a sure thing for the Zimbabwe Guineas which is run at set weights.

Kevin Derere rides for Zimbabwe

Kevin Derere rides for Zimbabwe

Diary Note

On January 18 local jocks Quinton Riddle, Kevin Derere and Brendon McNaughton will be competing in the Jockey Challenge at Ngong.

The Kenyan racecourse is celebrating 110 years of racing.

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