Dindingwe Did It Again

Dindingwe (the Cheetah) won the Betty Prosser Fillies Classic, first leg of Zimbabwe’s Triple Tiara, at Borrowdale Park today.

Bred by Ndoro Stud, the daughter of Futura has a host of owners headed by the Shepherd family, and this was her fourth win from five starts. This filly is in the Swanson yard and Apprentice Rodgers Satombo had the ride. The Swanson stable, and *Satombo, had a great afternoon, winning four of the seven races on the card.

The Fillies Classic provided some anxious moments when, 300m from the line, frontrunner Mazikeen seemed to be determined to hold off Dindingwe, but the favourite persevered and drew away to win comfortably.  Mazikeen was second, then True Beauty and Obscure.

Congratulations to all the winning connections.

We Race Today

The first race at Borrowdale Park today, Wednesday, February 24, 2020, is off at 12 30.

COVID-19 protocols apply so racing is still behind closed doors.

View or download the online race card from this site – where a link to the livestream will also appear. In addition, the Borrowdale races will be on Tellytrack Channel 249.

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News

Names Count

Moment In The Sun

Last Wednesday the scheduled Borrowdale Park race meeting was postponed due to heavy rain and it was carried forward to Wednesday 24 February – same card and featuring the Fillies Classic.

At the time of writing, it is all systems go barring another flood.  The meeting will be held behind closed doors and information published previously is on this site.

If you have studied the card you will have noticed Wednesday’s races are named after some of the late Betty Prosser’s favourite horses, one of which was Moment In The Sun. With a name like that how could the son of Kitalpha (USA) fail to have significant impact?

Born in 2008, ‘Moment’ was owned by Betty Prosser and Peter Moor and he raced at Borrowdale from February 2012 to December 2014.  He won four races and was placed 22 times from 32 runs – and wouldn’t we all like to share in such a super trooper?

Sooner or later every racing scribe gets around to writing about What’s In A Name and  https://dailyracingblog.com/ did so recently.  Although originating from America the information about the rules regarding naming a racehorse also applies here, but at the end of the serious stuff the author states, “But most of all have fun with the name” and I quote:  

‘In 1989 there was a filly named THE BRIDE. She never won a race in her short career, but at least one time, at some nondescript racecourse, as the horses made the turn for home, the track announcer got to bellow “And here comes THE BRIDE!’

Perhaps when choosing a name, one should also give more thought to the commentator.

A long time ago I named a horse Something Else…only because I became fed up with choosing brilliant names and then finding out those names were taken. So, I had to think of something else, and eventually decided the only option was to name the colt Something Else. He won races and I had no problem with the name – but Mervyn Hamilton did. One day at Borrowdale I was within earshot of an interesting conversation.

‘What was the horse you could not identify, Mervyn? – and Mervyn, who didn’t pull any punches, snarled, ‘I could identify the horse, but some idiot named him Something Else.’

So, if you can’t come up with a suitable winning name, you can always concentrate on enraging the commentator…

Joking aside, a horse with a perfect name usually wins races, so what about the Fillies Classic? True Beauty is a great name, but will someone please translate Dindingwe?  

PS I now know Dindingwe means Cheetah. Thank you Charles Rwizi

Top Two Clash Again

Stablemates Dindingwe and True Beauty are due to clash again in the 1600m Fillies Classic at Borrowdale Park on Wednesday – and this is the first leg of Zimbabwe’s Silver Tiara.

On previous form it is hard to look further than this sparkling pair but if you are looking for long shots there is Mazikeen from the Gokhan Terzi stable, Borrowdale newcomer Karoo Winter, and Obscure to consider.  Obscure is sister to Lily Blue who won the Silver Tiara in 2020, and for all sorts of sentimental reasons many will be wishing her well.

All the runners are set to carry 58 kgs – but Dindingwe and Karoo Winter will have claiming apprentices in the irons.

Let’s take a look at the field:

 1 (3) DINDINGWE 58.0 (MR88) *R Satombo (2.5) Kirk Swanson

By Futura out of a Jallad (USA) mare.  Dindingwe is the winner of three of her four starts, including the Champion Juvenile Stakes and the Breeders Fillies Mile. Her stable companion True Beauty looks her main threat but in the Fillies Mile she got the better of True Beauty by 2.50 lengths when *Satombo was still claiming 4 kgs.

2 (2) TRUE BEAUTY 58.0 (MR88) N Takawira Kirk Swanson

By Skitt Skizzle out of a Silvano (GER) mare. A winner of three of her seven starts, including the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap and the 1600m Tote Free Handicap, True Beauty is the other class act in this one, but has yet to beat Dindingwe over 1600m. It is guaranteed she is going to try.

3 (6) KAROO WINTER 58.0 (MR76) *W Shumba (4.0) Thomas Mason

By Futura out of a Western Winter mare. 7 starts in the Cape and placed over 1400m and 1600m. Last raced at Kenilworth in November. Dropped in at the deep end for this her first start at Borrowdale but, if fully acclimatised, might surprise.

4 (5) POWDER PUFF 58.0 (MR74) K Derere Noelene Peech

By Judpot (USA) out of a Fort Wood mare.  Placed over 1450 at Turffontein. Only race at Borrowdale was in the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap in October when 4.40 lengths off True Beauty and was also behind Dindingwe and Mazikeen that day. Has probably improved.

5 (4) MAZIKEEN 58.0 (MR69) C Habib Gokhan Terzi

By Twice Over (GB) out of a Black Minnaloushe (USA) mare.  Won her first start over 1000m on February 19, 2020, and since then has been consistently placed from 1200m to 1600m.  Her last outing was in the Guineas Trial a month ago but ignore that as Mazikeen can do better.  However, Dindingwe and True Beauty have proved hard to beat, so far.

6 (1) OBSCURE 58.0 (MR64) T Gould Bridget Stidolph

By Black Minnaloushe (USA) out of a Kitalpha (USA) mare.  On November 28 Obscure won a 1450m Maiden Plate in very soft going with Teaque Gould aboard. She was fourth behind True Beauty, Mazikeen and Suave Judge in the 1600m Tote Free Handicap, and second to Magnus Maximus in the recent Guineas Trial.  An interesting runner.

7 (7) SEATTLE SWIFT 58.0 (MR57) K Steyn Bridget Stidolph

By Alado (GB) out of an Imperial Stride (GB mare). Left the maiden ranks on January 3 over 1600m in very soft going. Prior to that something seemed to have gone amiss in the Breeders Fillies Mile, but she was 5.75 lengths off Tricky Business over 1700m in December. Needs to show improvement to feature here.

Photographs by Jenny Stock, Gavin McLeod and Laurent Viguie

Tatendo Gondo says ‘Watching Racing Is Helping Me Heal’

“On the 28th of December 2019, I was involved in an accident that almost took my life. I sustained a leg injury that saw me spending 69 days in hospital.

 “Those who know me are aware of my passion for sports.

“I remember Sheldene Chant sending me a message and advised me to consider writing more articles about horse racing in Zimbabwe. After that long hospital stay, I was discharged in March. Then, after two weeks, lockdown restrictions were introduced in Zimbabwe.

“Weeks later horse racing received the green light to resume. I remember how Sheldene broke the news to me, “Tatenda, racing is back my dear. But no fans allowed – we have to be content with live streaming the races.”

“With twin scourges of a leg that was healing and COVID-19, I felt as if that was enough. But then I remembered Sheldene’s voice, full of excitement, telling me horse racing was back. The racing ‘analyst’ seemed to have even analysed my mind. I remember tapping on a Facebook notification stating, ‘Borrowdale Racecourse is LIVE’.

“After 69 days in hospital the first sport code I watched was horse racing. Just watching the first race was a beautiful experience that resonated throughout my whole body. Giving me hope that everything would be alright. This kind of hope I will hold in my heart forever.

“But what exactly gave me this kind of hope you would ask? After 79 days off racing the filly, Dindingwe, very nearly won the Jacaranda Tote Free Handicap, finishing 0.10 lengths behind her stable companion True Beauty. There I was comparing 79, and 69 plus days.  

“Why compare a horse and a human you might ask? The answer is a human being and a horse share a special connection.

“After such a long layoff Dindingwe still lived in the moment. This taught me to embrace the present. Being in the present helped me cope with the pain, thus reducing distress.

“Before the race began Dindingwe was quite hard to get into the stalls, and shortly after the start she was bumped by another runner. As a champion she never surrendered, but because of acceptance, managed to race, and almost won, being beaten only 0.10 lengths by True Beauty. The lesson I learnt from Dindingwe is that acceptance is an essential part of life relationships, and the recovery process.

“I have found a new sense of self confidence and self-worth and this has helped me to be more responsible, and to take care of myself. I am grateful for the supportive network, particularly from my parents, Sheldene, and my siblings.

“They say the journey to recovery is very long, and painful, and I am battling with a relapse, indescribable pain, and feeling that this is the order of the day.

“There are no quick solutions, no easy answers, you just breathe deep and wait for it to subside. Most of the time pain gets you where you least expect it. It hits you below the belt and doesn’t let up. Pain creates misery and gives you sorrow, and sometimes can even trouble you.

“But watching horses has been, and is, a great therapy. As we wait for the next race meeting, here’s to a speedy recovery for me.”

(Tatenda Gondo is an established sports reporter, also known as Sports Fanatic. Unfortunately, her introduction to racing has been plagued by ill health and racing behind closed doors, so she has been unable to meet many racing people – or explore the course.  Notwithstanding those difficulties she has been pressing on regardless.)

ABOVE: True Beauty (nearest camera) and Dindingwe in the Jacaranda Tote Free Handicap.  Photograph by Jenny Stock.

BELOW: Dindingwe won the Breeders Fillies Mile (L).  Photograph by Gavin MacLeod.

What A Day Apprentice Walter Shumba

Apprentice Walter Shumba rode the winners of four races at Borrowdale Park on Sunday – Jubilee, Citrusdal, Wantage and Red Pollard.


He and Obscure came a close second to Magnus Maximus in the last race of the day, the 1600m Guinea Trial. Magnus Maximus owned by the Centaur Syndicate is trained by Swanson Racing and Apprentice Rodgers Satombo was in the irons.

Well done to all the winning connections.

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News: Apprentice Shumba and Jubilee, trained by Tomcat Racing.