Print The Pounds held off a determined challenge from Picalilly in a thrilling finish to the Zimbabwe Guineas (Gr3) at Borrowdale Park on Sunday.
It was almost a repeat of the 1600m Fillies Classic run on January 25 but this time Picalilly, drawn wide, managed to cut Print The Pounds’ winning margin from 1.50 lengths to 0.25. However this still begs the question “Will Picalilly ever get the timing right – or will Bridget Stidolph’s charge manage to keep on keeping her nose in front?”
All going well this pair will meet again in the 1800m Silver Slipper, second leg of the Triple Tiara, on March 8. Eversolucky, who ran a creditable fourth in the Guineas, reportedly with her tongue over the bit, should also be in that line-up.
Print The Pounds, now a winner of four races in quick succession, is by A P Answer (USA) out of Almighty Dollar by Divine Force, and was bred by Clifton Stud. She was sold for R25 000 on the 2013 National Two-Year-Old Sale and is owned by the Sunmark Racing Syndicate. Derreck David rode her, for the first time, in the Guineas.
Zita (45/1), stablemate to Picalilly and trained by Alyson Wright, was the only male to finish in the first four, while the fancied Supa Challenge and the filly, Tallie Two, both disappointed.
Amas Amat set a blistering pace which was unlikely to do either himself or anyone else much good and by the 300m mark he had called enough. Mica Point and Young Antwun were prominent up the straight but fell out of contention at the death, while Supa Challenge was, sadly, never in the hunt. After the race the veterinary surgeon reported this gelding was exhibiting “signs of post race stress, coughing and increased lung sounds, possibly due to a virus.” On Tuesday his trainer, Kirk Swanson, said Supa Challenge’s poor performance had nothing to do with the new equipment, namely pacifiers. “His temperature spiked, his throat is inflamed and bloods indicate a virus.”
Although Tallie Two failed to live up to expectations her supporters are unlikely to discount her in future. Assistant Trainer Penny Fisher of Gee Racing said there is nothing amiss with the filly, so it just wasn’t her day. Horses are not machines.
Apart from that Gee Racing was doing fine with a second and third in the Guineas, plus two winners. Arrowfield proved that shedding her maiden certificate at the previous meeting was no fluke, when she came between Captain Grant and Temple Run and won the 1800m MR 50 Handicap by 0.25 lengths, carrying 60 kgs.
In the next race, a 1900m MR 70 Handicap, Heron Boy (54,5 kgs) got up to beat Butler Yeats (59,5 kgs) by a whisker (0.05 lengths), with Killa Man (61,5 kgs) third. By Dynasty, Killa Man was having his third race after a very long break. He was up with the leaders all the way so it seems he will soon be back to his best.
Corne Spies won the 1000m Maiden Plate with Full Court, one of only two Tote favourites to deliver on Sunday. He then followed up with Second Light in the 1700m Maiden Plate. While it was not so surprising that Second Light won – she was a two-length second to Arrowfield on February 8 – it was the way she won. The Second Empire (IRE) filly skipped away from the field, kept on going, and won by 9 lengths in good time. Second Light has also been nominated to run in the Silver Slipper at the next meeting.
Both Amy Bronkhorst and Kirk Swanson had to settle for one winner each. The Bronkhorst yard sent out Breezing Through who just managed to hold on from a fast finishing Just Knock in a 1400m MR 70 Handicap.
Kirk Swanson’s charge, Delta Special, held on to his victory in the last race of the day, a 1300m MR 50 Handicap, fending off a cheeky challenge from stable companion Lake Nakuru. Delta Special is now a three-time winner and has been thereabouts for quite a while.
There will be two feature races at the next Borrowdale Park race meeting on Sunday March 8 – the US$ 12 000 Zimoco Ipi Tombe Stakes and the US$ 7 500 Silver Slipper.