Merhaba Impresses In Bloodstock 2000

There have been better days at Borrowdale Park. Racing on Sunday was a punters’ nightmare with most Tote favourites falling by the wayside, while followers of form should have rather gone fishing.

However, that said, I would have been sorry to miss the main race, the US$ 8 100 Bloodstock South Africa 2000 (Gr3), where Merhaba with Apprentice Wesley Marwing in the irons, and trained by Gokhan Terzi, was an impressive winner over the 2000m trip.  His stable companion, Eversolucky, recent winner of the 1800m TBA Silver Slipper, took the early lead with Merhaba and Mica Point keeping in close touch.  Merhaba soon headed the filly and piloted the field well into the home straight where Mica Point surged ahead.  Just when it seemed all over bar the shouting Merhaba found more, fought back, and crossed the line 1.25 lengths clear of the Bridget Stidolph-trained Mica Point.  Tallie Two came through to take third place, two lengths ahead of Eversolucky.

Taking nothing from Merhaba’s sterling effort, Mica Point’s performance here was astonishing.  By West Man, a sprinting to middle-distance sire, Mica Point ridden by Denicious Smith, starting price 12/1, produced some of the attributes expected of a genuine stayer.  It will be interesting to see if his connections line him up for the 2400m Zimbabwe Derby due to be run on April 19.

The Stipendiary Report states that Eversolucky (Quinton Riddle) was “pulling hard and very difficult to settle due to the bit coming through the filly’s mouth”.  Post race the veterinary surgeon said Eversolucky “had the bit over tongue”.

Bridget Stidolph’s charge, Print The Pounds, winner of the Zimbabwe Guineas, was scratched on race day – “lame left front” – so there was no chance that the Triple Crown would be won this year.

TWO WINNERS FOR TERZI

Merhaba, by Mullins Bay and bred by Shadwell Stud, is owned by Mr S. Armstrong.   This Kenyan owner also won the previous race, a 2000m Maiden Plate, with River Waltz, sired by The Sheik, trained by Terzi and ridden by Apprentice Marwing.

The Corne Spies yard produced three winners during the afternoon – Quick Glance, Haili and Jean’s Dancer.

Quick Glance, 25/1, with Hennie Greyling up, won the second race a 1100m MR 75 Handicap, running off a Merit Rating of 54. The Mogok gelding was followed home by stable mates White Whisper (25/1, MR 51), Glastonbury (12/1) and Full Course (16/1).  The Trifecta paid US$ 22 094.40 and the Quartet US$ 34 012.40, but no-one I knew was celebrating.  Definitely not a good start to the Pick 6 for most people.  The Pick 6 dividend was US$ 262 327.80.

Amy Bronkhorst saddled the winner of the first race, a 1000m Maiden Juvenile Plate.  The Gharir colt, Yesterday Man, ridden by Apprentice Collen Storey, won as expected, narrowly beating his stable companion, Slick. Later on this stable won the 1600m MR 64 Handicap with Say So Tiger. Karl Zechner was aboard and  the starting price 7/1. The minor placings went to Maturin 25/1, Second Light 18/1 and Heron Boy 13/2 which resulted  in another decent Quartet paying US $7 363.00.

The next Borrowdale Park race meeting is on Sunday, April 5, and features the Independence Trophy over 1600m –  starting the build up to the prestigious Castle Tankard (GR1) which will be run on May 16 this year.

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