Racing gets off to an early start at Borrowdale Park on Sunday with nine races on the card, including the 2400m Zimbabwe Derby (GR3) which has been carried forward from the abandoned race meeting on April 19.

With three-year-old Classics in full swing, worldwide, this weekend what more can I say about our Derby – bearing in mind that I have said it all before and the field hasn’t changed in the ensuing fortnight?

Merhaba, son of the stallion ,Mullins Bay, who sadly passed on this week, remains the one to beat with plenty of cheek expected from Tallie Two, possibly Mica Point, and Gokhan Terzi’s other charge, River Waltz.

The Derby, due off at 15.35, is the fifth leg of the Borrowdale Park Pick 6. Punters will have to go for broke somewhere along the line, so why not bank on Merhaba. At this moment in time a Derby win for dad would go down well, I think.

Winning even a small percentage of a Pick 6 has become quite a challenge of late, which should mean it’s worth some effort.

Castle Tankard nominee Gentle Brook runs in the 1400m MR 75 Handicap, the first leg, and will be ridden by Apprentice Serino Moodley, claiming 4kgs, in order to get some weight off her back. Zita, with Apprentice Diego de Gouveia in the saddle, also claiming 4kgs, is a danger. Bridget Stidolph fields Demitasse and Casey’s Dance, both sure to be fancied, and don’t write off Wee Doch ‘n Dorris and Pegwell Bay in this one
Kirk Swanson has a strong hand with Goose Green and Shezawarrior in the second leg, a 1600m Maiden Plate, and I would also include Neptune’s Rock who has shown improvement since relocating to Harare.

Seb d’Aquino’s pair, Sea Clipper and Captain Grant, catch the eye in the next leg, an 1800m MR 50 Handicap. Raymond Danielson has the ride on Sea Clipper and should be feeling ultra confident after riding three winners at a recent Turffontein meeting. However, runaway maiden winner Nugget Effect finished a close second to Supa Dupa last time out and on paper looks the one to beat. Another to watch out for is Denicious Smith’s mount, Maturin.

One of the most interesting races on the card is the 1800m MR 75 Handicap which has attracted Killa Man, entered for the Castle Tankard, and his stable mate Forty One. There are 17 runners in this the fourth leg of the Pick 6, and it’s tricky because all of Say So Tiger, Butler Yeats, Supa Dupa, Heron Boy and Arrowfield have to be considered. Merit Ratings stretch from 78 down to 51 so one could decide that the handicapper knows what he is doing and bank on Killa Man.

If you are still in after the fifth leg (when Merhaba has won the Derby) the last leg of the Pick 6, thankfully, involves a small field of 8 runners. Supa Challenge and Amas Amat take each other on in this 1200m Graduation Plate, but Young Antwun has to be respected over this distance.

Having just worked out what it would cost to include every horse I have mentioned, apart from banking on Killa Man and Merhaba, I will probably end up taking a simple, single line Pick 6. That way I might remain fairly pleasant until the end of the afternoon. But the best of British luck to any reckless, sporting people out there.

The First Race is due off at 11 30 and the Zimbabwe Derby will be run at 15.35. Entries for the Pick 6 close at 13 10.

Approaching the finish of the Zimbabwe Guineas on February 22...Print The Pounds, Mica Point, Zita, Eversolucky and Merhaba. Merhaba went on to win the Bloodstock South Africa 2000, second leg of the Triple Crown.

Approaching the finish of the Zimbabwe Guineas on February 22…Print The Pounds, Mica Point, Zita, Eversolucky and Merhaba. Merhaba went on to win the Bloodstock South Africa 2000, second leg of the Triple Crown.

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