Approval Rating and Andrew Fortune lived up to expectations in the 1000m AFZ Charity Borrowdale Sprint at Borrowdale Park on Sunday when the Gokhan Terzi-trained gelding flew up to beat Pegwell Bay by 0.50 lengths in a thrilling finish.

The six-year-old son of Miesque’s Approval, bred by Scott Bros and owned by Mr S. Armstrong, carried 61.5 kgs and finished like an express train. Briefly there were concerns the top sprinter had “gone out the back door” but once he got his act together Approval Rating justified his 13/20 starting price and he is now a 10-time winner.

Picalilly and Thriller In Manila were quick out the stalls and onto the pace, and Pegwell Bay was right up there. In the closing stages it seemed Pegwell Bay would win, then along came Approval Rating, clearly back to his best. The track was fast and Approval Rating’s time of 56.62 seconds was not too far off the Course Record of 56.01 set by Sports Hero in July 2013, when carrying 55 kgs.

This was the second win of the afternoon for the new Terzi/Fortune partnership. Bankers Blues by Greys Inn (USA) and owned by Dave Rosser and Gengiz Goksel, won the 1600m Maiden Plate comfortably from Bachata, with Slick and Argodaba filling the other places.

Bankers Blues also ridden by Andrew Fortune

Bankers Blues also ridden by Andrew Fortune

Amy Bronkhorst’s yard was also in fine form, scoring with the fancied Chestnut Girl in the 1300m Merit Rated 65 Handicap, and Pente’s Daughter in the 1200m Merit Rated 50 Handicap. Randall Simons rode both horses and Pente’s Daughter (33/1) was having her first run for new owners and locally based “vets” Karl van Laeren and Jane Howard.

Bridget Stidolph trains Nimble Dancer, the winner of the first race of the 2015/16 season. The A.P.Answer colt, owned by Messrs S.N. Buchan, N.Evans, S. Maudsley, K. Smith, K.J. Mullen, M.K. Chant and Bridget Stidolph, runs in Scott Buchan’s colours.

Nimble Dancer with Brendon McNaughton up

Nimble Dancer with Brendon McNaughton up

The stable probably wasn’t expecting Nimble Dancer (20/1) to beat stablemate Cherry Brook (11/10) by two lengths but wild excitement all round, nevertheless. Brendon McNaughton rode the winner – a chance ride which came about when Francois Herholdt missed the ‘plane and Fanie Chambers, originally on Nimble Dancer, switched to Cherry Brook.

It was great to see former Zimbabwe Triple Crown winner, Madigan, in the Winner’s Enclosure after the 1600m Merit Rated 75 Handicap. Zita took the early lead, followed by Madigan’s more fancied stable companion Iron Lady. In the straight Two Gun Kid took over but Zita fought back only to be caught on the line by a fast finishing Madigan.

Madigan (nearest camera) from Zita

Madigan (nearest camera) from Zita

Apprentice Norbert Takawira was aboard the Kirk Swanson-trained seven-year-old gelding who is owned by John Koumides. Now a 9-time winner Madigan is by Joshua Dancer (USA) out of a West Man (USA) mare.

Some of us were expecting good things from It’s By Jingo and, By Jingo, Alyson Wright’s charge did it, leading from start to finish and holding off Stirling Road, always chasing, by 1.50 lengths.

Theresa Rutter and Quinton Riddle

Theresa Rutter and Quinton Riddle

Quinton Riddle had the winning ride in this 1700m Merit Rated 66 Handicap (see pic) and the Century Stand (AUS) gelding, bred by Tommy Millar, is owned by one of Zimbabwe’s top show jumpers, Theresa Rutter – and now we would like to see more show jumping types leading in Borrowdale Park winners! MOTA really appreciates their support in the Ipi Tombe Room on race days, which I suppose is a start.

The next race meeting is on Sunday, September 20. At this Sunday’s meeting the Zimbabwe Air Force provided the band, helicopters and other bells and whistles. The joint was jumping as was the MOTA bar – so, come on everyone, let’s keep up the good vibes.
Photographs: Gavin Macleod

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