Call Me Earl Or Demagogue?
The feature race at Borrowdale Park on Sunday is the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap, for all three-year-olds, due off at 16:50pm. Weights have been determined at the discretion of the handicapper and Andrew Fortune’s mount, Demagogue, will be giving weight to the rest of the field.
The Argonaut gelding’s two wins from four starts include the 1000m TBA Sales Stakes, and he ran a distant third to Equiano in the 1200m Champion Juvenile Stakes. That day Demagogue finished four lengths behind Sunday’s runner Call Me Earl, and Apprentice Wesley Marwing reported he felt something was amiss 200m out, although nothing untoward was found.
Next time out, on August 9, Demagogue raced in Gauteng over 1000m and ran a shocker behind Maji Moto while conceding 6 kgs. This is his first race back at Borrowdale and, in the absence of Equiano (who is recovering from a training injury), Demagogue will have plenty of support on his home course. Being a bit of a pessimist, however, I have to recall that his best runs, to date, have been over a shorter trip.
Both Super Good and Call Me Earl can be expected to give Gokhan Terzi’s charge some cheek. This trio debuted together on April 5 in a 1000m Maiden Juvenile Plate, won by Demagogue, and he beat Super Good again in the TBA Sales Stakes. Trained by Bridget Stidolph, Super Good is by Announce out of a Dynasty mare. He won over 1100m, not beating much, and has yet to race over 1200m.
However Call Me Earl, from the Alyson Wright stable, ticks most of the boxes. He won over 1200m early in May, beating Equiano on that occasion, and was most impressive at the last race meeting when finishing 0.10 lengths off the in-form Nimble Dancer, again over 1200m, when giving away 2 kgs.
Perhaps Duffi’s Call and Betula Uber, as well as Super Good, can make Demagogue and Call Me Earl run for the money but I am expecting a match race.
Racing begins at 13.50pm with a 1000m Maiden Plate where three of the nine runners – Gateway Gamble, Brittany Bay and Omni Dynasty – are unraced. Sky, Go Galaxy and Cherry Brook have form and last time there were murmurs about the Amy Bronkhorst Windrush filly, Portsalon. Some hiccups at the start resulted in Portsalon losing one and half lengths, but your guess is as good as mine here.
The next race, a Merit Rated 84 Handicap over 1100m, is very interesting.
Quinton Riddle’s mount, Picalilly, carries top weight and last raced on September 6 when coming back after a lengthy break. She ran in the 1000m AFZ Charity Handicap won by Approval Rating, and that day Sunday’s runner, Pegwell Bay, finished 0.50 lengths behind the winner with Picalilly two lengths back.
Pegwell Bay was receiving 5.5 kgs from Picalilly and this is reduced to 1 kg on Sunday. Pegwell Bay has subsequently won the 1300m Sable Flyers.
With the exception of the Rebel King filly, Carla The Rebel, the rest of this field finished behind Nimble Dancer on October 4, with Road To Dubai and the Gavin Macleod-trained Lost Island finishing second and third.
This will be Carla The Rebel’s first outing in Harare. She is a three-time winner at Turffontein from 1200m to 1450m. The formidable Fortune rides for Terzi, so, watch out.
In the third race, a 2000m Maiden Plate, Crew, Flaming Fury, Bachata and Buck Up seem the pick but Fortune rides Thunder Fury for Seb d’Aquino. The son of Jay Peg is out of a National Assembly (CAN) mare and has shown some improvement over 1800m recently.
I was tempted to ignore the 1800m Merit Rated 65 Handicap where 15 runners are due to start. Kirk Swanson fields Wee Doch ‘n Dorris, Nuggett Effect, Supa Challenge and Touching Base; Gokhan Terzi will saddle River Waltz, Bankers Blues and Parade Prancer, and Alyson Wright’s It’s By Jingo and Heron Boy cannot be overlooked. And it doesn’t end there because Final Fling, Star Dance and Vice Admiral have to be considered.
River Waltz ran five lengths off Madigan at the last race meeting in a MR 80 Handicap. Andrew Fortune rides but I still suggest you go wide – and, if still in the Pick 6 at this stage – pray.
The fifth and seventh races are also tricky.
In the 1800m MR 50 Handicap Ice Pack, Agnetha, Anthony’s Lazer, So Ruler and Muhannad warrant support but many more have some credentials – and you have 15 runners to choose from.
Tandava and Yesterday Man should go close in the 1200m Novice Plate and Jannie Blignaut’s Tail Wind must have a chance. Rawedge, who has not raced for nearly a year, has some appeal but probably prefers more ground. Then there is the Mogok gelding, Aqaba, who will be out for the first time at Borrowdale – with Brendon McNaughton in the irons.
Norbert Takawira is no longer claiming an apprentice allowance and I wish him well at his first meeting without it. He rides Tail Wind as well as Nugget Effect and Shezawarrior on Sunday so here’s hoping.
Photographs Gavin Macleod and Zimbabwe Equine News