In the not too distant past a son of Century Stand (AUS), Earl Of Surrey, set the turf alight both in Zimbabwe and down South. At Borrowdale Park on Sunday another of his sons, Call Me Earl, lived up to expectations and won the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap.
Bred by Sarahdane Stud near Harare, Call Me Earl, out of a Rabah (GB) mare, is trained by the Alyson Wright satellite yard and was ridden by Apprentice Ryan Munger. He is owned by Diz Buckler of Sarahdane Stud, and Fiona Olivier.
Although the Jacaranda Free never developed into a duel between top weighted Demagogue and Call Me Earl, it did not lack excitement. Approaching the 200m mark there was a line of horses across the course and it could have been anyone’s race. Then the Bridget Stidolph-trained Super Good made his move and shot clear, chased by stable mate Duffi’s Call and Slick.
It seemed the Announce gelding had it made, until a fast finishing Call Me Earl caught him. The winning margin was 0.25 lengths – talk about timing!
This was the sixth race on the card and Tandava, also by Century Stand (AUS) won the seventh, a 1200m Novice Plate.
Andrew Fortune was riding for Gokhan Terzi and Tandava, who has now won two of his three starts, was bred by his owner, Dave Rosser.
Sad to say Century Stand is no longer standing in Zimbabwe but his progeny continue to feature.
On a brighter note the impeccably bred Soar With Eagles (USA) is still here and his son, Supa Challenge, proved he still has what it takes when he won the 1800m Merit Rated 65 Handicap, beating stable companion Wee Doch ‘n Dorris by 0.10 lengths, with Sword Of Truth and It’s By Jingo close behind.
Lance Pagel rode Supa Challenge and it was great to see him back at Borrowdale – and winning.
Before this race TV presenter Thomas Mason described Supa Challenge as a “tipster’s nightmare” because he has been a horse with major issues. As a juvenile he proved he had plenty of ability, and was expected to do well in the Classics. Unfortunately Supa Challenge then developed a tendency to veer across the course when he almost had a race sewn up.
There was none of that nonsense this time so very well done Kirk Swanson and owners, Kevin Stainton and Steve Shutt, for hanging in there.
It’s By Jingo (fourth) was the shortest price horse in this Quartet which paid R43 361.40.
Earlier in the afternoon the Kirk Swanson and Francois Herholdt combination scored with first-timer Gateway Gamble in the 1000m Maiden Plate, and the in form, Road To Dubai, in the 1100m MR 84 Handicap.
The three-year-old Mullins Bay (GB) colt, Gateway Gamble, also owned by Kevin Stainton, is one to look out for in future. Drawn towards the inside he lost half a length at the start, drifted to the outside, and won easily, beating Sky by four lengths.
John Koumides’ Road To Dubai got the better of Picalilly in the 1100m event and has now won five races and been placed three times from 11 starts. However, on this occasion, the Gharir (IRE) filly was giving Road To Dubai 5 kgs. He won by 0.25 lengths with Carla The Rebel and Chestnut Girl following Picalilly.
In the absence of Marco van Rensburg, Andrew Fortune rode the fancied Crew for Seb d’Aquino in the 2000m Maiden Plate. The five-year-old Tiger Ridge gelding duly obliged, finishing 1.50 lengths clear of Flaming Phoenix.
Training honours in the tricky 1800m MR 50 Handicap went to Amy Bronkhorst, who sent out Jean’s Dancer with Raymond Danielson in the irons. I must admit I never gave the six-year-old Jallad (USA) mare a chance here. However, she powered past long time leader Full Court, and Delta Special, at the speed of light, to win by five lengths.
Formerly trained by Corne Spies, this was Jean’s Dancer’s 40th start. Previously she had won twice and been placed 12 times, in sprints.
Needless to say I won’t be so quick to conclude this stable has lost it when next they enter a runner over what seems an unlikely trip. It is even more galling to report that Jean’s Dancer started Tote Favourite.
Congratulations to the winning connections who do, after all, know what they are doing!
The next Borrowdale Park race meeting is on Sunday, November 15, and features the Champion Fillies Stakes.