The 2400m Zimbabwe Derby, most testing race of the three-year-old Classics and third leg of our Triple Crown, will be run at Borrowdale Park on Sunday. Eight three-year-olds are due to start, including two fillies carrying 55.5 kgs, while the colts and geldings are on 58 kgs. Apprentice allowances may not be claimed.
The field includes Mathematician, recent winner of the Bloodstock South Africa 2000m, and all of Super Good, Magnificent Mile, and Betula Uber finished behind the Black Minnaloushe (USA) gelding that day. Can he maintain supremacy over an extra 400m? Progeny of Go Deputy (USA), Ashaawes (USA), Ideal World (USA) and Silvano (GER) will be represented so the breeding is there.
None of the runners have gone beyond 2000m and the staying potential of several has to be taken entirely on trust. That said the “Zim” Derby is always an interesting race and full marks to the powers that be for maintaining the Classic Derby distance.
Black Minnaloushe (USA) gelding out of an Elliodor (FR) mare). Raced four times at Kenilworth and four times at Borrowdale. Has won twice at Borrowdale over 1300m and 2000m, including the Bloodstock South Africa 2000m – beating Call Me Earl by 5 lengths – and Call Me Earl subsequently ran a brilliant race behind Eurakilon in the 1600m Independence Trophy in open company. Brendon Mc Naughton rides again. Bridget Stidolph is the trainer. Draw 3.
Announce gelding out of a Dynasty mare. Has raced 8 times for one win (1100m), five seconds and two thirds. Very well thought of and narrowly beaten by some of the best. Finished behind Mathematician and Call Me Earl in the Bloodstock SA 2000 – now has to go 400m further. Last start was in a 1600m Graduation Plate (soft going) when a fairly close third to recent imports Noble Peer and Red Savage. Regular jockey Fanie Chambers rides, Bridget Stidolph is the trainer. Draw 1.
Go Deputy (USA) colt out of a Western Winter mare. Raced five times from 1300m – 1900m and is always thereabouts. Won his last start, a 1700m Maiden Plate, easily, beating Grand Opera and Derby runner Magnificent Mile. A close second to Setswana over 1900m. Lance Pagel has the ride and trained by Gokhan Terzi. Should be in Quartets. Draw 7.
Bankable (IRE) gelding out of a Galileo (IRE) mare. His 10 starts include four in the Western Cape. Third to Master of Sky over 1100m in first race at Borrowdale, following up with a maiden win over 1300m, narrowly beating Baumgartner. Ran second to Cool Solution in the 1600m Guineas Trial, but well back in last two starts over 1800m and 1600m. Karl Zechner will be in the irons, Bridget Stidolph the trainer. Draw 2.
By Ashaawes (USA) out of a Nissr (USA) mare so should see out the trip – but well back in the Bloodstock SA 2000 won by Mathematician. Ran 2.60 lengths off Setswana in January, over 1900m, receiving 2 kgs. Finlay (level weights with Magnficent Mile then) was only a breath away from the winner. Won over 1600m beating Grand Opera on March 13. On breeding you have to fancy his chances over this trip. Juan Paul van der Merwe rides, Gokhan Terzi the trainer. Draw 6.
West Man (USA) colt out of a Kitalpha mare. Most experienced runner in that he has raced 24 times, often in open company, for one win over 1800m in October. Quite impressive when second to Windigo over 1800m in November when Sunday’s runner Betula Uber was further back. Ran
second to Derby runner, Ladies First, over 1700m but disappointed last time out in a 2000m MR 55 Handicap won by Star Dance. However that was in soft going and trainer Amy Bronkhorst is unlikely to have entered Slick just for fun. Chase Maujean rides. Draw 8.
Daughter of Ideal World (USA) so I am still expecting her to do something spectacular. She won the Breeders Fillies Mile in July 2015, beating Second Guessing, but seems to have lost her way subsequently. Apprentice Divan Neethling rides for Gokhan Terzi. Draw 4.
LADIES FIRST (below)
Filly by Silvano (GER) out of an Al Mufti (USA) mare. She and Mathematician are the only two-time winners in this race. Won a 1700m Novice Plate on March 20, beating Slick. When Ladies First won a 1600m Maiden Plate in soft conditions in February, Magnificent Mile was 1.75 lengths back. This daughter of Silvano has yet to race beyond 1800m but may relish the Derby distance. Apprentice Callan Murray will be in the irons. Trained by Gokhan Terzi. Draw 5.
Photograph Zimbabwe Equine News