We have a conundrum (dictionary definition “Riddle, Hard Question). Three of the 13 Castle Tankard runners will be having their first race at Borrowdale Park when they take part in this prestigious event on Saturday.
The Western Winter (USA) gelding, Lava Flow, trained by Penny Fisher, has only raced once in Harare, in the Independence Trophy won by Eurakilon, so I place this four-year-old out of an Elliodor mare, also in the mysterious category. He has won twice at Turffontein from 1400m to 1800m and ran second twice over 2000m, the Tankard distance, to Oriental Blue and Save The Rhino.
Penny also saddles Tallie Two, drawn 3, and always capable of putting in a flourish at the finish.
The inclusion of Flax by Silvano (GER), who achieved something approaching cult status with nine prestigous wins at Kranje, has skewed the weights somewhat. If Merit Ratings mean anything and if he is the same horse he was in Singapore then he has to win.
Kirk Swanson will saddle Silva Hawk, also by Silvano (GER) and out of a Jallad (USA) mare. The five-year-old gelding has won three times in KZN and Gauteng from 1400m to 1600m. He has yet to try 2000m but on breeding should get this trip and Swanson knows what he is doing over distance. Kirk has also entered Windigo.
The Ormond Ferraris trained Fah Fee arrived in Harare this week and has settled in well according to Gavin Macleod who is in charge in Harare. By Ideal World (USA), and a four time winner who has placed up to 2000m, Fah Fee shouldn’t be overlooked.
In addition to Flax, Bridget Stidolph also sends out Zimbabwe Derby winner Mathematician, the only three-year-old in the race, Print The Pounds and Lucky Sam – all of whom have claims to fame.
Eurakilon, Rock The Country and Merhaba represent the Gokhan Terzi yard. Eurakilon has come into his own lately – he will be receiving 4.5 kgs from Flax and should give a good account of himself.
Former Tankard winner Equina, from the Amy Bronkhorst yard, will only carry 52 kgs. She hasn’t done much lately but should appreciate this good galloping weight. Equina is a daughter of Silvano (GER) who is very well represented in this field.
The US$50 000 Castle Tankard is the race all Borrowdale Park owners and trainers really want to win, and the pressure will be on from start to finish. It’s always a thrilling race but particularly hard to pick the winner this year. – I think.
PHOTOGRAPH: Lucky Sam would be a popular winner and Karl Zechner has the ride – he steered Abishiri into the history books at Turfontein last Saturday.