Silvano (GER) (by Lomitas) is considered by many to be the world’s leading Nijinsky II line sire. He needs no introduction to racing and breeding enthusiasts in Southern Africa and, in Zimbabwe, his daughter, Equina, has won all the races worth winning.

Out of an Al Mufti (USA) mare, Equina won the Zimbabwe Oaks in 2013 and went on to add the Castle Tankard, the OK Grand Challenge and the Republic Cup to her tally. This great race mare is trained by Amy Bronkhorst who fields Sylvianna (by Silvano (GER) out of a Western Winter mare) in Sunday’s Zimbabwe Oaks.

To date Sylvianna has only raced once at Borrowdale Park, and that was on Tankard Day when she was just over 2.50 lengths behind Standpoint and Barbarian over 1700m. The Silvano/ Western Winter mare combination features in the new South African star, Black Arthur’s, pedigree…so don’t even think about leaving Sylvianna out of Exotic bets.

Gokhan Terzi has a strong hand with the Ideal World (USA) filly, Betula Uber, Myths And Legends, Belle Epoque, Sky and Ladies First – and no one will dispute that the Bridget Stidolph trained Duffi’s Call is the one they all have to beat…but.

Ladies First is also by Silvano, and is out of an Al Mufti (USA) mare – as is Equina. She has won at Borrowdale over 1600m and 1700m, and in the recent 2400m Zimbabwe Derby was 6.70 lengths behind the winner, Mathematician. On that occasion Betula Uber finished second (four lengths back) while Ladies First was hanging out over the final 200m.

One can never predict, exactly, what three-year-old fillies will do, and neither Chatou, bred in Zimbabwe, nor Princess of Rock, have been mentioned. I can’t make a case for them but should know better. When I suggest a horse hasn’t got a prayer it inspires them!

In the dim and very distant past I decided Doctor Grace, a proven stayer up to 2700m, should not be running in a race over 3200m – mainly because he was a very small horse. Making the point, loud and clear, in The Herald, I only stopped short of actually accusing his connections of greed and cruelty.

To spite me Doctor Grace won – leaving the rest of the field for dead in the home straight.

So go for it Chatou and Princess of Rock. Sunday could be your day.


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