Sunday’s racing at Borrowdale Park marks the end of the 2015/16 season and one wonders whether it will depart with a bang or a whimper?
Andrew Fortune rides Eurakilon in the Breeders Sprint at Borrowdale Park on Sunday
With three feature races on the card – the Breeders Fillies Mile, the TBA Champagne Stakes and the Breeders Sprint – the scene seems set for excitement. However I won’t be urging you to put your house on anything.
The Breeders Sprint, previously up the straight over 1400m, now goes around the turn over 1450m. This is a race which traditionally attracts runners who took part in the Borrowdale Big Three and this year is no exception.
Although the winners of the 2016 Castle Tankard, OK Grand Challenge and Republic Cup are not in the line-up, Flax, Whiteline Fever, Eurakilon, Super Trouper, Lucky Sam and Newton Power are…with additions such as Atso’s Scheme and Picalilly giving pause for thought.
There have been whispers that both Flax and Whiteline Fever just might prefer a shorter trip. They will certainly prefer meeting most of the field at level weights, for a change. Picalilly, the only filly, will be receiving 2.5 kgs, and Quick Glance, who pulverised the field in a 1800m MR 60 Handicap at the last meeting, teams up again with claiming apprentice Marshall Bikasauru. The rest all carry 60kgs, and it will be surprising if the usually top weighted horses fail to shine here.
In 2015 this race was won by Equina, with Super Trouper, Eurakilon and Picalilly filling the places. Quick Glance was well back, with no weight advantage, that day.
There is often a joker in the pack and this time it is Sheik’s Brashee, a five-year-old gelding having his first start at Borrowdale. By The Sheik, he is a five-time winner over 1000m and 1100m, so make of that what you will.
RACING STARTS AT 13 15
The first race on Sunday is at 13.15 and the Breeders Sprint is due off at 15.30. Just prior to that is the Breeders Fillies Mile, a Listed race for two-year-old fillies, won last year by Betula Uber.
This race involves four trainers with two runners each…. in itself quite newsworthy at Borrowdale. Gavin Macleod will saddle Aloft and Golden Mystery; Penny Fisher fields Lady Carina and Whatsnewpussycat; Amy Bronkhorst has entered Gimme Victory and Jinx Johnson, and Gokhan Terzi the unraced Explorer’s Club, and Transition.
The form horse is the consistently placed Jinx Johnson, but this daughter of Tamburlaine (IRE) has yet to go beyond 1200m. In fact only Aloft, Golden Mystery and Whatsnewpussycat have previously raced around the turn.
Jinx Johnson (Randall Simons) and Lady Carina (Ryan Munger) are both winners, and Golden Mystery comes into the reckoning having run second to Rebel Soldier over the mile on July 16. Andrew Fortune rides the daughter of Main Arm (GB) for MacLeod, while Lance Pagel is on Explorer’s Club for Terzi, and JP van der Merwe takes Transition.
I wouldn’t describe this as an exciting field, and Jinx Johnson, Golden Mystery and Lady Carina are the safest bets. In any event hold on to that house.
WATCH WYLDE STYLE
The Thoroughbred Breeders Champagne Stakes (L), due off at 16.05, has also attracted a small field but, if determined to be reckless, maybe this is for you.
The Amy Bronkhorst trained Wylde Style will be going for her fourth successive win. The West Man (USA) filly could have run in the Fillies Mile, but the fact Amy has opted to take on the boys surely tells us something. Of course there are some ifs and buts because this year the Champagne Stakes will be run over 1450m, taking in the turn. To date Wylde Style has gone no further than 1200m but the manner in which she has won her races suggests she can do so.
Gokhan Terzi’s Rebel Soldier came into his own over a mile last time out and with regular rider Kevin Derere aboard he should give Wylde Style a run for the money, providing he doesn’t need extra ground.
Terzi also sends out Determination (Fortune), and the Fencing Master (GB) gelding, Shepparton. Gokhan will be looking for winners to clinch his champion trainer prospects which are looking exceptionally good right now.
Kirk Swanson’s Mullins Bay (GB) colt Haga Haga (Francois Herholdt) won his only start over 1100m beating Shepparton and Rebel Soldier then. As is the case with all seven runners 1450m is an entirely new ball game.
Bridget Stidolph, who has been chasing Terzi for the training honours, will saddle Rhythmical Reply and Brendon McNaughton rides. The Fisher stable is pinning their hopes on another Fencing Master colt, Minister Defence (Cashington Kudumba).
The field may be small but the unknown factors make it interesting. If Wylde Style and Randall Simons don’t find the winner’s enclosure, any one of these lightly raced two-year-olds could.
After this meeting the course closes for the annual racing break. Racing resumes on Saturday, September 10, for the AFZ Charity Race Day.