Here we go, chasing the elusive Borrowdale Park Pick 6, and once again Sunday’s fields are competitive. Hold your fire, if possible, in the early stages. I fear you will need plenty of ammunition for the fourth and sixth legs in particular.
Racing starts at 13 15 with an 1100m Maiden Plate where Megagram and Fierce Prestige look the pick. Shepparton may be worth following and Apprentice Lyle Hewitson has his first ride in Harare on the unraced Coachella.
The first leg of the Pick 6 is the 1200m Merit Rated 75 Handicap where one could be reckless and bank Nimble Dancer after his close second to Approval Rating at the last meeting. Gotago should however give him a go, and the rest of the field looks dangerous. Weight counts.
Next up is the 1600m Graduation Plate where I like Red Savage and Catnip, while worrying about Avaricious and the lightly weighted Jinx Johnson. Racey J is a card scratching.
Chum and In The Oven come out in the third leg, a 1700m Maiden Plate. Both were involved in a tight finish over the distance at the last meeting but Argodaba, with claiming apprentice Marshall Bikausaru in the irons, beat them. (The finish of this race appears below courtesy of Zimbabwe Equine News. In The Oven is nearest the camera).
Bikausaru rides African Love Story for Penny Fisher on Sunday, and her two other runners, Kevin Barry with Ryan Munger up, and King’s Wager (Hennie Greyling) are worth watching.
Then we come to the Merit Rated 60 Handicap over 1800m where you must have the top weights, Quick Glance, Rawedge and Wee Doch ‘ n Dorris, plus the bottom weights, Enough Said and Valmont. It will be hard to leave out Arrowfield and David’s Flower…I have ignored Ice Pack, Star Dance, Magnificent Mile and Sky. Just watch one of them win!
If she behaves at the start Carla The Rebel, representing Glenwood Racing, should be hard to beat in the 1260m Sable Flyers…and if she doesn’t the Stidolph yard must have a strong hand with five of the eight runners.
Relampago has to be considered, and so too Genial who has only run once in Harare, and Sherman Brown’s mount, Ride Of Honour, a Borrowdale first-timer.
TIME FOR A RANT
In the last leg of the Pick 6, an 1100m MR 60 Handicap, Haga Haga looks good, having won over the distance first time out…..but maybe not. By Mullins Bay (GB) he is the only three-year-old in this race and with a Merit Rating of 67 will be giving away weight to all, with the exception of 3-time winner Princeton Tiger (MR 60), a five-year-old.
When Haga Haga won a Maiden Juvenile Plate on July 16 he beat Shepparton, still a maiden, by 0 .75 lengths. Next time out in the 1450m Champagne Juvenile Stakes Haga Haga ran down the field behind Wylde Style. With only this form to judge by, can he concede 1kg each to 2-time winner Aquaba and 6-time winner Romantic Balladeer – and even more to the remainder of the field?
Haga Haga’s stable mate Gateway Gamble, won his first start when three years old (beating Sky) and was subsequently burdened with a Merit Rating of 74. Six runs later he has dropped down to MR 51 and will receive 1.5 kgs from Haga Haga, while conceding 0.5 kgs to Belle Epoque, 2.5kgs to Bullion Bay, and 3kgs to Rocky Road and Tail Wind.
Perhaps Gateway Gamble will show improvement on these terms but Haga Haga has certainly been given lots to do. Of course this promising colt has to run sometime, somewhere….. perhaps he can win.
Should he do so I will await the release of next week’s Merit Ratings with bated breath. After all, Carla The Rebel, a three-time winner and a five-year-old, will also run off a MR of 67 in the Sable Flyers.
I should have known better than to get into Merit Ratings. Having done so I spent hours checking out the handicapper’s assessment of this crop of three-year-olds.
To mention a few, Wylde Style with four good wins to her credit, has a Merit Rating of 77; Rhythmical Reply (1 win) is on 74; Jinx Johnson (1 win) is 67, and Megagram and Shepparton, both still maidens but placed, are on 65.
In my opinion, which I am entitled to, three-year-olds should not be so severely penalised….and erratically at that. They have to race in open company, sooner or later. At Borrowdale Park we only race twice a month so finding suitable races is, at best, difficult to do.
Ranting apart, and going back to the Pick 6, I like Princeton Tiger and Romantic Balladeer, plus Haga Haga. After that include Gateway Gamble, Bullion Bay and Rocky Road…so why not just take the field?