… the  Zimbabwe Derby takes place on Sunday


Kirk Swanson’s charges, Solinski, Flasher On The Run and Haga Haga, have featured prominently in the 2017 Classics, so far. This is how they finished in the Bloodstock 2000 won by Solinski.  Can they keep it up in the third leg of Zimbabwe’s Triple Crown on Sunday? Photograph Zimbabwe Equine News.

It is Zimbabwe’s Derby Day at Borrowdale Park this Sunday  – first race due off at 12.30 pm. Once again we have managed to field enough runners to make a race of it over the traditional 2400m Derby distance.

Only six three-year-olds have stood their ground for this ultimate test of speed and stamina, but all deserve a place in this, the final leg of Zimbabwe’s Triple Crown.  Flasher On The Run, won the Guineas, the first leg, and the second leg, the Bloodstock SA 2000, went to the filly, Solinski.  Both step out again on Sunday and, as always, the question is, who will best see out that extra 400m?

None of the 2017 runners have yet gone further than 2000m, and all except the fillies, Crystalline and Solinski, will carry 58 kgs.  The Derby will be run at 15.20 and whatever you do, don’t miss it.

LIFE IS GOOD – Drawn 3 – R. Simons – Amy Bronkhorst. By Var (USA) out of Gracie Jones (USA). 7 start for 3 wins and 2 places. Won over 1200m and 1400m at Scottsville and the Vaal, and narrowly beat Cape Cod over 1600m at Borrowdale on April 16 in soft going.  Carried 59 kgs to Cape Cod’s 60 kgs that day, winning margin half a length.  An interesting runner.

FLASHER ON THE RUN – Drawn 2  – S. Brown – Kirk Swanson. 7 starts 2 wins 5 places. By Bold Silvano out of a National Assembly (CAN) mare.  Zimbabwe Guineas winner and second to Solinski in Bloodstock SA 2000. Won 1700m Maiden Plate on February 5, beating subsequent winner  Don’tfencemein by 4.25 lengths in heavy going.  Should stay the distance on breeding.

HAGA HAGA – Drawn 5 – R. Munger – Kirk Swanson. 11 starts 2 wins 7 places. By Mullins Bay (GB) out of Brashee (GB) mare.  Third to Wylde Style in the 1600m Tote Free Handicap, receiving weight, and won his next outing over 1600m.  To date has shown improvement over ground. Third in the Guineas behind Flasher On The Run and Wilde Style  5.50 lengths behind the winner. Next time out ran third in the Bloodstock SA 2000, 2.75 lengths off Solinski.

MEGAGRAM. Drawn  6 – Brendon McNaughton -Bridget Stidolph. 11 starts 1 win 8 places. By Tamburlaine (IRE) out  of a Sobieski (USA) mare. Won 1800m Maiden Plate on December 18, beating In The Oven, Danger Dan and Aloft. Second to Haga Haga over 1600m on February 5.  Finished fourth in the Guineas, 6.75 lengths off the winner, and fourth to Solinski in Bloodstock SA 2000. Bred in Zimbabwe, often thereabouts.  Could this be the race he has waited for?

CRYSTALLINE – Drawn 1 – F. Chambers – Bridget Stidolph.  7 starts for 1 win and 3 places. By Biarritz out of a Goldkeeper mare. This recent arrival in Zimbabwe won her second start here on April 2, in a 2000m Maiden Plate, beating subsequent winner Whatsnewpussycat by 8 lengths.  Prior to that she came second to Solinski in the 1800m TBA Silver Slipper, 1.25 lengths back.  Her previous races were in Gauteng and KZN. Hard to assess but looked good when winning over 2000m.

SOLINSKI – Drawn 4  – K. Zechner – Kirk Swanson. 5 starts 3 wins 2 places. By Fencing Master (GB) out of a Sobieski (USA) mare. Winner of the SA Bloodstock 2000 and the 1800m TBA Silver Slipper. Prior to that she finished within 0.75 lengths of Wylde Style in the 1600m Fillies Classic.  The daughter of Fencing Master (GB)  has also won over 1200m, beating King’s Wager and The Catcher. I would like to see this locally bred filly do well.

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