Expect Ashton Park to put up a fight…
Ten horses were nominated for the Zimbabwe Challenge to be run over 1450m at Borrowdale Park on Sunday. Six have stood their ground, and five of them raced over the same distance in the ZRP Breeders Sprint on July 22 – won by Sunday’s runner Ashton Park.
That day the eight-year-old Battersea Park gelding met Comanche Brave, Road To Dubai and Super Good at level weights (60 kgs), and Life Is Good (second and 1.25 lengths back) was on 59 kgs.
This time the weights allotted are quite different. Ashton Park will give Comanche Brave 1.5 kgs, Road To Dubai will receive 5 kgs, Super Good 6 kgs, and Life Is Good 7 kgs.
Ashton Park will be receiving a kilogram from Mathematician but this son of Black Minnaloushe (USA) has not raced since June 3 so he can probably be left out of this equation.
On paper the rest of the runners should make Ashton Park work hard for some money, but he is likely to put up a fight.
In October Penny Fisher’s charge won a 1800m MR 92 Handicap, carrying 61 kgs. On December 2 he finished 4.70 lengths off Coachella in the HRIB Gold Cup, but no-one really expected Ashton Park to shine over 1200m.
He is a 10-time winner, likely to be racing fit, and he has carried weight before and won. Can he add the 2017 Zimbabwe Challenge to his laurels?
In 2016 the Zimbabwe Challenge was won by Windigo, followed across the line by Newton Power, La Carmelita and Flax. Of those eight runners only Mathematician will take part in the 2017 edition.
The first race on Sunday is due off at 12 55 pm. The Zimbabwe Challenge is scheduled for 15 50.