Things have been quite tight at the top of the Zimbabwe trainers log since the beginning of the 2017/18 season. With the two leading stables sharing the training honours at Borrowdale Park on Sunday Kirk Swanson seems likely to remain on top, for the time being.
According to stats published in the official MTC race card of January 28, the Swanson stable (after the January 14 meeting) headed the list with stake money of $128 290 from 39 individual runners, 120 T/Runs and 21 wins – winning percentage 18%.
The Stidolph yard earned $105 855 with 38 individual runners, 145 T/Runs and 12 wins – winning percentage 8%.
Penny Fisher came in at $99 230, from 31 individual runners, 102 T/Runs and 18 wins – winning margin 18%.
I have not heard officially but understand Amy Bronkhorst bowed out as a trainer after the January 28 meeting, but during the period mentioned above Amy’s yard had earned $68 901, with 28 individual runners, 99 T/Runs, 12 wins – winning percentage 12%.
So far the playing field has been fairly level with regard to individual runners per stable, and the stake money for most races remains the same, regardless of whether it is a Maiden Plate or a MR 90 Handicap. In fact, during the period 1 August to 14 January I think only the $13 000 HRIB Gold Cup, had an increased stake.
Unfortunately, looking ahead, there is a huge difference in stakes when it comes to the $50 000 Castle Tankard, the $40 000 OK Grand Challenge and the Republic Cup, also $40 000. With the small pool of horses at Borrowdale Park these major events are more often than not dominated by one or two horses (including very recent imports)…and thereafter winning percentages count for nothing as the training log is judged only on winning stakes.
The departure of Amy from the training ranks should also have some bearing on the statistics – depending on who gets what – but hopefully the yards will remain more or less evenly balanced with regard to numbers.
Gavin Macleod definitely needs more horses …you have to be exceptionally lucky to achieve great things with three individual runners…and a couple more training yards would also perk things up.
Oh well…I can dream. I really and truly hope racing at Borrowdale Park is NOT about to become a numbers game…which is so boring.