Before the February 11 race meeting, subsequently rained off, I said the field for the 1600m Fillies Classic, first leg of Zimbabwe’s Triple Tiara, was not particularly exciting.
At that stage only four fillies had accepted, but now that this race has been carried forward to Sunday, February 25, and re-opened, there are two additional acceptors…Raven Girl and Hillah The Hun.
This will be Raven Girl’s first start at Borrowdale Park. The lightly raced daughter of Philanthropist (USA) won her first start over the Turffontein 1400m in September, followed by three unplaced runs over 1600m, 1160m and 1400m. Her last race in Gauteng was on January 27, so definitely the mystery horse here. She is now trained by Bridget Stidolph and will be ridden by Collen Storey.
Hillah The Hun, on the other hand, has had two starts at Borrowdale, finishing second to Canadian Champion over 1600m, before going on to win a 1700m Maiden Plate on January 14. By Visionaire (USA) out of a Jet Master mare, she is trained by Penny Fisher and Hennie Greyling has the ride. I fancy her chances – more than likely because the name appeals.
Of the original four runners Bridget Stidolph’s pair, Sweet Tea and Hollywood On Set, are probably evenly matched, judging by their performance over the distance, behind Peggson, on October 22. They finished 5.75 and 6 lengths, respectively, behind the winner, and this was their last outing.
Both are one time winners over sprints but Sweet Tea did finish 3.50 lengths off Flanders over 1450m. If I had to choose between these stable mates Sweet Tea would get the edge.
Kirk Swanson’s duo, Dartagna and Wild Imogen, are lightly raced but have more recent form… up the straight. Dartagna, by Fencing Master (GB) out of a Dynasty mare., won her first start over 1100m, in November, beating Blue Label. Next time out on January 14 she ran 12.10 lengths behind her stable mate, Designer Pot, in a 1600m Novice Plate. With some experience around the turn perhaps she can do better than that.
Wild Imogen, also by Fencing Master (GB) but out of a Kitalpha (USA) mare, has not raced further than 1200m. She was unplaced in her first start on January 14, in a 1100m Maiden Plate won by Respectable Rock, but two weeks later won a similar event over 1200m, beating Bomber Pilot.
All the fillies will carry 58 kgs. Brendon McNaughton rides Sweet Tea and Caleb Habib will pilot Hollywood on Set. Francois Herholdt is on Dartagna while Sherman Brown takes Wild Imogen.
Things are looking up – we have an interesting event!
Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News: Hillah The Hun with Hennie Greyling aboard.