GEARING UP FOR A GOOD ONE

davids flower Gavin

Mathematician and Ashton Park, more often than not set to carry top weight, get to meet former rivals on even terms in the 1600m MOTA Ipi Tombe Stakes (L) at Borrowdale Park on Sunday, February 25.

This race takes place annually to commemorate the great race mare, Ipi Tombe, who was bred and began her racing career in Zimbabwe. It is open for all horses at Weight For Age which means Mathematician, Ashton Park, Comanche Brave, Life Is Good, Amsterdam, Road To Dubai, Leven Point and David’s Flower (AUS) will carry 60 kgs. Simona, the only filly entered, is on 57.5 kgs.

Most of these runners, with the exception of Amsterdam and Leven Point, need little or no introduction to Borrowdale Park punters. The seven horses Zimbabwean punters are most familiar with have won 57 races between them.

This will be Leven Point’s second outing at Borrowdale. On January 28 he finished 2.75 lengths behind Simona in a 1800m MR 83 Handicap. On that occasion the winner was receiving 5.5kgs. By Fort Wood (USA) out of a Jallad (USA) mare, this six-year-old gelding has won 3 times from 1400m to 1800m. Fanie Chambers rides for Bridget Stidolph.

Amsterdam, another six-year old gelding, by Windrush (USA) out of a Machiavellian (USA) mare, will be having his first race in Zimbabwe. His last outing was at Turffontein on January 27 when he won an 1800m MR 99 Handicap, beating Bankable Teddy. To date Amsterdam has won 6 races from 1600m to 2000m. Greg Cheyne will ride for Kirk Swanson.

I am sure this will be a great race. Life Is Good, owned and bred by Robin Bruss, is trying for a hat-trick, but with Formgrids still not completely up to date I won’t be making predictions. That’s my excuse anyway – at these weights it could be tricky.

The Stidolph yard is sending out five of the 9 runners – Mathematician (McNaughton), Comanche Brave (Habib), Life Is Good (Herholdt), Leven Point (Chambers) and Simona (Storey). Penny Fisher will saddle Ashton Park (Munger) and David’s Flower (AUS) (Penny). In addition to Amsterdam, Kirk Swanson has entered Road To Dubai who will be ridden by Sherman Brown.

Try a Quartet.

The first race at Borrowdale on Sunday – a 1100m MR 55 Handicap with 12 runners – is due off at 11.45 am. The Fillies Classic should start at 14.35 and the MOTA Ipi Tombe Stakes at 15.10.

Photograph by Gavin Macleod: David’s Flower (AUS) winning a 1450m MR 70 Handicap in February 2016, followed by Goose Green. Penny Fisher’s charge takes on the big boys at level weights in the Ipi Tombe Stakes on Sunday. The seven-year-old gelding has won 8 races to date.

 

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