Only one horse – Butchie Boy – has a shot at winning the 2018 Zimbabwe Triple Crown.
The Zimbabwe Guineas winner steps out at Borrowdale Park this Sunday (April 1) in the Zimbabwe 2000, hoping to successfully complete the second stage of his mission.
Eight three-year-old colts or geldings are carded for this race, the second leg of Zimbabwe’s Triple Crown. They will all carry 58 kgs and the chances are the 2000m trip will be a step too far for some. It is an interesting line-up….
BUTCHIE BOY (3 g) 11 starts for 4 wins and 6 seconds (1200m -1600m). Won the Zimbabwe Guineas on March 11, beating Knuckleball. Also won the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap on November 5. Finished behind Edward The Seventh and Knuckleball in the 1600m Tote Free Handicap in December but has been in fine form since then. Sunday’s race is over 2000m and the question is will Butchie Boy stay? However this applies to all Sunday’s runners. Butchie Boy is by successful new sire, Crusade (USA), out of a Kahal (GB) mare. Fanie Chambers will be in the irons. Trained by Bridget Stidolph who also sends out Peggson and Canadian Champion. Drawn 2.
KNUCKLEBALL (3 g) 10 starts for 3 wins (1600m – 1700m) and 4 seconds. Finished behind Butchie Boy in the Guineas, his last outing, and in front of Edward The Seventh, who was conceding 1 kg, in the 1600m Guineas Trial in January. By Curved Ball (AUS) out of an Opera King (USA) mare. Trained by Penny Fisher and Ryan Munger has the ride. Drawn 7. Certainly in with a shout.
EDWARD THE SEVENTH (3 g) By Seventh Rock (AUS) out of a Kitalph (USA) mare and bred in Zimbabwe. Has won three of his four starts (1200m to 1600m), including the Tote Free Handicap in December. His last race was on the 28th January in the Guineas Trial where he ran second to Knuckleball. This classy horse was a victim of the virus that recently swept through the Swanson stable so he is short of a prep run. At his best he should be up there. Kirk Swanson also fields Israel, Bugatti Blue and Pirate Hunter. Francois Herholdt rides Edward The Seventh and he is drawn 3.
PEGGSON (3 c) by Judpot out of a Tara’s Hall (USA) mare. Has won two of his 8 starts (1600m to 1700m) and has beaten both Butchie Boy and Edward The Seventh but seems to have gone from boil to simmer more recently. In the Guineas Peggson ran third, 2.75 lengths behind Butchie Boy and well clear of stable mate Canadian Champion. Chase Maujean rides and Peggson has drawn 6. A competitive runner.
ISRAEL (3 g) Lightly raced son of Seventh Rock (AUS) out of a Kitalpha (USA) mare. Has won twice over 1260m and finished second to stable mate, Seven Kingdoms, in a 1700m MR 55 Handicap, in soft going, on February 25. Late Scratching from the Guineas so could be short of a race. Hard to judge, I think. Sherman Brown rides and Israel is drawn 6.
BUGATTI BLUE (3 c) by Traffic Guard (USA) out of a Brashee (GB) mare. Distinguished himself at the Guineas meeting, as a mudlark of note, when winning a 1700m Maiden Plate in heavy going – beating Tremendous by six lengths. This was his first race around the turn. Could be anything but do not ignore if the rain continues. Impossible to make predictions about the going at Borrowdale Park at present. The penetrometer reading was 32 on March 11, and 23 at the last race meeting on March 25. Hennie Greyling will be in the irons and Bugatti Blue is drawn 1.
PIRATE HUNTER (3 c) by Mullins Bay (GB) out of a Badger Land (USA) mare. I have more than a passing interest in this colt and hope a line can be drawn through his last outing, on March 25, in a 1800 MR 48 Handicap. Pirate Hunter was definitely not himself that day, probably due to a virus, but I can’t help wondering if he also disliked the going. Prior to that he was placed over 1200m and 1700m, and won over 1800m on February 25, finishing 1.25 lengths clear of Tremendous. Calvin Habib rides Pirate Hunter and he is drawn 5.
CANADIAN CHAMPION (3 g) by Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) out of an Arch (USA) mare. One win over 1600m from 8 starts. Finished 7.75 lengths off the winner, Butchie Boy, in the Zimbabwe Guineas. All the one-time winners – Bugatti Blue, Pirate Hunter and Canadian Champion – are difficult to assess in this company. We have to wait and see… Brendon McNaughton rides and Canadian Champion is drawn 8.
This is sure to be an exciting race and may the best horse win.
The first race on Sunday is due off at 12.35 and the Zimbabwe 2000 (Grade 3) at 15.25 pm.