Roman Discent, Simona and Heir Line, each won one of Borrowdale Park’s ‘big three’ in 2018. They meet again on Saturday in the 1800m ZNA Charity Handicap and the question is ‘Can one of them once again gain the upper hand when giving weight to the rest of the field?’
Roman Discent, carrying 52 kgs, starting price 66/1, narrowly beat Simona (52 kgs) and the favourite Kilrain (59kgs) in the $50 000 Castle Tankard (Gr1) over 2000m.
Simona went one better in the 1800m OK Grand Challenge (Gr2). The filly carrying 53,5 kgs, finished two lengths clear of the outsider Peggson (52kgs) in the $40 000 event, followed by Master Switch on 57 kgs, and Kilrain (60 kgs). The Tankard winner, Roman Discent, then burdened with 54 kgs, was fifth, about five lengths back.
Heir Line (below), coming off a victory in a 1700m MR 80 Handicap on June 17, came to the party in the $60 000 Republic Cup (Gr3) which is run over 1900m.
With 53kgs on his back, Heir Line was receiving 3 kgs from Simona, who was only one length behind him. Saturday’s runner Bush Pilot (52 kgs) was third, Master Switch (57.5 kgs) fourth, and Roman Discent (54.5 kgs) fifth.
On Saturday Simona, with a Merit Rating of 90, carries the top weight of 60kgs. Heir Line (MR 86) is on 58 kgs, and Roman Discent (MR 84) is on 57 kgs. The handicapper has played his part and Saturday’s race will establish whether 2018’s stars will retain supremacy or not.
Simona is probably the best bet. She was only a length off Heir Line over 1900m when giving away 3kgs, and the Republic Cup winner will receive 2kgs from Simona this time. Roman Discent was receiving 1.5 kgs from Simona in the Republic Cup while giving Heir Line 1.5 kgs. In the ZNA Charity Handicap he receives 3 kgs from Simona and 1 kg from Heir Line. The turnaround in weights should, in theory, bring Roman Discent back into the reckoning.
Interesting as this may be this race is probably not going to be all about Simona, Heir Line and Roman Discent.
Relative newcomer Twilight Trip has weight on his side, as have Knuckleball and the veteran, Lava Flow. Bush Pilot cannot be discounted. And the ‘big races” this year have been won by horses carrying 52 kgs, 53.5 kgs and 53 kgs, respectively.
Fortunately, we have the rest of the week to brood about that.