In terms of numbers it is a disappointing line-up for the Zimbabwe Guineas – first leg of the Borrowdale Park Triple Crown.
The Bridget Stidolph stable will be represented by five of Sunday’s seven runners but that is not to suggest the Fisher and Swanson yards are not mounting a significant challenge with their lone entries.
I am going to stick my neck out and say I believe one of the boys – Action Jackson, Three To Tango and Sygone – will grab this one. I could be wrong because Mia Finola has both class and form as well as being the most experienced three-year-old in this field.
Most of Sunday’s competitors have taken each other on before but this time they meet at set weights. Colts and geldings carry 58 kgs and the two fillies come in at 55.5 kgs. Let’s take a look at the field:
Race-6 (Turf) RTGS $ 8,000 1600m 15:45
ZIMBABWE GUINEAS (Grade 3) 15.45pm
For all 3-year-olds/ 1st leg Triple Crown
No Apprentice Allowance
1 SYGONE Draw 3 -58 kgs (MR76) C Storey…Bridget Stidolph
ATO x SKY PIRATE by VICTORY MOON – 9 starts, 2 wins, 5 places.
Winner of the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap, and third to Three To Tango in the 1600m Tote Free when conceding 5.5kgs.
2 ACTION JACKSON Draw 6 – 58 kgs (MR71) R Munger… Penny Fisher
JACKSON x ACTION REPLAY by JET MASTER – 4 starts, 2 wins, 2 places.
Second to Three To Tango in the Tote Free Handicap and second to Opaque in 1600m Guineas Trial, when conceding 7 kgs. Won a 1600m Graduation Plate on February 10.
3 THREE TO TANGO Draw 7 – 58 kgs (MR71) R Danielson… Kirk Swanson
GREYS INN (USA) x DANSEUSE by JOSHUA DANCER (USA) – 4 starts, 2 wins, 2 places.
Last start on December 1 when winning the Tote Free Handicap over Sunday’s distance. Prior to that ran second to Sygone in the 1200m Jacaranda Free.
4 OPAQUE Draw 5 – 58 kgs (MR59) …………… Bridget Stidolph
ATO x ANGORA by TAMBURLAINE (IRE) – 10 starts, 2 wins, 1 place.
Unexpected winner of the Guineas Trial on January 27 when Sunday’s runners, Action Jackson and Born To Shine finished behind him – both conceding dollops of weight. Opaque has more to do here.
5 RED POLLARD Draw 1 – 58 kgs (MR51) …………… Bridget Stidolph
GITANO HERNANDO (GB) x ROSY BLUSH by JALLAD (USA) – 4 starts, 1 win, 2 places.
Won 1600m Maiden Plate in December, beating subsequent winner Peapack. Disappointed in last start – may be the dark horse here.
6 MIA FINOLA Draw 2 – 55.5 kgs (MR81) C Habib … Bridget Stidolph
VAR (USA) x BASILICA by WOLFHOUND (USA) – 11 starts, 5 wins, 5 places.
Without doubt a filly with class and form. Winner of the Champagne Stakes, Fillies Mile and recent 1600m Fillies Classic. Second to Simona when receiving 10 kgs in the 1800m Champion Fillies Stakes in November. Has beaten Sygone over 1200m when conceding 3 kgs. Unplaced behind Three To Tango and Action Jackson in Tote Free but one can probably draw a line through that.
7 BORN TO SHINE Draw 4 – 55.5 kgs (MR70) B McNaughton… Bridget Stidolph
WINDRUSH (USA) x GLITTERING by BADGER LAND (USA) – 5 starts, 1 win, 4 places.
Won 1100m Maiden Juvenile Plate. Second to Mia Finola in the 1450m Champagne Stakes and the 1600m Fillies Classic. Placed fourth in Tote Free and Guineas Trial but although consistent has to improve to shape here.
Photo credits to Andrew Philip, Gavin Macleod and Jenny Stocks.