Sygone looked every inch a champion when winning the Zimbabwe Guineas at Borrowdale Park on March 10.  He ran as he pleased and a repeat performance in the Zimbabwe 2000 on Sunday might be on the cards.

However – one must not ignore the extra 400m  as none of Sunday’s runners have tried this trip.

The 1600m Zimbabwe Guineas is the first leg of our Triple Crown, then comes Sunday’s feature over 2000m, followed by the 2400m Zimbabwe Derby on April 28.  Traditionally this is the ultimate test of speed and stamina for three-year-olds – qualities which appeared to be lacking in the 2019 Guineas field. There is plenty of room for redemption and I hope we will see a more competitive race come Sunday.

Of course, I am aware that we are short of horses, and owners and trainers must be commended for providing a field.  Notwithstanding, I defend my right to defend the honour of the Triple Crown.

Fortunately, Jackie Cocksedge has agreed to provide in-depth and probably more rational details about the breeding of the runners in Sunday’s Zimbabwe 2000m. In both the Zimbabwe 2000 and the Zimbabwe Derby stamina genes will count. Jackie’s summary will be published tomorrow, and it will be worth waiting for.  

ZIMBABWE 2000 (Grade 3) 2000m 2nd Leg Triple Crown

No Apprentice Allowance

SYGONE (3g) by Ato – Sky Pirate by Victory Moon 58kgs (MR78) Drawn 4  C Storey riding for Bridget Stidolph

Sygone won the 1600m Zimbabwe Guineas on March 10 beating Action Jackson (3.50 back), Mia Finola (5.00), Three To Tango (6.25), Red Pollard (11.25), and then came Born To Shine and Opaque.  In December Sygone (conceding 5kgs) finished third, three lengths behind Three To Tango in the 1600m Tote Free Handicap. Judging by his performance in the Guineas this son of Ato looks hard to beat at level weights – providing he enjoys a longer journey. 

ACTION JACKSON (3g) by Jackson – Action Replay by Jet Master 58kgs (MR71) Drawn 6. R Munger riding for Penny Fisher.

Has won twice from five starts. Came second to Sygone in the Guineas, second to Opaque in the Guineas Trial and second to Three To Tango in the Tote Free. Like the rest of the field Action Jackson has yet to show his paces over 2000m.  He won a 1600m Novice Plate in February, beating Prairie Sky and Rose Diamond (both receiving 3 kgs). Rain Spider, running at level weights with Action Jackson then, finished two lengths off the winner.

THREE TO TANGO (3c) by Grey’s Inn (USA)– Danseuse by Joshua Dancer (USA) 58kgs (MR71) Drawn 2. R Danielson riding for Kirk Swanson.

Having always respected Three To Tango it irks me to admit he fluffed it in the Guineas and I hope he will do better here.  The son of Grey’s Inn has won two races, over 1200m and 1600m, from five starts, and it will be interesting to see if he can pull something out of the hat this time.                

RAIN SPIDER (3g) by Byword (GB)- Money Spider by Fort Wood (USA) 58kgs (MR55) Drawn 1.  B McNaughton riding for Bridget Stidolph.

To date Rain Spider has not lived up to expectations since winning the 1200m Champion Juvenile Stakes in June 2018. He has been placed over 1600m but did not run in the Guineas so can’t be castigated for that. Rain Spider is hard to read but over 2000m and with Fort Wood prominent on his dam’s side he could surprise us.             

RED POLLARD (3c) by Gitano Hernando (GB) – Rosy Blush by Jallad (USA) 58kgs (MR48) Drawn 5.  C Habib riding for Bridget Stidolph.

Red Pollard did not enhance his reputation in the Zimbabwe Guineas when beaten 11.25 lengths by Sygone, however last time out over the same distance he finished 2.80 lengths off the tied winners Peapack and Supa Memories. Previously he has narrowly beaten Peapack over 1600m at level weights. Perhaps an extra 400m is what he has been waiting for.           

CROWN BREWED (3g) by Ideal World (USA) – Innactual Fact by National Emblem 58kgs (MR41) Drawn 3. Wes Marwing riding for Bridget Stidolph.

Mauritzfontein’s stallion Ideal World is making headlines right now so Crown Brewed can’t be dismissed. He has won once over 1200m from 8 starts but recently finished close behind Supa Memories over the mile. On March 10 in a 1800m MR 48 Handicap he was 2.05 lengths behind the winner Rose Diamond – also beaten on that occasion by Sunrise Ruby, Supa Memories and Baumgartner. Crown Brewed should be distance suited.              

The first race at Borrowdale Park on Sunday April 7, is due off at 12.40 pm, and the Zimbabwe 2000 at 15.35.

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