…and the breeding is there…
The last two legs of the Triple Crown are a true test of stamina and Sunday’s runners in Borrowdale Park’s Zimbabwe 2000 have not yet been tested over these distances. JACKIE COCKSEDGE, formerly of the Zimbabwe Thoroughbred Breeders Association, has taken an in-depth look at Sunday’s field – and the breeding is there.
The Zimbabwe 2000 is the middle leg of the three 3-year-old Classic races that forms the Triple Crown. In my youth many moons ago, JACKIE writes, all three legs were sponsored, and I remember well the CABS Golden Guineas, The Bunny Cairns Stakes and the Rothmans Derby.
It takes a versatile horse to capture all the legs as the distance varies from 1600 metres to a gruelling 2400 metres. A true test of speed, ability and stamina that is rarely achieved, which makes winning it very memorable. The 2019 first leg over 1600 metres was won by Sygone by 3.5 lengths and the balance of the field were well beaten. I have been asked to look at the pedigrees of the six Zimbabwe 2000 contestants. I note that only four from the original Guineas field go forward to this race, and the only filly who ran in the Guineas and finished 3rd will seeks her fortunes elsewhere
SYGONE is by Ato, a son of world champion Royal Academy. Ato raced in Singapore where he clocked up 9 victories up to 1600 metres including 2 Grade 1 events. His performances indicate speed. Sygone’s dam Sky Pirate by Victory Moon descends from a stamina orientated female line. She herself won 3 races up to 2200 metres and finished 2nd in The Betting World Oaks (Gr2), and her half-sister Star Safari (by Jallad) also was effective up to 2000 metres with a 2nd in the Grade 2 SA Oaks. On this basis Sygone should have no problem seeing out the extra 400 metres provided he inherits a fair dose of his mother’s genes.
ACTION JACKSON is from the first crop of Jackson (by Dynasty). Jackson cost a million Rand as a yearling and trained by Brett Crawford he started his racing career at three years, clocking up 6 wins including the Cape Investec Derby (Gr1), and stamping himself as one of the top horses of his generation. Action Jackson’s dam Action Replay won a single race over 1000 metres but she is a daughter of Jet Master and she comes from an imported French female line that boasts the immortal Allez France as the 5th dam. I generally find French breeding leans towards stamina as that is the foundation of their racing. Although Action Jackson was beaten by 3.5 lengths in the Guineas, he only really got going 200 metres from home and was flying. I am confident he will see out the trip and rate him a serious contender.
THREE TO TANGO is by Grey’s Inn (sire famous for Legal Eagle) out of the Joshua Dancer mare Danseuse. Grey’s Inn won up to 2400 metres in South Africa and was rated Champion 3-year-old Male. He hails from the tail male of Sir Tristram so absolutely no stamina limitations. Danseuse won 5 races and placed 8 times from 19 starts. She won from 1200 to 1600 metres and raced until she was a 5-year-old, which is good solid performance. As Three To Tango is her first foal, it is hard at this stage to see what type of runner she will produce. It is a bit of a mixed pedigree with the majority of performers only getting up to 1600 metres until you get to the 3rd dam who produced the mighty Gatecrasher, who needs no introduction. On breeding Three To Tango should see out the 2000 metres and more.
RAIN SPIDER by Byword out of Money Spider. Byword won up to 2000 metres and was rated Top Weighted Older Horse in France 2010. A grandson of Nureyev out of the French Broodmare of The Year, he ticks all the boxes. Money Spider is a beautifully bred daughter of Fort Wood. She won at 3 years over 1800 metres and is an own sister to Forest Path and Reef Road. This is the immediate family of Dawson’s Trail and Spanish Galliard, both outstanding stayers. There are no stamina limitations in this pedigree. As Rain Spider did not take his place in the Guineas, it is hard to get a form line. On previous runs over 1600 metres he is held by Action Jackson and Three To Tango, but maybe he will relish the extra 400 metres.
RED POLLARD by Gitano Hernando out of Rosy Blush. Gitano Hernando won 7 races from 1700 to 2100 metres including the Group 1 Goodwood Stakes and the Grade 1 Singapore International Cup. A real global traveller, he raced in six countries and on three continents. His sire Hernando was Champion 3-year-old in France and is a highly rated sire. Racegoers to Borrowdale may remember Rosy Blush. Trained by Lisa Harris and owned by Robin Bruss, she won 3 races and was a very speedy daughter of Jallad. Her class against the same sex got her the 1800 metres Silver Slipper and she ran 2nd to Captain’s Tiger by three-quarters of a head in the Guineas. Her previous foal Buster Posy only managed a win over 1000 metres, but Red Pollard seems more effective over 1600 metres. Hard to say whether he will enjoy the extra 400 metres.
CROWN BREWED by Ideal World out of Innactualfact by National Emblem. Ideal World won 4 races in France from 2000- 2600 metres. He is a son of Kingmambo, and has already in his stud career sired a number of top class campaigners such as Smart Call and Rainbow Bridge to mention a few. Innactualfact only raced 4 times, but her dam won 4 and was 2nd in the Caradoc Gold Cup (Gr2), so plenty of stamina there. The female line has depth and there are some solid performers in it with no stamina limitations. Again Crown Brewed is one of the entries that did not contest the Guineas, so it is hard to assess how he would fare against the opposition. His only victory has been over 1200 metres but he has recently been knocking on the door over 1600 to 1800 metres.
Photograph by Andrew Philip