ARE WE ON THE TRIPLE CROWN TRAIL?

Sygone, 2019 winner of the first two legs of Zimbabwe’s Triple Crown – the 1600m Zimbabwe Guineas and the Zimbabwe 2000 – has been nominated to run in the last leg, the 2400m Zimbabwe Derby on Sunday, April 28.

Final Acceptances are due early next week, and only then will we know whether we are once again on the Triple Crown trail. However, we have a new generation of racing fans at Borrowdale Park who may not have been here before.

That said, I know for sure that one of the younger members of the present MTC Board of Stewards was on course when the Zimbabwe Triple Crown was won for the first time by Island Farewell in 1983. He was about five at that time – a manipulative child who knew his way around the racecourse and thought nothing of persuading total strangers to stand in the queue and place his illegal bets.

For the benefit of those better brought up this is part of the background story.

Worldwide the connections of three-year-old horses dream of winning one of the Classics or maybe two. To win three of the races that make up the Triple Crown is never easy – although Zimbabwe has, over the years, had its fair share of winners.

Inaugurated at Borrowdale Park in 1980, the Triple Crown was not won until 1983. The Toff was a three-year-old in 1980 and although beaten by Manawatu by 1.25 lengths in the Guineas, he won the next two legs. Often a horse that wins well over a mile – or even 2000m – cannot see out the 2400m trip – or vice versa. This is what makes the Triple Crown series a test of both speed and stamina – and gets most of us, on the day, behind a possible winner.

Since 1980 there have been eight Zimbabwe Triple Crown winners:

1983 Island Farewell – Trainer Robin Smith
1986 Match Winner – Trainer Sharon Patterson
1995 Stay Alert – Trainer Ginger Halfpenny
1997 Summer Silence – Trainer Michael Clements
2006 Glen Monarch – Trainer – Lisa Harris
2007 Earl Of Surrey – Trainer Lisa Harris
2009 Rebecca’s Fleet – Trainer -Lisa Harris
2012 Madigan – Trainer – Kirk Swanson

We must be due a winner soon and, hopefully, Sygone will have a go on the 28th of April.

In any event, several people have been helping piece together what we can of our Triple Crown saga.

Regrettably, there are gaps but also some worthwhile reminiscences from connections of Triple Crown winners who have been there and done it.

One way or another you are going to read more about this, later.

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