As there is no feature race at Borrowdale Park on Friday the focus is on a 1800m Allowance Plate for three-year-olds – the only available prep race, I would imagine, for the approaching 2400m Zimbabwe Derby and 2000m Zimbabwe Oaks.

When the weights were first published Bridget Stidolph’s star filly, Lily Blue, was set to carry 62 kgs but due to COVID -19 the minimum riding weight in plate races was raised to 52 kgs -and with this in play Lily Blue would have carried 64.5 kgs.  Understandably this was a very tall ask so Lily Blue won’t step out this time.  Fire To The Rein and Varnica also scratched, leaving a field of six.

Wantage, a colt by Ato and trained by Bridget, is now the class act and he will carry 62 kgs. He ran second to Lily Blue in the Zimbabwe Guineas on the first of March, conceding 2.5 kgs. A few weeks later Wantage won the Zimbabwe 2000, beating Friday’s runner Zambezi Rapids by 1.25 lengths at level weights.

Zambezi Rapids from the Swanson yard has won over 1200m and 1600m and considering his run in the Zimbabwe 2000, and the turnaround in weights here, this lightly raced Dynasty gelding poses a threat.

 The Swansons’ other runner. Tree Of Wisdom, has the advantage of a recent run under his belt. By Softly Falling Rain, he came out on June 3 when third to Bam Bam Pebbles in a 1600m Graduation Plate. 

Tomcat Racing fields two – Centre Stage a filly by Oratorio (IRE), and the Jackson gelding, Leicester Square.  There is little local form to go on but Thomas Mason has surprised us before.

Last, but not least, is the ultra-consistent Ato filly, Prescott – Wantage’s stable companion, and so often the bridesmaid to Lily Blue.

So, the three-year-old star may be missing from the line-up, but this still has the makings of a good race. Apprentice allowances may be claimed.

The Allowance Plate is due off at 13.25.  The First race of the day is a Maiden Juvenile Plate at 10.55 featuring 9 runners including first-timer Obscure, a half-sister to Lily Blue, and four trainers.  Things are looking up.

1 5 WANTAGE (3C) 62.0 (MR81) M Nyamagwete –  Bridget Stidolph            
Ato – Angora by Tamburlaine (IRE)
2 6 ZAMBEZI RAPIDS (3G) 57.0 (MR76) N Takawira –  Kirk Swanson                                                
 Dynasty – Cool River by Western Winter (USA)
3 2 LEICESTER SQUARE (3G) 54.5 (MR79) *W Shumba (4.00) – Thomas Mason                          
Jackson – Epic Style by Spectrum (IRE)
4 4 TREE OF WISDOM (3G) 54.5 (MR63) *R Satomba (1.5) – Kirk Swanson
Soft Falling Rain – Minerva by Western Winter (USA)
5 3 CENTRE STAGE (3F) 52.0 (MR68) Kevin Derere – Thomas Mason                                                        
 Oratorio (IRE) – Sleek Jet by Jet Master
6 1 PRESCOTT (3F) 52.0 (MR69) N Sibanda – Bridget Stidolph
Ato – Taylinlee by Brave Tin Soldier (USA)
Photographs by Gavin MacLeod and Jenny Stock. Unfortunately no pic of Leicester Square available.

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