The feature race at Borrowdale Park on Friday is the 1600m Zimbabwe Challenge which has attracted some of our top performers.
Peggson’s nine wins include the 1600m Ipi Tombe Stakes (L) in 2019, the 2019 Castle Tankard (Gr1) run over 2000m, and the 2000m Breeders Champions Cup (L) in 2020.
I always fancy Peggson’s chances, but on February 19th Yarraman narrowly beat Peggson over Friday’s trip at level weights. In the Zimbabwe Challenge Peggson will give at least 4 kgs to the rest of the field, including Yarraman, and that is a tough ask.
Although Gokhan Terzi’s charge enjoys a significant turnaround in weights with his rival now, he must also deal with his stable companion, Fareeq. In the Pro Bar Breeders Sprint on August 28 Fareeq, at level weights, finished a length clear of Yarraman over 1450m. Fareeq has won 4 races from 1260m to 1800m, so comes into the reckoning here.
Zimbabwe Derby winner Three to Tango is a versatile sort having won from 1200m to 2400m. In the past, Peggson and Yarraman have usually kept the upper hand, but the son of Grey’s Inn (USA) has more pull in the weights this time. That said Apprentice Satombo has the ride on Three To Tango and may not be able to make full use of his 4 kg allowance.
To add to the confusion, I need to add that when Holy Land won the 1600m Independence Trophy in June, Fareeq and Three To Tango, both receiving 1 kg, finished inches in front of Peggson. On paper they should walk this.
Three To Tango’s stable companion, What A Dandy, faces stiffer opposition here but won his last start over 1600m, beating Bugatti Blue. In addition to Peggson, Bridget Stidolph will saddle Wantage and Butchie Boy – both set to carry 54 kgs – but in this field they have work to do.
The more one delves into this race the harder it gets. I still think Peggson, Fareeq and Three to Tango will make the rest work hard for some money but, as usual, I am prepared to be surprised.
The first race on Friday is due off at 12.25, and the Zimbabwe Challenge at 15.55.
1 (4) PEGGSON 62.0 (MR101) A Takawira – Bridget Stidolph
2 (7) FAREEQ (AUS) 58.0 (MR94) BA Sibanda – Gokhan Terzi
3 (5) YARRAMAN 58.0 (MR92) A McNaughton – Gokhan Terzi
4 (6) THREE TO TANGO 56.0 (MR88) BA *Satombo (4.0) – Kirk Swanson
5 (3) WHAT A DANDY 56.0 (MR89) S Derere – Kirk Swanson
6 (2) BUTCHIE BOY 54.0 (MR81) A Penny – Bridget Stidolph
7 (1) WANTAGE 54.0 (MR83) S Nyamagwete – Bridget Stidolph
7 Horses Accepted
Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News