Weather permitting, Borrowdale Park’s major sprint, the US$3 000 National Foods Gold Cup, will be run over 1200m on Friday afternoon. This year the field of 8 runners includes three former Gold Cup winners – Coachella, Twilight Trip and Verdier.
Coachella won this race in 2017, carrying 61 kgs; Twilight Trip, set to carry 52 kgs and with a claiming apprentice in the irons, won the following year, and in 2019 Verdier (52 kgs) beat Coachella (63 kgs) by 0.05 lengths.
This time Coachella will ‘only’ carry 62 kgs, while Twilight Trip and Verdier come in at 52.5 and 52 kgs respectively. The chances are Coachella will have to settle for one of the minor places again, while one of the light weights comes skipping through.
Gladstone and White Winter were both set to carry the minimum weight but Gladstone, with Greyling up, will be 1 kg over. Fareeq, ridden by Takawira, will receive 5 kgs from Coachella, Christofle 5.5, and Armstrong 8kgs.
As it stands at present the going on Friday is likely to be on the soft side, which is an added imponderable.
On recent form, and taking weight into account, Christofle gets my vote, without much confidence. Armstrong, maybe, and White Winter is consistent. Who knows?
It will be an interesting race because, possibly, one of the previous winners can collect a Gold Cup double.
The first race on Friday is due off at 12 10 and the Gold Cup will be run at 16 15. This is the second feature race as the 1600m Tote Free Handicap is also part of the 8-race card.
Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News.