Fascinating – but unlikely to be a walkover

Hedwig, a robust, long-striding filly, won by a country mile up the straight on debut, and at Borrowdale Park on Sunday she will race around the turn in a 1600m MR 80 Handicap.

Although eagerly anticipating seeing this daughter of Master Of My Fate race over more ground, I was not expecting her to give weight to the entire field. Hedwig has only had two starts but collected a Merit Rating of 75 after her Maiden win, in a three-horse race. The two well-beaten participants, Peaceable and Green Serenity, have subsequently proved they are better suited when going further.

On April 18 Hedwig ran in the 1200m MR 80 Handicap (3YO) won by Jubilee, and finished 10 lengths behind him, with Sunday’s runner Ana Lane further back. There were several proven sprinters here and it was no surprise when Hedwig failed to shine.

All things being equal I would have been wildly enthusiastic about Hedwig this Sunday, but this will be an acid test for the lightly raced filly. She is taking on her peers – two geldings, Only Him and Suave Judge, and three fillies, Ultra Edge, Ana Lane and Seattle Swift. Only Him will receive 3 kgs from Hedwig, and Seattle Swift, if *Walter Shumba claims 2 kgs, will receive 10.

Only Him
, by Mambo In Seattle (USA) out of a Captain Al mare, raced three times at the Vaal and was placed in both starts over 1600m before winning over 1400m on April 14. Providing he travelled well he rates respect.

Suave Judge, a son of Judpot (USA) carries 56 kgs to Hedwig’s 60 kgs, and has won twice over a mile, in open company. His last start was in the Zimbabwe 2000 where he did not shape but Sunday’s trip should suit him. Calvin Habib is in the irons.

Master Of My Fate also sired Ultra Edge and she will carry 53 kgs, while Ana Lane, by Coup de Grace (USA) and a winner over 1260m, is on 52.

Ultra Edge recently won over 1450m and has been placed over 1600m.

By Alado (GB), *Shumba’s ride, Seattle Swift, scored in a 1600m Maiden Plate in January and was four lengths off Mazikeen in a 1600m Novice Plate in March. With weight on her side Seattle Swift cannot be ignored.

This is a competitive field and even if Hedwig lives up to my previous expectations it will not be a walkover. Randall Simons rides.

This race is the sixth on Sunday’s 7-race card and is due off at 16.03. The Independence Trophy follows at 16.31 and the race meeting begins at 13.25.

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News: Hedwig, seen here with Hennie Greyling up, won her first start on March 7.

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