The US$70 000 OK Grand Challenge (GR 2) will be run over 1800m at Borrowdale Park on Saturday. It seems there will be 18 runners and at this stage it looks as if the two Gokhan Terzi yards will field nine of them.
The Kirk Swanson stable’s five OK acceptors include the top three-year-olds, Diesel And Dust and Dindingwe, while Bridget Stidolph wIll send out Peggson, Wantage and Only Him – with Fortuna Doro and Christofle in reserve should there be any scratchings. Cash Time, trained by Ashley Fortune is the only South African acceptor.
A full field of 18 has become a rarity at Borrowdale so the draw regains importance, and punters have work to do, so let’s have a look at the Terzi runners – for a start.
1 Drawn 14 TANDAVA 60.5kgs (MR101) – No jockey declared.
8 g – Century Stand (AUS) – Davuli (ZIM) by Kitalpha (USA). Last start was at Borrowdale on the 28 August 2020 when third behind Fareeq and Yarraman at level weights over 1450m. Winner of 9 races in Gauteng and at Borrowdale from 1000m – 1900m, including the 2019 Republic Cup (Gr3) at Borrowdale Park. At his best Tandava would be a strong contender but has not raced for nine months.
3 Drawn 11 DAFFIQ 58.5kgs (MR97) SAMPSON
7 g – Silvano (GER) – Crown Office (USA) by Horse Chestnut – Won over 1450m at Turffontein and has won three races at Borrowdale from 1200 – 1600m. His last outing was on May 2 when he won the Independence Trophy, beating OK runners, Finchatton, Three To Tango, Yarraman and Peggson.
4 Drawn 8 MR GREENLIGHT 58kgs (MR96) HERHOLDT
5 g – Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Rakara by Rakeen (USA). Won twice over a mile at Greyville and has won five races at Borrowdale from 1000m to 1600m. Last time out was on April 4 in the 2000m Breeders Champions Cup (L) when 3 lengths off Wantage who was receiving 2 kgs. Yarraman and Three To Tango were further back.
7 Drawn 13 YARRAMAN 56.5kgs (MR93) GREYLING
6 g – Await The Dawn (USA) – Leading Light (AUS) by Fantastic Light (USA). An 8-time winner from 1600m to 1900m including the Ipi Tombe Stakes (L) and the National Foods Cup in 2020. Has beaten the main players before but only managed minor placings in last four outings. His last race was fourth to Daffiq in the Independence Trophy on May 2. Distance suited so must be considered.
9 Drawn 9 FINCHATTON 55.5kgs (MR91) DE GOUVEIA
9 g – Right Approach (GB) – Rose Lipped Maiden by Fort Wood (USA). Has only had two starts at Borrowdale and last time out was a close second to Daffiq in the 1600m Independence Trophy when receiving 3 kgs. In his career Finchatton has scored 7 Wins and 17 Placings from 68 starts from 1400 to 2000m. Maybe the dark horse.
10 Drawn 15 GLADSTONE 55.5kgs (MR91) KADUMBA
4 g – Pathfork (USA) – Lupin (AUS) by Royal Academy (USA). Four of his five victories have been from 1100m to 1260m but in June 2020 Gladstone won a 1700m Novice Handicap, beating stable companions Fire To The Rein and Hold The Biscuit, when giving weight to the field.
11 Drawn 3 ARMSTRONG 54.5kgs (MR89) SCHWARTZ
5 g – Var (USA) – Walkingonthemoon (AUS) by Galileo (IRE). Won once at the Vaal, beating Over Sharing, and he won his first start at Borrowdale on November 16, 2019, beating Born To Shine. Has subsequently won three from 1260m to 1700m and drawn 3 and with a handy galloping weight in the OK could finish in the money. His last race was on February 24 when second to Greenwood Drive (AUS) over 1700m, giving the winner about 7 kgs.
13 Drawn 10 FAREEQ (AUS) 54.5kgs (MR89) SIBANDA
8 g – Nadeem (AUS) – Azwa (AUS) by Haafhd (IRE). I have given up guessing what Fareeq might do. He has won five times from 1260m to 1800m – and his win over 1800m was in October 2019 when he beat Yarraman, who was receiving 4.5 kgs, by five lengths. Later Yarraman turned the tables but in August 2020 Fareeq scored again over 1450m, beating Yarraman by a length at level weights. Fareeq’s last outing was on May 2 when second to Holy Land in a 1500m Pinnacle Plate. That day Fareeq gave Holy Land 1.5 kgs and was three-parts of a length behind, with OK Grand Challenge Reserves, Fortuna Doro and Christofle further back.
18 Drawn 6 HOLY LAND 52kgs (MR83) MATSUNYANE
5 g Ideal World (USA) – Lalibela by Silvano (GER). Won a Maiden 1600 at Greyville in 2018, and in June 2020, won the 1600m Independence Trophy, beating Fareeq by three-parts of a length when receiving 1.5kgs. That day Three To Tango and Peggson finished third and fourth, and Holy Land was at that time trained by Thomas Mason. Latterly Holy Land has won his last two starts, over 1600m and 1500m. With a light weight and a good draw should finish in the money on Saturday.
This is a big race everyone wants to win, so watch this space for information about the rest of the OK Grand Challenge field.
Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News