A Remarkable OK Grand Challenge Record

Bridget Stidolph has a remarkable record in the OK Grand Challenge (GR2) having trained the winner of this 1800m event in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  She first won this race with Duffy’s Call, then Royal Honour, before Simona collected the OK Grand Challenge honours twice.

On Saturday Bridget will saddle Peggson, Wantage and Only Him – and possibly Fortuna Doro and Christofle – who will only get a run if there are late scratchings. At present Fortuna Doro and Christofle are listed as the Reserve Runners 1 and 2 respectively.

Will this yard do it again?

2 Drawn 1 PEGGSON 59kgs (MR98) PENNY

6 g Jay Peg – Pistol Dawn by Tara’s Halls (SNL).  Peggson has won 9 races from 1200m to 2000m, the most notable being the 1600m Ipi Tombe Stakes (L) and the 2000m Castle Tankard (Gr1) in 2019, and the 2000m Breeders Champions Cup (L) and the 1800m Borrowdale Challenge in 2020. Although he has not won the OK Grand Challenge, Peggson ran second to his stable companion Simona in 2018 and 2019.  He has proved he can carry weight and win and has a good draw for Saturday providing he gets off to a good start and doesn’t lose his position. His last outing was in the Independence Trophy on May 2.

6 Drawn 13 WANTAGE 56.5kgs (MR93) GOULD

4 g  Ato – Angora by Tamburlaine (IRE). Wantage has won 7 races from 1200m to 2000m, including the 1600m Tote Free Handicap and the Guineas Trial, as well as the 2020 Zimbabwe 2000, second leg of the Triple Crown.  He was second to Lily Blue in the other two legs of the Triple Crown, namely the Zimbabwe Guineas and the Zimbabwe Derby.  As a four-year-old Wantage has lived up to that early promise. He won the 1600m Ipi Tombe Stakes in March, beating Saturday’s runners Mr Greenlight, Three To Tango, Yarraman, Bugatti Blue, Fareeq and Peggson, at level weights. His next victory was in the 2000m Breeders Champions Cup (L) and once again Mr Greenlight, Yarraman and Three To Tango followed him across the line.   At the last race meeting Wantage was second to Love To Bluff over 1260m. He deserves respect and I wish he had a slightly better draw this time.

16 Drawn 19 ONLY HIM 52kgs (MR84) STEYN

3 g Mambo In Seattle (USA) – Only Emily by Captain Al. Only Him, having his second start at Borrowdale Park, made a name for himself when he held on to narrowly beat the more fancied Diesel And Dust in the 2400m Zimbabwe Derby on May 16. Prior to that this lightly raced three-year-old had won over 1400m at the Vaal. Hopefully, he will get a chance to prove his worth on Saturday – from a dreadful draw.

RESERVE RUNNERS

19 Drawn 18 FORTUNA DORO 52.5kgs (MR85)

5 m Pomodoro – Fortunes Hand by Elliodor (FR). Won at the Vaal over 1450m and 1600m, and at Borrowdale over 1450 and 1500m. Her last outing was in a 1500m Pinnacle Plate on May 2 when a length behind Holy Land who was receiving 1.5kgs.

20 Drawn 17 CHRISTOFLE 52kgs (MR84)

6 g Tiger Ridge (USA) – Malmaison (AUS) by French Deputy (USA).  Christofle won the 1100m Hachiman Sprint in 2020 and 7 of his other 8 wins have all been in sprints.  However, his last outing was on May 2 when 1.50 lengths off Holy Land over 1500m. Fareeq and Fortuna Doro were in front of him then but there wasn’t much in it. However, I have yet to be convinced that Christofle will shine over more ground.

Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News

2021 Zimbabwe Derby winner – Only Him

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