Regulate and Manvir, both winners of their last start, take on four nifty fillies in the 1600m Zimbabwe Guineas (Gr3), the first leg of the Zimbabwe Triple Crown, at Borrowdale Park on Sunday.
Call The Wind, trained by Vanessa Birketoft, is probably the toughest nut the two geldings have to crack as the Twice Over (GB) filly has won all her four starts, including the 1600m Fillies Classic on February 6, when she beat Sunday’s runners Lady Sanza and Keen Spirit easily.
Then there is the small but gutsy Cutback from Thomas Mason’s yard, winner of her last two starts including the 1600m Guineas Trial on January 23. Cutback and Call The Wind have only met once and that was over 1100m in June. Call The Wind won comfortably but Cutback has come into her own over more ground – draw a line through her run in the Tote Free when the saddle slipped badly.
Both Keen Spirit and Lady Sanza have won once over shorter trips. They finished well behind Call The Wind in the Fillies Classic and on paper will have to improve to score here.
Keen Spirit and Manvir are trained by Debra Swanson, and Lady Sanza, from whom much has been expected after a scintillating debut, is from Gokhan Terzi’s stable.
Regulate and Manvir’s chances are difficult to assess as neither have previously raced around the turn, and when they have met up the straight Regulate has retained the upper hand.
In fact, Manvir was beaten by 5.25 lengths at level weights when Regulate won over 1100m in yielding going on February 6. At the last race meeting on February 20 Manvir won a 1000m Maiden Plate in good going.
That said, we can only wonder whether this pair will light up over a mile. I still think Call The Wind will be hard to beat while hoping Cutback can make the four-time winner work hard for the money.
1 Drawn 5 REGULATE 58.0 (MR60) T Gould – Bridget Stidolph – (Ato – Dictate by Silvano (GER))
2 Drawn 4 MANVIR 58.0 (MR57) N Takawira – Debra Swanson – (Red Ray – Europe To Africa (AUS) by Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE))
3 Drawn 6 CALL THE WIND 55.5 (MR77) C Habib – Vanessa Birketoft – (Twice Over (GB) – Silvan Wind by Silvano (GER))
4 Drawn 3 CUTBACK 55.5 (MR67) C Orffer – Thomas Mason – (Twice Over (GB) – Suedette by Dynasty)
5 Drawn 2 KEEN SPIRIT 55.5 (MR61) R Satombo – Debra Swanson – (Skitt Skizzle – Caesour’s Spirit by Caesour (USA))
6 Drawn 1 LADY SANZA 55.5 (MR60) D De Gouveia – Gokhan Terzi – (Rafeef (AUS) – Supreme Dynasty by Dynasty)
Same Trainer (2,5)
Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News