Holy Land


3 Drawn 11 58.5 HOLY LAND 6-year-old gelding

Owner:  Messrs G Goksel, G Carter, D T Machingaidze and Mesdames P J Lewis, C M de Jong, and S Ziehl

Breeder: Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein – Trainer: V Birketoft

Breeding: Ideal World (USA) – Lalibela by Silvano (GER)

Colours: Black, purple crossed sashes, black sleeves, purple cap

Vanessa Birketoft fields three runners in the Castle Tankard and when the betting opened Holy Land was quoted at 5/1.

Originally trained by Dennis Drier, Holy Land campaigned extensively in KZN and Gauteng, and won a 1600 Maiden Plate at Greyville in September 2018. His next victory was at Borrowdale Park in June 2020 when trained by Thomas Mason, Holy Land won the 1600m Independence Trophy. After joining the Terzi yard, the son of Ideal World won two over 1500m and 1600m.

Holy Land, now trained by Vanesa Birketoft, won his next three starts in October and November 2021, and these included the 1800m National Foods Plate and the 1450m Zimbabwe Challenge.  Kabelo Matsunyane, was riding. In the National Foods Plate 2022 Tankard hopefuls Wantage, Finchatton, Mr Greenlight and Three To Tango were further back.

In his last three starts, Holy Land was a length behind Dindingwe in a Pinnacle Plate 100, conceding 3 kgs to the winner and beating Wantage, Armstrong, Heir Line and Three To Tango; he was a close second to Finchatton in the 1600m Ipi Tombe Stakes, at level weights, and finally, fifth in the 1600m Independence Trophy on April 13 when he carried top weight in yielding going.

Holy Land is undoubtedly a horse with ability.  I have slight doubts about the Tankard distance but for the progeny of Ideal World (USA) this should not be a concern.

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News.

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