The 2000m Breeders Champions Cup (L) is the feature at Borrowdale Park on Friday (24th March 2023), and It would be difficult to find a more competitive field.
It includes last year’s winner, Lily Blue; the 2022 Castle Tankard winner True Beauty; Only Him, a close second to True Beauty in the Tankard; Bugatti Blue, the most recent winner of the 1900m Republic Cup, and Wantage, thereabouts often, and winner of the 2021 Breeders Champions Cup.
All are distance-suited and finished behind True Beauty in the 2022 Castle Tankard. However, a turnover in some of the weights must be considered, and Lily Blue, at her best, could be a danger.
And then there is Masaaken…
This five-year-old daughter of Teofilo (IRE) won 5 races from 2000m to 2850m in Gauteng and has had 6 starts at Borrowdale for 3 wins over 1700m, 2000m and 2700m. Masaaken ran third to Bugatti Blue in the 1900m Republic Cup in July – finishing 3 lengths back when receiving 5 kgs. Lily Blue, giving away 8 kgs, was just behind her, while Wantage and Only Him were further back. Lily Blue carries 57.5 to Masaaken’s 55.5 kgs here, so the relative newcomer looks well held, on paper, providing Lily Blue is in a racing mood.
I can’t help wondering if Masaaken is the one for Friday. She has won three of her last four starts, impressively, and although she was unplaced in the 1600m Fillies Stakes won by True Beauty in December, she undoubtedly prefers a longer trip.
Masaaken is trained by Debra Swanson, who will also saddle Bugatti Blue. In form Rodgers Satombo rides.
The 2023 Breeders Champions Cup is due off at 15.25 pm and the first race at 12.30.
Photographs by Jenny Stock and Laurent Viguie. ABOVE: Only Him, Bugatti Blue and Wantage. BELOW: True Beauty, Lily Blue and Masaaken.