The feature race at Borrowdale Park on Friday is the 1600m Zimbabwe Challenge which has attracted some of our top performers.

Peggson’s nine wins include the 1600m Ipi Tombe Stakes (L) in 2019, the 2019 Castle Tankard (Gr1) run over 2000m, and the 2000m Breeders Champions Cup (L) in 2020.

I always fancy Peggson’s chances, but on February 19th Yarraman narrowly beat Peggson over Friday’s trip at level weights.  In the Zimbabwe Challenge Peggson will give at least 4 kgs to the rest of the field, including Yarraman, and that is a tough ask.

Although Gokhan Terzi’s charge enjoys a significant turnaround in weights with his rival now, he must also deal with his stable companion, Fareeq.  In the Pro Bar Breeders Sprint on August 28 Fareeq, at level weights, finished a length clear of Yarraman over 1450m. Fareeq has won 4 races from 1260m to 1800m, so comes into the reckoning here.

Zimbabwe Derby winner Three to Tango is a versatile sort having won from 1200m to 2400m.  In the past, Peggson and Yarraman have usually kept the upper hand, but the son of Grey’s Inn (USA) has more pull in the weights this time. That said Apprentice Satombo has the ride on Three To Tango and may not be able to make full use of his 4 kg allowance.

To add to the confusion, I need to add that when Holy Land won the 1600m Independence Trophy in June, Fareeq and Three To Tango, both receiving 1 kg, finished inches in front of Peggson. On paper they should walk this.

Three To Tango’s stable companion, What A Dandy, faces stiffer opposition here but won his last start over 1600m, beating Bugatti Blue.  In addition to Peggson, Bridget Stidolph will saddle Wantage and Butchie Boy – both set to carry 54 kgs – but in this field they have work to do. 

The more one delves into this race the harder it gets.  I still think Peggson, Fareeq and Three to Tango will make the rest work hard for some money but, as usual, I am prepared to be surprised.

The first race on Friday is due off at 12.25, and the Zimbabwe Challenge at 15.55.


1 (4) PEGGSON 62.0 (MR101)   A   Takawira – Bridget Stidolph

 2 (7) FAREEQ (AUS) 58.0 (MR94) BA   Sibanda – Gokhan Terzi

 3 (5) YARRAMAN 58.0 (MR92)   A   McNaughton – Gokhan Terzi

 4 (6) THREE TO TANGO 56.0 (MR88) BA *Satombo (4.0) – Kirk Swanson

 5 (3) WHAT A DANDY 56.0 (MR89)   S    Derere – Kirk Swanson

 6 (2) BUTCHIE BOY 54.0 (MR81)   A   Penny – Bridget Stidolph

 7 (1) WANTAGE 54.0 (MR83)   S   Nyamagwete – Bridget Stidolph

7 Horses Accepted

Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News


It happens at the movies – and in story books – but not so often at a racecourse.

Cool Solution, an eight-year-old son of Mullins Bay (GB), lined up with nine other runners in the 1800m MR 65 Handicap at Borrowdale on Saturday – and won. This was his 60th start and seventh victory.

Well done Cool Solution, trainer Kirk Swanson, and owners Dr Ronald Mhizha, Messrs Z R Lusengo, S P Gorringe, D K Ward, D Swanson, G Carter, and Ms P J Lewis, and Mr P D and Mrs U A Gorringe. Apprentice Rodgers Satombo had the winning ride.

What an achievement. I am lost in admiration when owners and trainers persevere and have faith!

This was one of the best finishes that afternoon. The first four horses – Cool Solution, Hold The Biscuit, Crown Brewed, and Centre Stage – finished within less than half a length, and the whole field within 3.05 lengths.

Quite a race one way and another.

Photograph by Gavin MacLeod


True Beauty, owned by Ms S P Moyo and Mr G Tafeni, won the Jacaranda Free Handicap at Borrowdale Park today, holding off a challenge from stable companion Dindingwe.

The daughter of Skitt Skizzle, is trained by Kirk Swanson and his yard was having a good day, winning five of the seven races. Norbert Takawira was in the irons.

Willfull Path ran third and Mind Master fourth.

Congratulations to all the winning connections.

Photograph: Zimbabwe Equine News.


The first race at Borrowdale Park is due off at 12 55 today, Saturday 17 October.

Follow this link to view and download the card:


Follow this link to see what the Borrowdale Tipsters say:


Card changes will appear on


You can watch the Sandsport Livestream on https://zimracing.com/borrowdale-park-videos/ or https://www.facebook.com/zimracing/ It will also be on Clocking The Gallop on U-Tube and on Facebook.

Have a great day


Preparations for tomorrow’s Borrowdale Park race meeting continue.

The feature race is the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap and the trees are in bloom.  A bit of rain followed by some sunshine has put the finishing touches to the course – and the MTC was mowing on Thursday.

Unfortunately, most of the closed doors conditions still apply, but the race meeting will be covered by SandSportLive – and can be accessed via various Facebook pages, as usual. 

The first race is due off at 12.55 pm.


It’s been quite a while since Noeleen Peech sent out a runner at Borrowdale Park, but she has rejoined the trainers’ ranks and it’s good to have her back.

On Saturday Noelene will be represented by Belle Epoque (ex-Swanson) in the 1260m MR 70 Handicap. Belle Epoque, by Seventh Rock (AUS) out of a Kitalpha (USA) mare, also returns after a long layoff. Her last outing was in July 2018, and she takes on Action Jackson, Fire To The Rein, Varnica, Titelist and Dunas Douradas.

This race is due off at 14.40. Belle Epoque won the 2017 Sable Flyers over 1260, so is distance suited.

Welcome back Noelene and Belle Epoque.


The first two runners for the Amy Bronkhorst/Mike Mallet combo are new to Borrowdale.

First up are Count Alley and Veseo in the 1200m Maiden Plate at on Saturday. Daniel Frank rides Count Alley, a 3-year-old gelding by Flower Alley(USA) out of a Var (USA) mare. He had one run at Turffontein on September 3.

Powder Puff (the chestnut), with Kevin Derere in the irons, races in the Jacaranda Free Handicap, due off at 16 30. The first race on Saturday is at 12 55.

Mike is currently registered as stable employee. Here’s hoping its a good day for both of you.

Photographs by Gavin McLeod.


Willfull Path and Mind Master

Racing comes bouncing back to Borrowdale Park on Saturday and the feature is the 1200m Jacaranda Free Handicap. The course is looking good – and it rained – so it is all systems go.

Seven runners have stood their ground for the main event.  Bridget Stidolph saddles top weight Willfull Path; Kirk Swanson sends out Dindingwe and True Beauty, while Gokhan Terzi is represented by Mind Master, Mazikeen and VainLikeThat.  

And… trainer Amy Bronkhorst picks up the cudgels again after quite a lengthy absence, with a newcomer to Borrowdale, Powder Puff.

At one time the 1200m Jacaranda Free and the 1600m Tote Free Handicaps were considered pointers towards the three-year-old Classics.  Being handicaps this wasn’t always the case.  Last year Love To Bluff won the Jacaranda Free, and Wantage was second.  As for the Classics, the class of 2019 had Lily Blue to contend with and she contested neither the Jacaranda Free nor the Tote Free.

However, Wantage went on to win the Tote Free, and the Zimbabwe 2000, and ran well behind Lily Blue when she was collecting her laurels.

This year the 2020 Borrowdale three-year-olds have had COVID interruptions to contend with and are coming back on Saturday after the annual racing break.

Two fillies, Willfull Path and Dindingwe (winner of the 2020 Champion Juvenile Stakes), are probably the main contenders, having dealt with most of the other runners before, but they have never met up with each other. This will be interesting and Dindingwe will have weight on her side. Both have their regular riders, Morgan Nyamagwete and Apprentice Rodgers Satombo, in the irons.

Powder Puff, ex the Azzie yard, is by Judpot out of a Fort Wood mare and her last outing was over 1450m at Turffontein. She has raced 8 times from 1000m to 1600m and finished just over 8 lengths behind rising star Anything Goes.  Amy’s charge remains the dark horse here.

Presumably, we are still racing behind closed doors with the same conditions which applied at the last Borrowdale Park race meeting on August 28.  In any event it will be good to be back in action.  

Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News

Dindingwe – won the 2020 Champion Juvenile Stakes


Lily Blue leading the way – 2020 Zimbabwe Derby

Prepare for some anxious moments around 4pm this afternoon (Saturday) when Lily Blue races in the 1600m MR 95 Handicap (F&M) at Turffontein.

Formerly trained at Borrowdale Park by Bridget Stidolph, as a three-year-old Lily Blue had no equal. The daughter of Black Minnaloushe (USA) is now in Paul Matchett’s yard in Gauteng, and this is her first outing Down South.Paul is enjoying a purple patch at present, but this is a new ballgame for Lily Blue. Her enthusiastic owners, The Gin’ll FixIt Syndicate, and Zimbabwe racing fans, will be on tenterhooks. Muzi Yeni is riding,

Go well Lily Blue. Enjoy the race and come back safely.

Click on the link below for a free Turffontein racecard – courtesy of Sporting Post. https://www.sportingpost.co.za/sporting-post-racecards/

( LILY BLUE was not disgraced. Came fourth and her race not entirely trouble-free.)


Image by Jan Vaše on Pixabay

A while ago Stewart Ramsay, writing in the Sporting Post Mailbag, suggested betting was too complicated for novices, and he is right about that.

Much has been written about attracting newcomers to racing and Mr Ramsay says:
“To overcome horseracing’s barriers to point of entry one needs a concept that provides anyone and everyone the opportunity to participate in horseracing, without having an in-depth knowledge of form studying and betting.
“There is such a concept.”

Cellphones have become one of the most popular means of communication – his plan can be studied at https://www.sportingpost.co.za/2020/09/raising-horseracing-profile/?fbclid=IwAR2QgHrrG0S7TTM0B_k38i4uWNEt2xGCHX0h2O4EEJTlXp7Qz_1mJGJNisgbut for Borrowdale Park perhaps the MTC could make it even more simple, initially.

At every race meeting, designate one race for ‘lucky cellphones’, and to enter one would simply have to send the MTC an sms with name and number.  Names with ‘phone numbers would go into a draw, and winners of the draw would each have a horse running for them. Results of the draw to be announced on social media during the early evening preceding a race meeting.

In due course, the race would be run and the ‘owner’ of the winning horse would receive whatever the MTC decides on (iZWL of course, and in cash-strapped Zimbabwe that wouldn’t have to be much to start attracting new people to racing).

I know it’s easy to dream up schemes for other people to operate.  When and if the MTC react to this one, I have more up my sleeve because we really need to drum up local interest in racing.