V Racing Saddles Three

Training honours at Borrowdale Park on Saturday went to V Racing. The yard sent out three winners – Hawi (*Shumba), Kursk (Derere) and Shesalegend (Gould).

First up, in the 1100m Maiden Plate, was Hawi, who is owned by Richard Moor and Gengis Goksel. The Vercingetorix gelding was bred by Mr and Mrs J R Slade.

He was followed by Kursk who scored for Gengis Goksel in the 1260m MR 75 Handicap. By So You Think (NZ), Kursk has now won three.

Last and certainly not least, was Shesalegend. In a thrilling finish to the 1700m Classified Stakes the Mogok (USA) filly denied her stable companion, Mazikeen, victory, by a narrow margin. Shesalegend is owned by Messrs S H Murray, G M Littleford, A P Nydam, P C Rugg and Miss V Birketoft.

Congratulations everyone.

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News: Hawi – with Apprentice Walter Shumba in the irons.

ZimFunners’ Field Day

Jardin from the Amy Bronkhorst yard, with Teague Gould in the irons, won the 1100m Progress Plate for the ZimFun Racing Club (Pty) Ltd (nominee C J Smith).

This was the ZimFunners’ second winner since its formation and the Club continues to gain momentum and enthusiastic support. Shares are still available so it’s not too late to join in the fun.

Borrowdale Park needs more horses – and more owners!

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News

A Lot Of Happy Chappies

Heir Line came to the fore again in the 1800m Merit Rated 75 Handicap on Saturday and has now won 7 races.

The Dynasty gelding was ridden by Rodgers Satombo, is trained by Debra Swanson and owned by Messrs P D Gorringe, S P Gorringe, V Patel, D K Ward & G Carter, G M Littleford, S H Murray & P C Rugg.

Heir Line won by 2.50 lengths, carrying 60 kgs. Very well done.

Photograph Zimbabwe Equine News


We know grand ‘old’ man Coachella, with Daniel Frank up, won the 1200m Swift Gold Cup (Gr3) at Borrowdale Park on Saturday – and here they are back in the parade ring.

By Alado (GB) and bred by Prof I M Sanne, the eight-year-old Coachella has now won 12 races. He is trained by Bridget Stidolph and owned by John Koumides.

Congratulations everyone.

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News

What A Finish – What A Pleasure

What a finish to the Swift Gold Cup (Gr3) at Borrowdale Park today – and what a pleasure to see veteran local jockey Daniel Frank, and sprinting star Coachella, get up to take the honours right on the line.

At one stage it looked as though What A Dandy (Satombo) was home and dry – until Coachella came with that sizzling dash to the wire. Both What A Dandy and Coachella are owned by John Koumides and it was good to see those familiar colours establish supremacy once more.

Third place went to Love to Bluff (Gould) and Armstrong (*Shumba) came fourth. Both Coachella and Love to Bluff are trained by Bridget Stidolph.

Very well done everyone.

Photograph: Daniel Frank on Aloft – quite a long time ago.


Despite stringent quarantine requirements for visitors to Zimbabwe, gazetted yesterday, I hear on the grapevine that we will race at Borrowdale Park on Saturday.

The absence of South African jockeys will result in some scratchings and jockey changes.

Hopefully, the online card, tips, card changes etc will be available eventually.

Meanwhile, apologies for the inevitable delays.

A Great Race Almost Guaranteed

BORROWDALE Park’s biggest and best sprint will be run over 1200m on Saturday, and well done MTC for obtaining a sponsor for this historic event in these difficult times.

The Swift Gold Cup Sprint (Gr3) is due off at 16 40 pm and eight runners, including previous winner Coachella, and recent record-breaker, Captain Of Tortuga, are in the line-up. Finding the winner will not be easy – which usually guarantees a great race.

This is my take on Saturday’s field – but it will be worth doing your own homework here.

1 Drawn 3 COACHELLA 60.5 (MR103) J Penny – Bridget Stidolph

8g by Alado (GB) – Festive Event by Camden Park (USA) – 10 wins
Top sprinter who won this race in 2017, carrying 61 kgs, and was placed third in 2018 and 2019 carrying 63 kgs. Unplaced last year (62kgs) but has since won twice over 1100m, beating What A Dandy (receiving 10 kgs) and Armstrong (receiving 7 kgs). On Saturday Coachella is set to carry 60.5 kgs. He could win but this is a tough field. A must, however, for Trifectas and Quartets.

2 Drawn 1 CAPTAIN OF TORTUGA 58.0 (MR98) F Herholdt – Bridget Stidolph
6g by Captain Al – Ebony Flyer by Jet Master – 5 wins
An interesting runner who won four in Gauteng and KZN over 1400m and 1600m. Won his only start at Borrowdale on November 6 and broke the Class Record while he was about it. This was a 1200m Pinnacle Plate 105. Captain Of Tortuga carried 60kgs and What A Dandy (60), Fareeq (58), Coachella (62), Armstrong (58) and Love To Bluff (60) were behind him. That day the winner had the outside draw – and there is a turnaround in weights.

3 Drawn 4 LOVE TO BLUFF 57.5 (MR97) T Gould – Bridget Stidolph

5g by Judpot (USA) – Casa Nostra by Strike Smartly (CAN) – 8 wins
Sprinting is his game and Love To Bluff is the baby in this race. He has, with weight on his side, finished ahead of some of these big boys before and perhaps he is well named. Love to Bluff has won three of his last five starts and when he hasn’t won he has not been placed, so I am not sure what to expect here. That said, should he collect the honours, I won’t be shocked.

4 Drawn 7 MR GREENLIGHT 57.0 (MR96) K Derere – Vanessa Birketoft

6g by Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Rakara by Rakeen (USA) – 7 wins
Five of Mr Greenlight’s victories have been over a mile but on February 24 he vanquished What A Dandy by 8 lengths over 1260m when giving away 0.5 kgs. That day the going was soft and Saturday’s runners, Fareeq and Coachella, were further back. Since then, the gelding has had five outings over more ground and has come second over 1600m, 2000m and 1700m. I will be surprised if he lights up this one.

5 Drawn 5 WHAT A DANDY 57.0 (MR96) Wes Marwing – Debra Swanson

7g by Just As Well (USA) – Leba (IRE) by King’s Best (USA) – 12 wins
What A Dandy has won from 1000m to 1800m and is an honest, versatile sort. He won the 1100m Hachiman Sprint in January, and more often than not What A Dandy finishes in the money. He should do well. In his last outing he was a close second to Captain of Tortuga at level weights which was encouraging.

6 Drawn 6 FAREEQ (AUS) 55.0 (MR92) B Nyawo – Vanessa Birketoft

9g by Nadeem (AUS) – Azwa (AUS) by Haafhd (IRE) – 6 wins
As a rule, I don’t do well predicting what Fareeq will do. In 2019 he was placed in the 2000m Castle Tankard, the 1800m OK Grand Challenge and the 1900m Republic Cup, and since then he has won over 1800m, 1260m and 1450m. Jack English was racing editor at the Rhodesia Herald for about 40 years, and he maintained that one only had to look at a horse’s last four starts and if he hadn’t done anything “Forget It”. Using that yardstick, one cannot forget Fareeq. On the 5th June he was fourth to Finchatton in the OK Grand Challenge. On 23rd June, fourth to Love To Bluff over 1000m. He won the 1100m Peter Cawood Memorial Stakes on October 24, and at the meeting on November 6, Fareeq finished 1.25 lengths off Captain of Tortuga when receiving 2 kgs. He will be I kg better off on Saturday.

7 Drawn 8 ARMSTRONG 54.5 (MR91) *W Shumba (4.0) – Vanessa Birketoft

6g by Var (USA) – Walkingonthemoon (AUS) by Galileo (IRE) – 6 wins
Armstrong has won from 1200m to 1700m and although he may not seem the most likely candidate on paper, I think he ticks several boxes. Since Coachella won the Gold Cup in 2017, the lighter weights have won. Armstrong is set to carry 54.5 kgs but will have claiming apprentice Walter Shumba on board. The son of Var is drawn on the outside rail which is always a plus up the straight at Borrowdale – in my opinion. He was a close second to Holy Land over 1450m at the last Borrowdale meeting so should be racing fit.

8 Drawn 2 EDWARD THE SEVENTH 53.5 (MR89) …………… Gokhan Terzi

7g by Seventh Rock (AUS) – Beatrix (ZIM) by Kitalpha (USA) – 8 wins
Edward The Seventh can win from 1200 – 1600m and carry more than 53.5 kgs. At the time of writing, no jockey has been declared, He won a 1450m MR 85 Handicap on October 24, carrying 60.5 kgs, and finished 2.5 lengths off Holy Land on November 21. Has the same things going for him as Armstrong – except for the draw.

Pics by Jenny Stock, Gavin MacLeod and Andrew Philip.

Compression Masks – Some Whys And Wherefores

More horses are wearing compression masks when racing at Borrowdale Park so eventually one must wonder why.

I asked around and opinions varied from “It is supposed to affect pressure points on the horse’s head and that makes them calmer,” to “Works for a while as it is new to the horse but once they get used to it then it probably has no effect.”

The next step was to Google it, and I discovered compression masks “can also help increase poll flexion and provide relief for chronic TMJ soreness.”

So, what is TMJ? It is an acronym that stands for temporomandibular joint, and these are located on both sides of the face.

Fortunately, while engaged in this exercise I found a comprehensive article on compression masks, with pics, at https://www.equestrianlife.co.za/post/equine-compression-hoods?fbclid=IwAR20hGuvpgpz9s72sbKc-eztqaG837LcY-K-p24eJ_ICMoxCymVo8mZccx4 and this will give you all the information you need.

Borrowdale runner Seven Seas is shown here wearing a compression mask and earmuffs when she won the Champion Fillies Stakes on November 6, 2021. At the next meeting on November 21, wearing a compression mask, she finished unplaced, but in a much tougher field.

Maybe the jury is still out on this one.

Leading Owner Forges Ahead

Zimbabwe’s leading owner, Gengis Goksel, surged forward on Sunday owning, or sharing in, six of the seven winners on the Borrowdale Park card.

Holy Land, with Kabelo Matsunyane in the irons, came with an impressive late run to snatch victory from his stable companion, Armstrong, in the 1450m Zimbabwe Challenge. Bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein, the six-year-old Ideal World (USA) gelding was completing a hat-trick and has now won seven races. Holy Land is owned by Messrs G Goksel, G Carter, DT Machingaidze, and Mesdames P J Lewis, CM de Jong and S Ziel, and is trained by Vanessa Birketoft of V Racing.

Earlier in the afternoon, V Racing added to the Goksel tally, winning the 1200m Maiden Plate with Wallaa (*Shumba), and the 1200m Jacaranda Free Progress Plate with Call The Wind (Calvin Habib).

Gokhan Terzi also saddled three winners on Sunday. He set the ball rolling with Oden (Messrs F Vahab and G Goksel) in the 1100m MR 65 Handicap. Diego de Gouveia was up and he scored again for Goksel and Terzi with Karvani in the 1800m Novice Plate.
Ryan Munger was aboard Wild Heritage when the Count Dubois (GB) gelding won the 1700m MR 70 Handicap for the Goksel/Terzi combination.

Include many placed horses during Sunday’s meeting and it all added up to an excellent day at the office.

The Swanson yard bucked the trend when scoring with long shot Varnica (Takawira) in the 1260m MR 85 Handicap. The five-year-old Var (USA) mare is owned by Messrs PD Gorringe, SP Gorringe, V Patel, DK Ward and G. Carter.

The Borrowdale Quartets paid well – the best being that of Varnica, Mind Master, Powder Puff and Mr Hugo, which brought in $7846.30.

Congratulations to all Sunday’s winning connections, and thanks to all those who turned out to ensure good racing.

Photograph by Gavin Macleod: Holy Land beats Armstrong in the Zimbabwe Challenge. Then came Edward The Seventh and Yarraman. Winning margin 0.50, 2.00, 0.75 Lengths.

Borrowdale Racing Today

The first race at Borrowdale Park today (November 21) is off at 12 35 pm and the last race is at 15 55.

With good rain in the course area late yesterday afternoon, the sting will be out of the ground.

The meeting can be viewed on TellyTrack DSTV Channel 249. Unfortunately due to a technical problem, there will be no Borrowdale Livestream today.

Tips, Final Fields, Online Card, Card Changes etc can be found here.

A direct link to the online race card is https://mcusercontent.com/2a1c7dfa1eb4e4b185607f5a6/files/e94fa7f9-bcf2-1417-3b26-2fa00114bd4d/21_NOVEMBER_2021.pdf

Starring On Sunday?


Racing at Borrowdale Park tomorrow (Sunday, November 2021) begins at 12.30 pm. The feature race is the 1450m Zimbabwe Challenge, due off at 15 55.


Race 1: ODEN – 1st; Race 2: HAWI – 7th; Race 3: CALL THE WIND – 1st; Race 4: MR HUGO – 4th; Race 5: MOXIE – 4th; Race 6: TIGERS EAGLE – 3rd; Race 7: HOLY LAND – 1st.

Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News