Terzi Set To Saddle Half The Field

The US$70 000 OK Grand Challenge (GR 2) will be run over 1800m at Borrowdale Park on Saturday.  It seems there will be 18 runners and at this stage it looks as if the two Gokhan Terzi yards will field nine of them. 

The Kirk Swanson stable’s five OK acceptors include the top three-year-olds, Diesel And Dust and Dindingwe, while Bridget Stidolph wIll send out Peggson, Wantage and Only Him – with Fortuna Doro and Christofle in reserve should there be any scratchings.  Cash Time, trained by Ashley Fortune is the only South African acceptor.

A full field of 18 has become a rarity at Borrowdale so the draw regains importance, and punters have work to do, so let’s have a look at the Terzi runners – for a start.

1 Drawn 14 TANDAVA  60.5kgs (MR101) – No jockey declared.

8 g – Century Stand (AUS) – Davuli (ZIM) by Kitalpha (USA).  Last start was at Borrowdale on the 28 August 2020 when third behind Fareeq and Yarraman at level weights over 1450m. Winner of 9 races in Gauteng and at Borrowdale from 1000m – 1900m, including the 2019 Republic Cup (Gr3) at Borrowdale Park. At his best Tandava would be a strong contender but has not raced for nine months.

3 Drawn 11 DAFFIQ  58.5kgs (MR97) SAMPSON                                                             

7 g – Silvano (GER) – Crown Office (USA) by Horse Chestnut – Won over 1450m at Turffontein and has won three races at Borrowdale from 1200 – 1600m.  His last outing was on May 2 when he won the Independence Trophy, beating OK runners, Finchatton, Three To Tango, Yarraman and Peggson.


5 g – Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Rakara by Rakeen (USA).  Won twice over a mile at Greyville and has won five races at Borrowdale from 1000m to 1600m.  Last time out was on April 4 in the 2000m Breeders Champions Cup (L) when 3 lengths off Wantage who was receiving 2 kgs. Yarraman and Three To Tango were further back.

7 Drawn 13 YARRAMAN  56.5kgs (MR93) GREYLING

6 g – Await The Dawn (USA) – Leading Light (AUS) by Fantastic Light (USA).  An 8-time winner from 1600m to 1900m including the Ipi Tombe Stakes (L) and the National Foods Cup in 2020. Has beaten the main players before but only managed minor placings in last four outings. His last race was fourth to Daffiq in the Independence Trophy on May 2. Distance suited so must be considered.

9 Drawn 9 FINCHATTON 55.5kgs (MR91) DE GOUVEIA

9 g – Right Approach (GB) – Rose Lipped Maiden by Fort Wood (USA).  Has only had two starts at Borrowdale and last time out was a close second to Daffiq in the 1600m Independence Trophy when receiving 3 kgs.  In his career Finchatton has scored 7 Wins and 17 Placings from 68 starts from 1400 to 2000m.  Maybe the dark horse.

10 Drawn 15 GLADSTONE 55.5kgs (MR91) KADUMBA

 4 g – Pathfork (USA) – Lupin (AUS) by Royal Academy (USA). Four of his five victories have been from 1100m to 1260m but in June 2020 Gladstone won a 1700m Novice Handicap, beating stable companions Fire To The Rein and Hold The Biscuit, when giving weight to the field.

11 Drawn 3 ARMSTRONG 54.5kgs (MR89) SCHWARTZ

5 g – Var (USA) – Walkingonthemoon (AUS) by Galileo (IRE). Won once at the Vaal, beating Over Sharing, and he won his first start at Borrowdale on November 16, 2019, beating Born To Shine. Has subsequently won three from 1260m to 1700m and drawn 3 and with a handy galloping weight in the OK could finish in the money. His last race was on February 24 when second to Greenwood Drive (AUS) over 1700m, giving the winner about 7 kgs.

13 Drawn 10 FAREEQ (AUS) 54.5kgs (MR89) SIBANDA   

8 g – Nadeem (AUS) – Azwa (AUS) by Haafhd (IRE). I have given up guessing what Fareeq might do. He has won five times from 1260m to 1800m – and his win over 1800m was in October 2019 when he beat Yarraman, who was receiving 4.5 kgs, by five lengths. Later Yarraman turned the tables but in August 2020 Fareeq scored again over 1450m, beating Yarraman by a length at level weights. Fareeq’s last outing was on May 2 when second to Holy Land in a 1500m Pinnacle Plate. That day Fareeq gave Holy Land 1.5 kgs and was three-parts of a length behind, with OK Grand Challenge Reserves, Fortuna Doro and Christofle further back.

18 Drawn 6 HOLY LAND  52kgs (MR83) MATSUNYANE

 5 g Ideal World (USA) – Lalibela by Silvano (GER). Won a Maiden 1600 at Greyville in 2018, and in June 2020, won the 1600m Independence Trophy, beating Fareeq by three-parts of a length when receiving 1.5kgs. That day Three To Tango and Peggson finished third and fourth, and Holy Land was at that time trained by Thomas Mason. Latterly Holy Land has won his last two starts, over 1600m and 1500m.  With a light weight and a good draw should finish in the money on Saturday.

This is a big race everyone wants to win, so watch this space for information about the rest of the OK Grand Challenge field. 

Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News

And Then It Was ONLY HIM

Only Him, a recent arrival at Borrowdale, won the 2021 Zimbabwe Derby on Sunday, beating the more fancied Diesel And Dust in a tight finish.

By Mambo In Seattle (USA) out of a Captain Al mare, Only Him was having his second start in Zimbabwe and Bridget Stidolph’s charge was bred by Moutonshoek. He is owned by the Newbury Racing Syndicate (Pty) Ltd (nominee Mr D E Evans) who had a winner earlier in the afternoon when Prescott scored in the 1800m MR60 Handicap.

Although this wasn’t the Derby result most punters expected, jockey Teaque Gould’s strategic ride provided plenty of excitement. He and Only Him stole a march on the field soon after entering the straight, leaving Magnus Maximus and Diesel And Dust playing catch me if you can – and they couldn’t – although Kevin Derere’s mount, Diesel And Dust, almost made it.  The winning margins were 0.10, 1.00 and 13 lengths.

Congratulations to the winning connections.  The Stidolph yard had a good day winning five of the seven races on Sunday’s card.

Both Only Him and Diesel And Dust are among the 31 horses entered for the 1800m OK Grand Challenge (Gr3) at Borrowdale Park on June 5. It will be interesting to see if the three -year-olds stand their ground.  The top three-year-old filly Dindingwe has also been nominated.

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News: The finish of the 2021 Zimbabwe Derby.   

Farewell Mark Tunmer

The Borrowdale Park racing community were shocked to learn of the passing of Mark Tunmer in Johannesburg yesterday.

Mark was a respected member of the Mashonaland Turf Club and an integral part of the Sunmark Syndicate for many years. He was also a successful businessman and will be sadly missed by a wide circle of friends.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Trish, his brother, Richard, and their families.

Rest in peace, Mark, after a life lived well.

Photograph by Rosemary Dorward: Mark Tunmer (centre), with other members of the Sunmark Syndicate when Casey’s Dance won the Zimbabwe Oaks.

Who Can Handle The Derby Trip?

When Diesel And Dust canters down to the start at Borrowdale Park on Sunday his connections will be hoping Futura’s capable son will complete a hat-trick of wins – in the 2021 Zimbabwe Derby, no less.

The three-year-old gelding has only raced twice and collected admirers on each occasion.  His last outing was in the Zimbabwe 2000 on April 18 and he handled that trip well. Sunday’s race is over 2400m and none of the runners have tried that yet.

Diesel And Dust is from the Swanson yard, and he will be taking on his stable companions, Magnus Maximus and Rocquette.  Bridget Stidolph will saddle Only Him, by Mambo In Seattle (USA), and a recent arrival at Borrowdale.

Also lightly raced, Only Him won over 1400m at The Vaal, and at the last Borrowdale meeting he ran two lengths off Hedwig over 1600m. Magnus Maximus, by Jackson, is a three-time winner – twice over 1200m, and the 1600m Guineas Trial on January 17 where he narrowly beat Obscure.

The Jay Peg filly, Rocquette, is still a maiden but has had several races around the turn. To date she has been somewhat unreliable but, in this field where the ability to stay the Derby distance has to be taken on trust, I am not discounting anyone.

This will certainly be an interesting race. Diesel And Dust has proved himself over 2000m and looks to be the one the others must beat.

Photographs: TOP: The finish of the Zimbabwe 2000 when Diesel And Dust defeated Mazikeen. BELOW: Magnus Maximus held off Obscure in the Guineas Trial.

Sunday’s Winners

Photographs by Gavin MacLeod

The Gokhan Terzi yards won six of the seven races at Borrowdale Park on Sunday, including the Independence Trophy with Daffiq.

Bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein, Daffiq is by Silvano (GER). This was the seven-year-old’s fifth win. He is owned by Gengiz Goksel and Randall Simons was riding. Finchatton, Three To Tango and Yarraman were placed.

Doubleosevenagain broke the Terzi stranglehold in the 1700m MR 73 Handicap, holding off a challenge from the Terzi runner, Milford Sound. DoubleOSevenAgain, by Century Stand (AUS), has now won four races and Apprentice Walter Shumba was riding for Thomas Mason. The five-year-old gelding is owned by Johnny Dardagan.

Congratulations to all the winning connections.

Borrowdale Racing Today

Racing at Borrowdale Park today begins at 13 25 and the last race – the Independence Trophy – is at 16 31. The available information about card changes, tips, the online card, etc is on this site.

The live stream will be on Clocking The Gallop on U-Tube. Links on this site and on https://www.facebook.com/zimracing/ and https://www.facebook.com/racinginzim/ if you prefer Facebook.

Photograph Zimbabwe Equine News.


At last, some encouraging news after a bleak year for the Zimbabwe racing industry.The 1800m 0K Grand Challenge (Gr2) will be back at Borrowdale Park on Saturday June 5, 2021.

This major event on our racing calendar was cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 lockdown. Congratulations to the sponsors, OK Zimbabwe, and the Mashonaland Turf Club, for biting the bullet and preparing for a return to normality. Hopefully, some of Borrowdale’s other major sponsors will follow suit.

Nominations for this US$70 000 event are due on May 19, Weights and Draws will be published on May 21, at 12 00 pm, and Final Declarations must be made by 9 am on May 24.

The MTC has announced that for all (GR1) and (GR2) events at Borrowdale, horses must have had at least one start in Zimbabwe before being nominated for these races.

Photographs by Gavin MacLeod, Zimbabwe Equine News, and Rosie Dorward, of flashbacks to some former OK Grand Challenges. A reminder of what we have been missing while bearing in mind that COVID is still with us and at this stage there is no way of knowing how many spectators will be at the course.

Fascinating – but unlikely to be a walkover

Hedwig, a robust, long-striding filly, won by a country mile up the straight on debut, and at Borrowdale Park on Sunday she will race around the turn in a 1600m MR 80 Handicap.

Although eagerly anticipating seeing this daughter of Master Of My Fate race over more ground, I was not expecting her to give weight to the entire field. Hedwig has only had two starts but collected a Merit Rating of 75 after her Maiden win, in a three-horse race. The two well-beaten participants, Peaceable and Green Serenity, have subsequently proved they are better suited when going further.

On April 18 Hedwig ran in the 1200m MR 80 Handicap (3YO) won by Jubilee, and finished 10 lengths behind him, with Sunday’s runner Ana Lane further back. There were several proven sprinters here and it was no surprise when Hedwig failed to shine.

All things being equal I would have been wildly enthusiastic about Hedwig this Sunday, but this will be an acid test for the lightly raced filly. She is taking on her peers – two geldings, Only Him and Suave Judge, and three fillies, Ultra Edge, Ana Lane and Seattle Swift. Only Him will receive 3 kgs from Hedwig, and Seattle Swift, if *Walter Shumba claims 2 kgs, will receive 10.

Only Him
, by Mambo In Seattle (USA) out of a Captain Al mare, raced three times at the Vaal and was placed in both starts over 1600m before winning over 1400m on April 14. Providing he travelled well he rates respect.

Suave Judge, a son of Judpot (USA) carries 56 kgs to Hedwig’s 60 kgs, and has won twice over a mile, in open company. His last start was in the Zimbabwe 2000 where he did not shape but Sunday’s trip should suit him. Calvin Habib is in the irons.

Master Of My Fate also sired Ultra Edge and she will carry 53 kgs, while Ana Lane, by Coup de Grace (USA) and a winner over 1260m, is on 52.

Ultra Edge recently won over 1450m and has been placed over 1600m.

By Alado (GB), *Shumba’s ride, Seattle Swift, scored in a 1600m Maiden Plate in January and was four lengths off Mazikeen in a 1600m Novice Plate in March. With weight on her side Seattle Swift cannot be ignored.

This is a competitive field and even if Hedwig lives up to my previous expectations it will not be a walkover. Randall Simons rides.

This race is the sixth on Sunday’s 7-race card and is due off at 16.03. The Independence Trophy follows at 16.31 and the race meeting begins at 13.25.

Photograph by Zimbabwe Equine News: Hedwig, seen here with Hennie Greyling up, won her first start on March 7.

Tough Taking On This Trio

Six line up for the 1600m Independence Trophy at Borrowdale Park on Sunday (May 2) and three of them – PEGGSON, YARRAMAN and THREE TO TANGO. need no introduction to Borrowdale punters.

This trio have been meeting and beating each other for quite a while and the chances are they will fill the first three places.  All are distance suited but Peggson will be giving away a couple of kilos.

However as there are no racing certainties let’s look at the three hopefuls.

DAFFIQ, is a 7-year-old gelding By Silvano (GER) out of a Horse Chestnut mare. He won once at Turffontein over 1450m in 2017 and placed over further.  He has had four starts at Borrowdale and won over 1260m in June and 1200m in July. Randall Simons rides.

Diego de Gouveia will be aboard FINCHATTON, a nine-year-old gelding by Right Approach (GB) out of a Fort Wood mare. Finchatton won four races at the Vaal over 1400m, 1600m and 2000m. His only start at Borrowdale was on April 18 when four lengths off Silver Coin over 1200m, but this was probably on the short side.

Five-year-old MAGIC MIKE, the mount of Teaque Gould, is by Twice Over (GB).  He won a Maiden 1600m at Kenilworth in December 2018 and placed over 1800m. Has had three starts at Borrowdale over 1600m and ran a close second to Viscountess Vivien on April 4 when Flapjack, Bam Bam Pebbles and Edward The Seventh were behind him.

While wishing the ‘hopefuls’ well I will be surprised to see a major upset.  On paper Yarraman and Three To Tango seem most likely to fight out this finish.

Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News

Great Run From Diesel And Dust

Diesel And Dust (nearest camera above) won the Zimbabwe 2000 (Gr3) – second leg of the Triple Crown – at Borrowdale Park on Sunday, overtaking Mazikeen in the final stages.

So there will be no Zimbabwe Triple Crown winner this year as Dindingwe, winner of the first leg, the Zimbabwe Guineas, ran third this afternoon. True Beauty was fourth.

By Futura, Diesel And Dust has now won both his starts. He is owned by Sibongile Moyo and George Tafeni, and was bred by Mr M J Reid. Kevin Derere rode the winner for the Swanson yard.

Congratulations to the winning connections. It was an impressive victory.

Photograph Zimbabwe Equine News.

Borrowdale Racing Today

The first race is due off at 13 20 and the last race – the Zimbabwe 2000 (L) – at 16 30. You will find the available information about card changes, tips, the online card, etc here.

The live stream will be on Clocking The Gallop on U-Tube. Links, on this site and @zimracing and @racinginzim if you prefer Facebook.

Enjoy your Sunday and the rest of the weekend.

Photograph Zimbabwe Equine News.

ZimFun Will Be Back In Action

Karoo Winter steps out in the 1600m Maiden Plate in the colours of ZimFun Racing Club (Pty) Ltd – and will have far more owners rooting for her, across several continents, than any other horse racing at Borrowdale Park on Sunday.

The daughter of Futura out of a Western Winter (USA) mare has had one start at Borrowdale when third behind Peaceable and Black Duke over 1800m. Prior to that she raced in the Cape, not in ZimFun silks, and placed over 1600m.

ZimFun has already had a winner – Tricky Business – and hope to have more – soon – and members -so they can buy more horses. It is not too late to join the fun, and this is the most economical way to become an owner as one share costs $100.

On Sunday Karoo Winter (57kgs) takes on Green Serenity, Hawi, Bold Idyll, Global Tree and Fendi Girl and all their owners will be hoping for some improvement. I had a quick glance at previous form and will definitely not be making any forecasts.

Green Serenity (60kgs) is by Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) out of a Western Winter (USA) mare. Has had seven runs in the Cape and one at Borrowdale when nearly 11 lengths behind first-timer Hedwig over 1200m. Hawi (60kgs) is by Vercingetorix out of an Al Mufti (USA) mare. He has placed in all his six starts from 1100m to 1700m. Randall Simons rides.

Bold Idyll is a son of Bold Silvano out of an Ideal World (USA) mare. Unimpressive over 1100m and 1700m – so far. He is set to carry 60 kgs but Apprentice Rodgers Satombo will claim 2.5 kgs. Global Tree (60kgs) is by Global View (USA) out of a Classic Flag mare. Didn’t shape in two sprints – his only outings – but may appreciate the longer trip.

Last but not least is Fendi Girl (57 kgs), by Fencing Master (GB) out of a Kitalpha (USA) mare. Has raced from 1100m to 1700m, and rather in and out, but with Calvin Habib in the irons might come right.

Why am I devoting so much time and space to a Maiden Plate? Intimidated, probably, by the thought of Karoo Winter’s owners who will be at Borrowdale Park – and the others who will be watching the live stream on Clocking The Gallop on U-Tube – like hawks.

Win or lose they will make sure they have a good time. This race is due off at 14 25.

Photograph by Jenny Stock of Zimbabwe Equine News