We race at Borrowdale Park on Friday and eight runners are due to line up for the Zimbabwe Derby (GR3), but it is hard to look further than Wantage, Zambezi Rapids, and Lily Blue – and Lily Blue will be receiving 3.5 kgs.

This is the last leg of the Zimbabwe Triple Crown for three-year-olds which cannot be won this year. Lily Blue triumphed in the first leg, the Zimbabwe Guineas, and Wantage in the Zimbabwe 2000. Can either add a second leg to their Triple Crown tally?

Then there is the lightly raced Zambezi Rapids, who may be peaking at just the right time.

Wantage and Zambezi Rapids came out in the 1800m Allowance Plate on June 12 and that day Zambezi Rapids scored, but the Zimbabwe 2000 winner, Wantage, was giving the Dynasty gelding 5 kgs. The playing field is levelled here so If Wantage is comfortable over the Derby distance he should be able to turn the tables.

It really all depends on who can best handle the grueling 2400m trip, and as none of the runners has gone further than 2000m only time will tell.

Lily Blue – the star-studded daughter of Black Minnaloushe (USA) and winner of her last five starts, including the Zimbabwe Guineas (GR3) and the 1800m Silver Slipper (L), has not raced since March 15, which is a minus, and she too is an unknown quantity over more ground. However, she has beaten the boys before.

Leicester Square worries me slightly – I wonder about his Merit Rating of 73 – for a one-time winner over 2000m at Greyville. After that race, his MR went from 77 to 86, but has dropped since then. On Leicester Square’s Zimbabwe form, he seems well held by Wantage and Zambezi Rapids, but could he be waiting for further? This gelding is by Jackson, but his trainer says the female line is very versatile ranging from 1200m to 2450m.

Thomas Mason will also saddle Seattle Frost – a well-bred winner over 1800m.

Bridget Stidolph, with top colt Wantage, top filly Lily Blue and game filly Prescott, probably has the strongest hand, but the Swanson team will be doing their utmost to hold her in check with Zambezi Rapids, Tree Of Wisdom and Globe Master.

Everyone wants a Derby winner and may the best horse come to the party. Please don’t ask me who that will be.

Photographs by Zimbabwe Equine News


The commentator said it was a frantic finish – and it was. What A Dandy, Lady Carina, Edward The Seventh, Flanders and Israel finished within 0.35 lengths in the 1100m MR 80 Handicap at Borrowdale Park on Sunday, What A Dandy has now won five and been placed five times in 12 starts.
Jarryd Penny was in the irons and the son of Just As Well (USA) is owned by John Koumides, trained by Kirk Swanson, and bred by Barton Hall Stud. Congratulations.

Battle Cry, with Sherman Brown up, won the 1260m MR 51 Handicap, followed by stablemates Switchblade, The Catcher and Supa Memories. Apprentice Rodgers Satombo was aboard Supa Memories and this was his first race ride.
By Brave Tin Soldier (USA) and bred by Summerhill Stud, Battle Cry is trained by Kirk Swanson and owned by Brooklyn Bond Trust (nominee Mr A.J. Joseph), Merlyn Chant, Sterling Miller, Richard Morgan and Anna Mason. Have fun.
Third winner for the Swanson stable was the three-year-old filly, Dusha, in the 1450 Maiden Plate. By West Man (USA) out of Soul Seeker (Zim), Dusha obviously preferred the longer trip and has now won and been placed three times in seven starts. Sherman Brown had the winning ride and Dusha is owned by Duncan and Jackie Cocksedge. The filly was bred by Peter Moor. Congratulations.
It’s A True Story, partnered by Brendon McNaughton, came to light again in the 1600m MR 60 Handicap, beating the fancied Double Tap by 0.5 lengths. Yarraman and Rebellious Queen were close behind.
This was the first of three winners trained by Bridget Stidolph. The five-year-old AP Answer (USA) gelding has now won 5 races, is owned by Amy Bronkhorst and Adrian Nydam, and was bred by Clifton Stud. Well done everyone.
Stable companions Wolves Among Sheep and Christophle finished first and second in the 1600m Graduation Plate, but the Philanthropist (USA) gelding was three lengths clear.
Trained by Bridget Stidolph, Wolves Among Sheep was ridden by Calvin Habib, bred by Drakenstein Stud, and owned by Gary Carter, Paula Lewis, Scott Buchan, Neil Evans, Merlyn Chant, Ash Dixon, Richard Morgan and Ryan Sherwood. Third win since arriving in Harare.
More or less as expected the 2017/18 Horse Of The Year, Simona, won the 1800m Champion Fillies Stakes – with ease. Mia Finola, also from the Stidolph yard came second, and then Solinski who was returning to racing after 511 days.
Both Simona and Mia Finola are owned by Newbury Racing (Pty) Ltd (nominee Mr D.E. Evans). Regular jockey Calvin Habib shared the victory with Simona and the Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) mare was bred by Nadeson Park. Simona has now won 9 races and there will be more to come. Well done.
Champion Three-Year -Old in 2017/18, Knuckleball, beat Roman Discent by 1.25 lengths in the 1800 m in the MR 85 Handicap, giving weight to all except Heir Line in this field. The son of Curved Ball (AUS) was bred by Clifton Stud. Penny Fisher was the winning trainer, Ryan Munger was in the irons and Knuckleball is owned by Mr V. Guppah, Mr R.H.S. and Mrs P. Beattie and Mr D.H. and Mrs J. L. Cocksedge. Knuckleball has now clocked up 7 wins and 8 places from 15 starts. How’s that for consistent running?


The Quartet on the fourth race at Borrowdale on Sunday – a 1800m Merit Rated 60 Handicap – paid a massive US$ 48 174.20. The horses needed were Parade Prancer (40/1), Captain Grant 20/1, Sido 7/2 and Arrowfield 18/1.

Parade Prancer was ridden by Brendon McNaughton.

Parade Prancer was ridden by Brendon McNaughton.

Parade Prancer by Sarge is trained by Gokhan Terzi and was ridden by Brendon McNaughton. The five-year-old gelding is owned by Spencer Murray, Grant Littleford and Paul Rugg – the second winner of the afternoon for everyone concerned. Parade Prancer and has now won two races and was bred by Graystone Stud.

Photograph: Gavin Macleod


It’s By Jingo with Quinton Riddle up once again led from start to finish in the 1600m Graduation Plate, holding off the challenge from his stable companion Zita who looked very hard to beat, on paper.

It's By Jingo  made it two in a row.

It’s By Jingo made it two in a row.

The Century Stand (AUS) gelding is owned by Theresa Rutter and was bred by Tommy Millar. The five-year-old is trained by Alyson Wright and is has now won three races.
On paper Zita (second) seemed hard to oppose.

On paper Zita (second) seemed hard to oppose.

Photographs: Gavin Macleod


Trainer Gokhan Terzi had a wonderful Sunday afternoon at Borrowdale Park, saddling four winners.

The winning owners with Princeton Tiger.

The winning owners with Princeton Tiger.

First one up was Princeton Tiger, ridden by Andrew Fortune and starting at 28/10. The four-year-old Kildonan colt won the 1100m MR 60 Handicap, finishing in front of Major Vaughan, Pente’s Daughter and Nimble Dancer.

He is owned by Spencer Murray,Paul Rugg and Grant Littleford and was bred by Wilgerbosdrift.

Photograph: Gavin Macleod