Equina clinches Castle Tankard

HARARE - Top rated filly Equina broke the hearts of many by running out an impressive winner of the 52nd edition of the Castle Tankard here on Saturday.

Equina finished first in the $50 000 stakes Grade One race in a time of 119.47 seconds, half-a-length ahead of last year’s winner A King is Born after emerging from the chasing pack to take the lead in the final 200 metres.

Pre-race favourite, four-year-old gelding Coltrane, did just enough to settle for third place whilst South African bred Super Trooper claimed fourth place.

It was fairy tale run for the four-year-old filly which is only in her first year in training under Amy Bronkhorst with Zimbabwean-born jockey Karl Zechner holding the straps.

It was all the sweeter that the top rated filly’s victory also marked the first time in 16-years that a female horse has won Africa’s oldest sponsored race.

Drawn in gate nine, very few gave her a chance but with some sheer determination and grit, the filly still managed to punch above her weight against seasoned speed merchants.

Zechner, who is now based in South Africa, was naturally elated after the race.

“At the moment I am over the moon, a Bulawayo boy winning the Castle Tankard.” Zechner said.

“She came in with a top weight and today in a big race carrying the lowest weight pf 52kg and she was just running just behind the favourites. I mean I made a big runner today.”

He added: “The way things have played with Amy she has prepped the horse to perfection.

“She hasn’t rushed the horse. She has waited for the horse to tell when she was ready. And today she has planned this to perfection.”

The victory was Zechner’s 226th win in career spanning over 4032 rides that have yielded 1283 placings.

For Equina, it was her seventh win out of 18 runs that have yielded five placings.

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