Coltrane tipped for OK Grand Challenge

HARARE - Coltrane, with a merit rating of 99, will enter the 26th edition of the OK Grand Challenge Race as the favourite to win after the 18 runners were confirmed at yesterday’s final acceptance ceremony.

The grade one race with a total purse of $40 000 will be staged at the Borrowdale Race Park on June 7 and the Chestnut gelding will be the frontrunner at odds of 3/1.

The Argentinean thoroughbred, which came in second place during the Castle Tankard main race earlier this month, races under the Lisa Harris Racing stable in Zimbabwe.

Bridget Stidolph, a trainer with the stable, is confident all their runners will be in good condition come race day.

Lisa Harris Racing will have four horses in the field on race day including Menacing, Forty One and Lucky Sam.

“Obviously Menacing and Coltrane have a very good chance of winning the race,” said Stidolph.

“We are very happy with all four horses because we have prepared very well. Obviously we now know their culture a little bit more since we have worked with them.”

The bookmakers, have, however, tipped A King Is Born from Alyson Wright’s stable to win the race with odds at 28/10.

Another front runner for the race will be Equina that impressively won the Castle Tankard earlier this month.

The four-year-old filly shattered the form book by winning the Tankard by half-a-length ahead of A King Is Born.

Amy Bronkhorst, the horse’s trainer, is confident the Equina can do the double this year by also winning the OK Grand Challenge.

Other top rated horses to look out for on race day are Approval Rating, Madigan and Captain’s Tiger.

Meanwhile, Mashonaland Turf Club (MTC) chairman, Brian Black, thanked OK Zimbabwe for their continued support for horse racing and the event for the past 26 years.

“I hereby acknowledge the sponsorship from OK Zimbabwe. Again this is a great investment in the development of racing and we hope the sponsorship figure will be higher next year,” said Black.

“I also thank the owners and trainers for an excellent field totalling 18; we are hopeful that this will enthral the 50 000 people expected to attend this year’s OK Grand Challenge.”

The event does not only captivate punters, but Zimbabweans from all walks of life due to the various prizes up for grabs on the day.

The retail giant has availed a total 42 Ford Ranger bakkies that can be won by punters who buy their groceries from all OK shops across the country and fill in coupons that will be drawn on race day.

The grand prize is a double cab Ford Ranger T6 bakkie, but for someone to win it they will have to be at Borrowdale Park on June 7 when the draw is conducted.

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