Will Coltrane carry the day?

HARARE - All eyes will be on top rated Argentinean gelding Coltrane during today’s $40 000 Ok Grand Challenge main race at Borrowdale Race Park.

Although Coltrane enters the race with a merit rating of 99, the highest of all the 18 runners, the draw might be a sticking point for the horse.

Lisa Harris Racing stable jockey Randall Simons, who will be holding the straps, will have to negotiate his way form a wide position after Coltrane was drawn in lane 18.

Coltrane, who came third in last month’s Castle Tankard, also carries a top of f 60kg which might be another stumbling block.

“Obviously Menacing and Coltrane have a very good chance of winning the race,” said Bridget Stidolph of Lisa Harris Racing at the final acceptance of the OK Grand Challenge runners last month.

“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.”

Approval Rating is the top rated runner from the Glenwood Racing stable but Terzi was pessimistic of the gelding’s chances of winning.

Lance Pagel will be guiding the horse rated at 98 and will start right in the middle in lane eight.

“Well Approval rating is our top rated horse from our stable but it will be very difficult for him to win the OK Grand Challenge,” he said.

“He has never won a race over 1600m and this race is going to be over 1800m so it will be difficult for him to win it.”

Another, standout pick for today’s race is A King Is Born, who has been drawn in lane three.

Most bookies are tipping the horse from Alyson Wright’s Gee Racing Stable for clinching the $24 000 for first place with odds at 28/10.

A King Is Born was only half a length behind Castle Tankard winner Equina last month and has been tipped to go one step further this afternoon.

Glenwood Racing stable trainer, Gokhan Terzi said: “The horse with best chance to win the race is A King Is Born but we will try to beat it with Super Trouper.

“Super Trouper is probably our best bet for us winning the OK Grand Challenge next weekend. He surprised me when he came in fourth place at the Castle Tankard and he was definitely not ready for that race.”

Super Trouper, with a merit rating of 84, is one of the three runners from Terzi’s stable and Brendon McNaughton will be holding the straps.

Another front runner for the race will be Equina after the filly’s impressive showing at the Castle Tankard.

The four-year-old teams up with jockey Karl Zechner again and there is a good chance that they can make it a double by clinching the Ok Grand Challenge.

Equina is rated at 87 with a weight of 54kg and got a favourable draw that will see her starting in lane six.

OK Grand Challenge Main Race:

Coltrane, Approval Rating, Madigan, Captain’s Tiger, Lucky Sam, Ginepri, King Kahal, A King Is Born, Equina, Menacing, Gentle Rock, Super Trouper, Forty One, Orbit War, Rock The Country, Star Dance, Royal Arrow, Double Bind

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