Castle Tankard heroes remembered

HARARE - As the Castle Tankard marks its 54th anniversary this weekend, Delta Beverages — the race’s sponsors — have paid tribute to some of the horses, trainers and jockeys, who have dominated the event over the years.

This year, the feature race will be run over the classic distance of 10 furlongs, approximately 2 000 metres on May 4.

“There are so many names over the last 53 runnings of the Tankard that have woven and fashioned Borrowdale Park into the great race course we all enjoy,” said Patricia Murambinda, the Delta Beverages marketing manager.

The Tankard was first run at Borrowdale Park on April 18, 1960 with great sprinter RIZA from South Africa winning the race ahead of the highly-fancied My King, which had been imported to Zimbabwe in 1958.

“My King was a magnificent thoroughbred and in all won 18 races. The first Tankard was run over 1 200m which suited My King but he was beaten into second place by the great sprinter RIZA from South Africa,” said Murambinda.

“In 1961 the distance was increased to a mile and My King was stretched further and could only finish third to the very good Speed Fiend.

“Jackie Booth trained two Tankard winners — Centre Court for Robert Beattie who was a huge supporter of racing and a very successful farmer.

“Raymond Stockil a private trainer owned Merciless Sun to win in 1968 and went on to be a stallion.

“In 1966 Main Chief won for Boss Lilford who was one of the founders of Borrowdale Park and with Ralph Halkett won many races, Ralph would win three Tankards.

She added: “1972 saw Chesterfield win for George Connolly, the horse overcame a huge accident which put him out of racing for a year but he came back to win more races, he was the ‘people’s favourite’. Vic Kombol from Bulawayo won with Irish Harp in 1973.

“Colin Lee was a leading jockey and then became a leading trainer and he won the 1977 Tankard with Susan’s Choice, she became a foundation broodmare in the Cape. Colin was training in Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN) until recently.

“George Uren who is still training winners in the Eastern Cape trained the 1978 and 79 winner with Taranaki; he was by Quo Banco who stood at the Borrowdale Stud.

“Then we came to Sharon Paterson who won the 1980 and 81 Tankard with The Toff who became a stallion, he was ridden by Ivan Moore, a leading trainer here and later relocated to KZN where he is still training winners.

“Sharon Paterson won four Tankards, a huge achievement, 1986 with Matchwinner a Triple Crown Winner for Golden Acres hero Peter Moor — who is still supplying three quarters of our runners at Borrowdale Park. Sharon is still heavily involved in the Thoroughbred business in South Africa.

“Leading trainer Freddie Maisch trained three winners, Prince Orient for the Cairns family who were leading owners on many occasions.

“Shona Draper who will be celebrating her 90th Birthday shortly trained Little Chief to win in 1983. ‘Doubles’ never misses a race meeting to this day.

“The Muscutt family has been in the fore front of riding and training for years, Brian trained Air Alert to win in 1987 ridden by his son Paul who was tragically killed in a plane crash along with trainer Murray Lindley and jockey Gordon Whyte.

“The Muscutts are now living in England. Peter trained the 1997 and 1999 Tankard for three streams for R Keast.

“Tommy Ruck from Bulawayo used to raid Borrowdale Park with success and he won the Tankard in 1988 and 89.

“Rosania raced in Rob Davenports colours and became a good broodmare. Sunmark has bred and produced many winners and Davenport is a past chairman of the Turf Club.

“Robert Moore rode both these winners and he later became Apprentice Master at the Academy in Johannesburg and is now Stipe in Korea.”

Comments (2)

A note of correction, Roy Magner was the winning trainer of Strike it Rich (1980), ridden by Reid Paterson, and The Toff (1981)

Peta Stronach - 14 May 2015

Forgot to mention Irish harp ridden by the late Antonio Araujo at 66/1 beating odds on favourite numerator. Rip Tony x Jackie

Jackie geffen - 25 December 2016

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