Riddle going for Tripple Crown

HARARE - The oldest jockey in Saturday’s OK Grand Challenge Grade 2 race proved that like wine he is getting better with age and now hopes to cap off a fairy tale season by bagging the Triple Crown.

Thirty-eight-year old champion jockey Quinton Riddle steered Yer-Maan to victory during the 27 running of the OK Grand Challenge at Borrowdale Race Park to clinch the $24 000 winner’s cheque.

It was an explosive run from the six-year-old gelding which rediscovered the form that it saw it win the Castle Tankard a month ago.

The Graystone Stud bred horse beat Thriller In Manila by one length whilst Rock The Country finished third a further 0, 75 lengths behind.

Last year’s queen of the double Equina finished fourth whilst pre-race favourites Warcraft and Lucky Sam where nowhere close to the money.

Riddle feels he is now in the form of his life and is targeting next month’s Republic Cup to add the icing to an already impressive season.

“I’m the old man in jockey room,” Riddle quipped.

Riddle, who has been in the business started holding the straps professionally on August 12 1994, and feels his best days are ahead of him.

“I am still going to carry on for a while and I have young kids who keep me healthy,” said the 1997 OK Grand Challenge winner aboard Sweden.

Riddle feels a Triple Crown will be the highlight of his career.

“There are the three big races we all look up to in the season. The next one is the Republic Cup in a months’ time,” he said.

“It’s also a big stake race over 1 900m. It will suit this horse very well. But fingers crossed he pulls up well from this run and he won’t have any niggles or injuries. That will be the aim.”

Saturday's win took Yer-Maan’s tally to 10 wins in 36 runs that have yielded 10 placings.

The winner of the Castle Tankard in May had entered the race highly rated at odds 33-10 and did not disappoint.

Speaking on completing the double, Riddle, who has over 1433 rides under his belt, said there was no better felling.

“He is the best horse I know. If I have to rate him with past horses I have run on. He is probably the best. I’m just great full to win a big race like this as a Zimbabwean,” he said.

“I have just won the two biggest races in Zimbabwe. So he is the best horse I know. To win a race like this.”

Riddle, who broke his ribs earlier in the season, felt a sense of retribution for how his season has turned out.

“I was injured earlier on in the season. It hasn’t been an easy season. Yer-Maan is also coming from injury and a rest but we have both proved that the old man can still do it. Look out!”

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