Recap: How Yer-Maan won 2015 Castle Tankard

HARARE - The 2015 Castle Tankard horse race will always be remembered for how the South African-trained Yer-Maan defied odds to win Africa’s oldest sponsored thoroughbred race at Borrowdale Race Course on May 4.

With five horses tipped ahead of the seven-year-old gelding, son of Jam Alley, not many punters gave the horse a chance to win.

But against expectation and with veteran Quinton Riddle aboard, Yer-Maan rose to break the hearts of many following a spirited run saw it gallop to victory.

Before that race Warcraft was brimming with confidence off the back of a victory in May at Greyville in a MR78 Handicap and looked to maintain that momentum.

It was no surprise that he was the first out of the starting stalls in front of a capacity crowd, with Lucky Sam also in the leading pack.

But the day belonged to Yer-Maan from the St John Gray stable producing a late surge to come from behind and edge pre-race favourites Lucky Sam and Warcraft, who settled for second and third respectively.

The win was Yer-Maan’s ninth win in 35 runs that also yielded 10 placings.

Gorkhan Terzi’s Rock The Country settled for fourth, having also been tipped as a pre-race favourite and a major contender.

Riddle was naturally elated with the win, his second Castle Tankard win in his career.

“I’m very privileged to have ridden a horse that gives its heart.  I understood how this horse is best ridden I did my homework and it paid off . . . we are in the winner’s box,” he told reporters.

“I have won this race before on a horse called Moon horse (in 2008) so this is the second time. I came strong on the finish. We knew there will be a lot of pace upfront so it worked out perfectly for us.

“I’m a proud castle drinker, I’m gonna be even a prouder castle drinker tonight. There will be a lot of them taken,” Riddle said.

This year, the Castle Tankard takes place on May 7 at Borrowdale Race Course with punters in for a huge treat with the introduction of the Double Booster Promotion Experience.

Consumers of all Delta Beverages lager beer brands will be eligible to enter the competition with $3 000 for the first prize while the second and third places carry rewards of $2 000 and $1 000 respectively.

There will be also be 60 consolation prizes which will see the lucky punters walking away with $500 each.

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