MTC looks forward to Castle Tankard

HARARE - The Mashonaland Turf Club (MTC) is looking forward to this year’s edition of the Castle Tankard horse race to be run on May 7, at Borrowdale Race Course.

“As the only Grade 1 rated race in the country, the Castle Tankard takes on added significance on our racing calendar as its premium status appeal cuts across borders to attract the cream of horse racing thoroughbreds both  locally and across the region and beyond,” MTC said in a statement yesterday.

“The Castle Tankard stands on equal footing with southern Africa’s biggest races in terms of racing entertainment and large stakes prize money. It is unmatched in the country in bringing together the nation to watch and participate in a sporting spectacle and as the oldest sponsored horserace; its early history provides a fascinating glimpse and insight into the origins of thoroughbred racing in Zimbabwe.

“The Owners & Trainers Association first proposed to the Stewards of the MTC the prospect of staging sponsored horse races in August 1959.

“The Stewards organised an Invitational Sprint Race and in order to garner corporate interest and give the race an international appeal, Kenyan and South African trained horses were invited to participate.”

MTC’s partnership with Delta Beverages the sponsors of the race dates back to 1960  and since then the relationship has grown stronger and stronger.

“The National Breweries came on board in February 1960 and offered to sponsor that race to a stake of £2 100 and this led to the birth of the Castle Tankard on Easter Monday 1960. The inaugural race was a roaring success with record attendance figures and a Totalisator turn-over well above double the average.

“The ideals born in that first race have been fostered for over half a century up to today and MTC is indebted to Delta Beverages and subsidiaries for ensuring that the great tradition of The Castle Tankard has been maintained throughout the past decades.”

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