All set for Castle Tankard

HARARE - All roads will lead to Borrowdale Race Course today for the staging of Africa’s oldest sponsored horse race — the Castle Tankard whose stake has been set at $50 000.

Sadly, the country’s only Grade One race will not feature any locally-bred horses due to the high cost of breeding in Zimbabwe with the 10 runners all coming from South Africa.

The Mike de Kock-trained Kilrain will start the race as the bookmakers favourites with MJ Byleveld tasked with guiding the son of Dynasty.

Kilrain, who has one win, a second placing and a third finish in his last five races, will start from Gate Two carrying a weight of 59kg.

Another top-rated runner for today’s main race is last year’s winner Comanche Brave, who is bidding to claim a double.

The five-year-old Comanche Brave will shoulder 58,5kg and comes into the race among the front runners at odds of 4-1.

The South African horse, who won the 2017 title ahead of Royal Honour and Mathematician, will this time be under the guidance of Bridget Stidolph.

Stidolph has four other runners in the form of the Leven Point (16-1), Roman Discent (20-1), Mathematician (10-1) and the only filly in the race, Simona (14-1).

The four-year-old Simona, who will carry a weight of 52kg, could reward brave punters with rich pickings if she can emerge as a dark horse to be among the top three in the Grace One race.

Level Point has 17 runs under her belt with three wins and four placings while Roman Discent, who is another son of Dynasty, also has a chance to spring an upset today.

Mathematician’s form is not that great heading into today’s race but Brendon McNaughton will be hoping to guide the five-year-old son of Black Minnalouse to victory.    
With five runners in the main race, Stidolph is hoping one of her horses will hit the jackpot today.

“With regards to all my horses the preparations are going well at the moment. For Comanche he has only been with me for a couple of months and has a couple of starts and a win. He has a good draw and we just have to wait and see what happens on race day,” Stidolph said recently.

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