A pleasant surprise

Eight year-old Pleasant Valley’s win in the 1,900 metre Zimbabwe National Army Charity race last Sunday brought smiles to the faces of the Zimbabwean horse racing fraternity, after the locally-bred horse ended South Africa’s dominance of the major races at Borrowdale race course.

It has been some time since Zimbabwe had a winner and for the outsider to do it in such style has brought some belief that there could be a lot in store from local horses this season.

Pleasant Valley led from start to finish, holding off late challenges from Captain’s Tiger and Fashion Police, each of whom had a weight disadvantage and are worth mentioning for their efforts.

More important was the fact that another Zimbabwean horse, Captain’s Tiger, was in third position with the South African Fashion Police sandwiched in between in second place. Candymancan, from the Lisa Harris stable, came fourth.

Pleasant Valley, the son of Kitalpha and Gocha Girl, is trained by Sebastian D’Aquino and owned by KP Fallon and KA O’Conner. He has Cuthbert Mungoma as the groomer, and was ridden by Zimbabwean jockey Brendon McNaughton, who won the race on his 23rd birthday.

Mashonaland Turf Club Chief Operations Executive, Howard Mukundu, said more and more locally-bred horses would grace the course this season, adding that the MTC would love to have more Zimbabwean horses than foreign ones in their races.

Mukundu said they would like to see a situation in which local horses would also campaign successfully on the international stage especially in South Africa, where horse racing is highly competitive.

The horse racing season is still in its infancy and with races of between $40,000 to $50,000 still to come, both punters and race goers have an exciting season ahead of them.

Post published in: Athletics

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