Castle Tankard date set

Zimbabwe's home of horse racing the Mashonaland Turf Club have set May 10 as the day the Grade Two Castle Tankard will be run with a stake money of $50 000.

Mashonaland Turf Club Chief Operating Officer Howard Mukundu said they were expecting a larger field than the 14 horses that took to the course on the day South African horse A King Is Born took the honours ahead of Argentina born Ginepri and Zimbabwe's own Captain's Tiger on May 4, 2013.

Initially, 20 horses had been nominated for that race but six of them were scratched on the eve of the race including the heavily favoured Emperor Augustus.

Emperor Augustus which had opened the betting as the overwhelming favourite was injured on transit from South Africa and was forced out of the race. Another of the favourites Baracah was also scratched just a day before the race and since then the horse has not raced at Borrowdale.

The fields for the Tankard have not been consistent as there have been changing over the year with 17 on the course in 2011, dropping to 13 in 2012 and up to 14 last year.

The race which is over 2 000 metres is one of the highly competitive as the distance gives the punters the opportunity to watch the horses battle all the way unlike shorter events.

Mukundu said this year will be different in terms of the field as a lot of trainers have been enquiring about the race adding that there will be an array of top jockeys as well from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

"We are looking forward to a very exciting race. A lot of trainers are very much interested in the race as they have made enquiries and we are hoping to have a field of about 20 horses," said Mukundu.

Although A King Is Born has not returned to Zimbabwe since a third finish in the OK Grand Challenge that followed later, the horse is expected to return to defend the title.

Most of the other top horses that took part in the 2013 Castle Tankard have been racing at Borrowdale since the season started with the likes of Captain's Tiger, Arula Borealis, Madigan, Ginepri, Orbit War, Macchiato, and Platnum Moon all having regular competition.

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