All set for Castle Tankard

Five-year-old Equina (4) will be out to make history, when she joins 14 other horses for the 53rd edition of the 2,000-metre Castle Tankard at the Borrowdale Racecourse on Saturday.

The mare is out to become only the third horse to win the Grade One Race for the second time in the race’s 53-year history, after

Taranaki, who achieved that feat way back in 1978 and 1979 and Fashion Maker in 1997 and 1999.

The daughter of Silvinho opened betting among the favourites at 6/1 and is very much likely to partner stable jockey Karl Zechner who won not only the Tankard, but also the OK Grand Challenge, when he rode the South African-bred horse last season.

The two came second in the Grade Two Republic Cup and so far this season, they have won the Zimbabwe National Army Charity Handicap.

Although well drawn in the inside at five, Equina is on the heavy side this time, compared to last year. When still a four-year old, she usually carried 52kgs, but has now been burdened with 56.2kgs for this long Castle Tankard race.

Also opening among the favourites were St John Gray’s Norgay (7), Alyson Wright’s Warcraft (9) and Ghokan Terzi’s Rock The Country (10) who all opened at 6/1 along with the defending champion.

Following at 7/1 are Republic Cup winner Lucky Sam (3)from the Bridget Stidolph yard, Thriller in Manila (12) from the Amy Bronkhorst stable and Glorious Jet (1), trained by Ghokan Terzi.

Not to be outdone is the new kid on the block – All The Bids, who is

at 8/1. The three-year old is the youngest in the race, but, nominated

for the Vodacom Durban July in South Africa, he cannot be discounted.

All The Bids is one of the seven lightweights in the race alongside Mighty Sha (14), Killa Man (13), Thriller in Manila (12), Menacing (11) Rock The Country and Warcraft, all carrying 52kgs.

Apart from Equina and Thriller in Manila, defending champion trainer Bronkhorst has also declared Gentle Brook (8) who although at 16/1 is one of the dark horses for the title.

Sebastien D’Aquino’s Two Gun Kid (6) has not made that promising impact at Borrowdale Race Course and at 20/1 he is among the wildcards for the race along with the two Zimbabweans Kirk Swanson’s Might Sha 50/1 and Stidolph’s Killa Man at 25/1.

Seven-year-old Super Trooper (5), is the oldest horse in the race, and one of the regular campaigners. So far, this season, Super Trooper has been the most consistent horse at the Borrowdale Racecourse and has beaten most of the younger horses who have made it to the Tankard.

This is a horse not to ignore in this race, sponsored to the tune of $50,000 by Delta Beverages.

The winner of the Tankard will take home $30, 000, while second and third place will attract $10,000 and $6,000 respectively. There will be $3,000 for the fourth-placed horse, while the combinations of the fifth placed horse will receive $1,000.

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