Champion two-year-old to be decided

Zimbabwe’s champion two year old will be decided on Sunday when 11 horses line up for the Champion Juvenile Stakes to be run over 1,200 metres at Borrowdale Racecourse.

Six of the eight trainers based at Borrowdale have declared horses for the event with Corne Spies having the highest number of entries as she fields three, including race favourite AP Ikhaja. Only Kirk Swanson and champion trainer Lisa Harris do not have horses in this classy field of future stars.

What is heartening is the fact that there are four Zimbabwean horses in the field Call Me Earl, and Paint It Black from the Alyson Wright stable, Bridget Stidolph’s Rocky Road and Starry Notions from the Amy Bronkhorst’s yard. The field has drawn an assortment of three fillies, six colts and two geldings all gunning for the $4,500 winners’ prize from the $9,000 stake money on offer. The race also presents headaches for punters as most of the horses are not familiar to them as they have not raced for more than seven times at the home of Zimbabwe horse racing.

Spies’s AP Ikhaja has raced regularly this season and that should give her an edge over the rest of the pack. However, on current form, Ghokan Terzi’s Demagogue, and Starry Notions pose a serious danger.

Apart from AP Ikhaja, Spies also sends out Paulus and Scandal. There are places too for Stidolph’s Al Salaam, as well as Amy Bronkhorst’s Equiano, and Sebastien D’Aquino’s Go Galaxy.

The graduates from the Juvenile category will next season be fighting for the Triple Crown, a three-series competition for three year old horses. This season there was no Triple Crown winner after Merhaba failed to win all the three legs of the Series. He won the Bloodstock South Africa and the Zimbabwe Derby but failed to win the Zimbabwe Derby which went to Print The Pounds.

Merhaba was there with the best when he took part in the OK Grand Challenge where he finished eighth. The Champion Juvenile Stakes is a Grade Three race.

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