Bookmakers are still prepared to offer odds that Equina will be one of the horses to watch in this usually hugely attended race, despite her disappointing showing thus far this season.
The mare, which dominated last season, has already lost her Castle Tankard title to Yer-Maan and has only the Zimbabwe National Army Handicap title to show for this season. She managed one win and one placing in her last six races, with the rest being a fourth, fifth, sixth and tenth.
Even trainer Amy Bronkhorst denied that her horse had lost her touch and maintained that the mare would be the horse to beat in the shorter OK Grand Challenge. “She is very good, in shape, fit and ready for the Challenge,” said Bronkhorst who helped Equina finish second in the Republic Cup last season, on top of her Castle Tankard and OK Grand Challenge wins.
Equina whose record stands at an impressive nine wins and seven places in 25 races, will have stable jockey Karl Zechner as her pilot. Zechner knows his way round the Borrowdale Racecourse and currently leads the jockey standings.
New entrants on the scene include Western Winter Watercraft, St John Gray’s Yer-Maan, Norgay, champion three-year-old Merhaba, Thriller in Mabila and Say So Tiger, who will be making their maiden appearance in the Challenge.
The regulars are Madigan, Rock the Country, Got A Hold On Me, Menacing and the oldest horse in the race, Super Trooper. However, Bridget Stidolph’s Lucky Sam looks most likely to succeed Equina as the OK Grand Challenge champion due his current form, which saw the Independence Trophy winner come a close second to Yer-Maan in the Tankard.Post published in: Sport