WHAT happens when the overwhelming favourite fails to take to the course on race day? Punters are caught off-guard.
By Michael Kariati
That is exactly what happened in the 2 000 metre Bloodstock South Africa after punters were left scratching their heads following the withdrawal of Print The Pounds on the morning of the race.
Most had to change their combinations as they had either picked the Borrowdale Race Course darling as the winner, in the swinger pairings, and some of them in the trifecta and the quartet with the belief that the filly would bring them some financial pickings.
In fact, for the whole week, most of the punters were trying combinations with the Zimbabwe Guineas and the Fillies Classic winner at the centre of those predictions after she had been declared fit to race in this second leg of the Triple Crown.
Bridget Stidolph’s three-year-old is a favourite for many at Borrowdale as she has dished out regular financial rewards, thus her absence from the Bloodstock South Africa left many disappointed as they were hoping to cash in on the presence of one of the hottest properties at the course
“I had hoped to put my money on Print The Pounds but [I] had no option but to skip the race. She has proved to be a very reliable horse and I am waiting for when she returns to race again,” said Borrowdale Race Course regular, 51-year-old Simbisai Musengezi.
And many others felt the same way. “Print The Pounds is one horse you can trust. Even if she does not win, you are guaranteed that she will be there in the placings,” added 63-year-old Taurayi Nyamupfukudza, another of the many Borrowdale Race Course goers.
The filly, which was supposed to have been ridden by Fannie Chambers, was scratched on the morning of the race after a lame on the left front forced the authorities to apply rule 53,5. The rule forbids horses on medical grounds to take part in that particular race and the races that come in 12 days’ time.
“Any lameness or medical scratching will incur a 12-day suspension for the horse concerned. The duration of the suspension is taken from the date of scratching or the day of the race, whichever is the earlier.” This is what the rule reads.
As a result, Print The Pounds is not among the nominations for the seven races carded for the Independence Trophy Day which will take centre stage at Borrowdale Race Course on April 5. So, those who follow Print The Pounds will have to wait a bit longer to place their bets on the sensational three-year-old.
With Print the Pounds not in the race it was time for Ghokan Terzi’s Merhaba to shine. The gelding, with apprentice Wesley Marwing guiding him, was a 1,25 lens winner over Mica Point with Tallie Two and Eversolucky way behind.
Terzi is excited by winning the second leg of the Triple Crown. “I am the happiest man on earth. Everyone wants to win these major races and I have done just that. I hope this pattern will continue until the end of the season,” said Terzi.
Punters will also admit that there was some reasonable amount of money on offer as Merhaba paid out $4,90 for a totalisator win. Merhaba had opened betting at a 9/2 and closed at 15/2. The race was not all that good in its payment for placing as Merhaba gave out only $1,60 with second placed Mica Point paying $2,30 while Tallie Two paid out $2,30.
In the swingers, Merhaba and Mica Point were at $5,90.
Merhaba and Tallie Two paid out $2, 70 while Mica Point and Tallie Two dished out $6. The quartet was at $432, 90 while the Trifecta paid $273,60
Racing returns at Borrowdale Race Course with the running of the Independence Trophy on April 5 which will have a stake money of $9 000 and will be run over 1 600 metres. A total of 12 horses have been nominated for the race.
One of them is the super seven-year-old gelding called Super Trouper.