The 2015 edition of the Castle Tankard might have come and gone, but it will be remembered for long by many horse racing enthusiasts.
By Michael Kariati
Not because the horse that won the race, Yer-Maan, was appearing at Borrowdale Race Course for the first time, or that the winning jockey, Quinton Riddle had just come out from injury, but because it left most people with a lot of money.
Who would have expected to pick up $10,10 from just a dollar on that Saturday afternoon? That is exactly what happened as Yer-Maan dished out $10,10 for those who believed in his capabilities.
Unfortunately, there were not many that gave Yer-Maan a chance given that prior to the race, the names that were on the lips of many included Norgay, Equina, Lucky Sam and Warcraft.
However, there were those who follow racing closely who took time to check on the history of Yer-Maan, especially over the 2 000 metre distance and found reason to put trust in the horse.
In fact, Yer-Maan has won several races over this distance in South Africa under the stewardship of legendary jockey Pierie Strydom and that he was under Strydom showed the quality of horse he is.
It should also be noted that although Yer-Maan was making his first trip to Zimbabwe, the six-year-old gelding was among the final acceptances for the 2013 Castle Tankard but was a card scratching alongside Emperor Augustus, and Winter’s Night.
After opening betting at 8/1, the son of Jam Alley closed at a high 12/1 just before the start of the race at 15,45 to signal a good day for race goers.
As he hit the tap 1,25 lens ahead of Lucky Sam, Yer-Mann immediately created new friends at Borrowdale, that should he come for the OK Grand Challenge on June 6, he will have many backing him all the way.
Apart from the $10,10 for a totalisator win, Yer-Maan offered $13,50 for his combination in the swingers with Lucky Sam and $9,00 for those who combined him with Warcraft.
On their part, Lucky Sam and Warcraft rewarded their followers with $5,30.
Although Lucky Sam is a regular campaigner at Borrowdale Race Course having won the Bloodstock South Africa and the Republic Cup as a three-year-old last season and the Independence Trophy this year, Warcraft was also making his first trip to Zimbabwe.
In fact, Alyson Wright had plucked the Western Winter brown gelding from South Africa, a few days after he won a 1 900 metres at Greyville.
Yer-Maan, Lucky Sam and Warcraft paid out a huge $438,90 in the Trifectar and for those still to collect their spin-offs there is a massive $2 147,70 still lying on the counter for the taking in the quartet. Rock The Country completes the quartet.