BY MICHAEL KARIATI
TRAINER Bridget Stidolph was the star of the show at the Borrowdale Race Course after she saddled two of the top four horses in the 57th running of the RTGS $100 000 Castle Tankard yesterday, including the overall winner, Peggson.
Apart from Peggson, Stidolph also guided second-placed Leven Point, but was denied a clean sweep by Australia-bred Fareeq from the yard of Penny Fisher. In fourth place was South Africa’s Arte from the Kirk Swanson stable.
However, it was Peggson who was Stidolph’s top card. Ridden by top Zimbabwean jockey Brendon McNaughton, and jumping from a favourable draw of two, the four-year-old separated himself from the rest of the field with a splendid finish in the last 200 metres of the race.
Coming into the race with five wins and nine placings, Peggson has stretched his winning run to six, including the Tankard, the only Grade One race in Zimbabwe.
In fact, Peggson is proving to be a master of the distance, having won over 1 800 metres in January and over 1 600m in February.
The disappointment of the race was the heavily-favoured Amsterdam. Roared on by the traditional sizeable Castle Tankard crowd, Amsterdam failed to rise to the occasion when the punters needed him most.
Also down and out of the placings and the money were Simona, Heir Line, Knuckleball, Master Commander, Bush Pilot, Penny From Heaven, 2018 winner Roman Discent, Verdier and Solinski, the only Zimbabwean in the race.
There was also good news for punters after it was revealed that Peggson is staying for the OK Grand Challenge set for June 8, hoping to emulate the achievements of Equina, who in 2014 won both the Castle Tankard and the OK Grand Challenge before finishing third in the Republic Cup — the three major races on the Zimbabwe racing calendar.