BY MICHAEL KARIATI
Nine-year-old Finchatton from the Ghokan Terzi yard yesterday made the 1 800m Grade 3 OK Grand Challenge look easy to ride with a storming finish ahead of 18 runners to land the biggest check on the Zimbabwean racing calendar at Borrowdale Park.
Spurred on by jockey Diego De Gouvels, Finchatton, the son of Right Approach (GB) — who was the oldest of the 18 runners at Borrowdale Park Racecourse — defied an unfavorable draw to land his first win in six starts ahead of Peggson, Holy Land and Fareeq.
The OK Grand Challenge title pushes Finchatton’s record to nine wins and 27 placings in 71 starts in a career that is heading to an end
De Gouvels had high praise for Finchatton, “I have been with him for the past two weeks and I knew what he was capable of. Although he was resisting to race, the moment we took off I knew we were heading for the top,” said Gouvels,
In fact, Peggson (AUS) from the Bridget Stidolph stable failed to shake off her bridesmaid tag after also finishing second in 2018 and 2019 behind Simona and is hoping for the best in 2022.
To his credit, Finchatton had finished second behind Daffiq the last time he took to the course at Borrowdale Park in the Independence Trophy on May 2.
For winning the OK Grand Challenge, Finchatton, gave his connections who included the owner, trainer, jockey and groomer, US$35 000 to share on top of giving his backers throughout the world huge financial pickings.
For his effort in coming second Peggson won US$17 500 with third placed Holy Land taking US$10 500. There was also a US$7 000 reward for fourth placed Fareeq who was bred in Australia.
The disappointment of the race was the Borrowdale Park favourite Dindingwe, who after a blistering start failed to maintain the momentum and could not finish on the podium for the first time in six starts.
So too was another three-year-old Diesel Dust also from the Kirk Swanson yard, who was expected to give the older boys a run for their money but could not match the pace of the older horses.