All systems go for Castle Tankard


A STRONG field of 14 horses is expected to line-up for the country’s most prestigious horse racing competition, the $50 000 Castle Tankard to be run over 2000m at Borrowdale Park Race Course this afternoon.


This year’s field for the prestigious Grade One race is expected to serve up an intriguing battle as local and South African raiders bid to outdo each other in the continent’s oldest horse racing competition.

The classy field includes 2014 Castle Tankard winner, four-year-old filly Equina, who will be out to make history by becoming only the third horse to win the Tankard twice in the race’s 53-year history, after Taranaki (1978 and 1979) and Fashion Maker in 1997 and 1999.

Equina also went on to win the OK Grand Challenge that same year and joined an elite league of a few runners who won the two races during the same year.

Also in with a chance is 2014 Republic Cup winner Lucky Sam from the Bridget Stidolph yard, while three South African raiders – Yer-Maan, Norgay and Warcraft also pose a serious threat despite the fact that they will be racing at Borrowdale for the first time.

Alyson Wright’s Warcraft is also tipped to be victorious this weekend as her yard has produced two previous Castle Tankard winners, Code Rock in 2012 and A King Is Born in 2013.

Last year, A King Is Born was beaten to second place by Equina from the Bronkhorst’s yard.

The Joey-Ramsay-trained Coltrane (ARG) is also one of the horses not to ignore in this race after he ran a great race in the 2014 Tankard before finishing third.

Initially 15 horses were scheduled to feature in the Tankard but three-year-old All The Bids, who was amongst the favourites was scratched due to injury.

Zimbabwean jockey Kevin Derere had been nominated to ride All The Bids this weekend but after the injury he will now hold the straps on Gentle Brook from the Amy Bronkhorst stable.

Winners of this year’s edition will pocket $30 000 while the other placed runners will collect $10 000, $6 000 and $3 000 respectively.