TRIUMPHANT Zimbabwe champion jockey Quinton Riddle hailed Yer-Maan as the greatest horse he has ever worked with after steering the six-year-old gelding to victory in the 2015 OK Grand Challenge at Borrowdale Park Race Course on Saturday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
In front of a capacity crowd ,Yer-Maan made light of top weight, winning the $40 000 Grade Two race by a length in a storming finish, ahead of Thriller In Manila, Rock The Country and Equina.
The win capped off a memorable season thus far for Yer-Maan and Riddle as the pair also won the $50 000 Castle Tankard on May 16 for South African owner/trainer St John Gray.
“It’s unbelievable! I have just won the two biggest races in Zimbabwe so far, so he’s the best horse I know and the best at the moment for sure. If I’ve got to rate him with past horses I’ve won on, I think he’s probably the best,” Riddle said.
“He’s got a lot of heart and I’m just grateful to win a great race like this. As a Zimbabwean, it’s very special and the atmosphere definitely helps.”
Riddle, who has now set his sights on completing a hattrick of wins with Yer-Maan by clinching next month’s Republic Cup, said the recent wins were made more special by the fact that they were both making a return from injury.
Prior to Castle Tankard run, Yer-Maan endured a six-month injury lay-off, while Riddle also missed the early part of the season with an injury.
“It hasn’t been easy. I was injured earlier on in the season and Yer-Maan is also coming from an injury, but we both proved that the old men can still do it,” Riddle said. “The last of the three big races we all look out for is in a month’s time which is The Republic Cup which has got a nice big stake over 1 900m and it will suit this horse as well.
“Hopefully he pulls out well from this run and he’s got no injuries or little niggles and that would be the aim, to be victorious again in a month’s time for the Republic Cup.”