Rock the Country heads a classy field which was unveiled in Harare yesterday for the 55th edition of the prestigious Castle Tankard.
BY HENRY MHARA
The race, to be run over 2 000 metres at Borrowdale Race Course, has been set for May 6, with 12 horses set to compete for $30 000.
Rock the Country, which has switched stables from Gorkan Terzi to Penny Fisher, and last year’s runners’ up Mathematician of Bridget Stido’s stable, will begin as favourites to win the race.
Windigo came third last year, and will be hoping for better fortunes this year.
Race sponsors Delta Beverages, who have once again poured in $50 000, said they were happy to be associated with the event, which is the only grade one horse race in the country.
“The Castle Tankard horse race has left a formidable mark to reckon with in our racing fraternity. It has stood the test of time, and is growing bigger and better every year. It is a race with a history in our country. It is a race which has helped to develop communities around us through employment creation,” the company’s general manager Munyaradzi Nyandoroh said.
He said Castle Lager consumers were also set to win big on the day.
“For the first time, consumers of Castle Lager will participate in a promotion named the Castle Tankard Experience and get a chance to win one of 20 packages valued at $1 000 each for them and their partners. The package includes two nights for two at Meikles Hotel, an Edgars voucher worth $500, VIP access to the Castle Tankard event and $100 worth of betting coupons. All they should do is to purchase the 375ml pint of Castle Lager and collect four crowns marked underneath and seal them in an entry envelope provided and deposit it in redemption boxes at participating outlets.”
There are, however, concerns over the marked decline of stables that are providing horses for the race.
Consequently, the field is getting smaller with each passing year, with 17 horses taking to the tracks in 2015, while 14 competed last year.
Only five stables will compete this year and Wylde Style is the only local horse in the race. The rest are from South Africa.
Brendon McNaughton is the only jockey who will be flying the Zimbabwean flag and will be riding Bridget Stido’s Duffi’s call.