TAPIWA Phiri, who takes care of True Beuaty, was full of praise for the runner after he won the 63rd edition of the Castle Tankard race at Borrowdale Park on Saturday.
The four-year-old filly, True Beauty, emerged the winner as the Castle Tankard horse race returned after a Covid19-induced hiatus and Phiri, who takes care of the horse, said he was sure that one of their runners had a chance.
The 29-year-old Phiri has been working with Thomas Mason yard for the past six years said he was happy to see his companion win the country’s oldest race.
“I always work with the horse and I am grateful that jockey Dennis Schwartz managed to take control of the race from the start to finish.
“I am very happy for True Beauty after she won the Castle Tankard. There was strong competition and I had given the rider some tips as to when to increase speed and how to control her.
“I told him when to increase pace and with Only Him in the race there was real danger of losing to him. We had beaten most of the runners who were in the field and we had practised a lot ahead of the event. We are now targeting the OK Grand Challenge and I hope we will do well again,” said Phiri.
The filly by Skill Skizzle was a clear winner ahead of Only Him, Holy Land and Wantage and in the process gave her connections the US$25 000 winner’s prize. Not only did the connections, the owners, the trainer and jockey shared US$25 000, the punters smiled aall the way to the banktoo.
By taking the Castle Tankard, the Thomas Mason trained True Beauty improved her record to six wins and 10 placings in 18 starts and will also fancy her chances in the forthcoming OK Grand Challenge.
Mashonaland Turf Club vice chair, Kirsty Stidolph, said she was impressed by the turnout at the Castle Tankard and believes they will have more numbers during the OK Grand Challenge.
“Everything went on well as we are grateful as MTC as holding such a race is challenging but we managed. I am happy for all the trainers and jockeys who managed to win.
“We had a fair field and the competition was very tense. I think we are going to have a full field of 18 runners at the OK Grand Challenge.
“The races went on well and I am grateful to the trainers and owners who took their time to see that the race went on well,” said Stidolph.