All eyes will be on Only Him and True Beauty at Borrowdale Racecourse this Saturday for the country’s richest race, the OK Grand Challenge.
True Beaty, a four-year-old filly trained by Thomas Mason, a few weeks ago won the Castle Tankard race with Only Him from Bridget Stido stable, coming second.
Ten-year-old gelding, Finchatton, the winner of OK Grand Challenge last year will also be in contention.
The Ok Grand Challenge, which was last week upgraded to Grade 0ne race, from Grade two, will see 18 runners taking to the field. The race , with a stake of US$70 000, race will be run over 1 800 metres
Trainer, Thomas Mason said: “Its going to be a bigger race.True Beaty has a good weight. She is the horse to watch. From opposition, Only Him is a big horse. The competition is going to be tough between these two horses.”
Another trainer, Vanessa Birke said her horse Holly Land, which has so far won six races for her including the Independence Trophy and National Foods Cup, can surprise.
“It’s my favourite in my yard. It has been campaigning against top horses in the country. It ran third last year. I believe he was unlucky not to win. Maybe the pilot didn’t know him at the time. But we have really figured out and I think he is very much at home this time around. Three weeks ago he ran in the Castle Tankard and is coming into this race very well. I think he has a chance. I am confident that he is coming into this race and have a full go,” Birke told BT Sport.
From opposition, Birke told BT Sport: “I fancy True Beaty and Only Him. They are also big horses this year and they also run first and second in the Castle Tankard. But, I think the race is going to be a lot closer among the three horses (Holly Land, True Beauty and Only Him).”
Another trainer, Bridget Stido said: “Only Him is a big horse and is imposing.”
Jockey, Nobert Takawira, who will ride What a Dandy from Debra Swanson stable refused to be intimidated saying: “ I believe in my horse. (What a Dandy). I am not scared of any horse no matter what people say. So, I am going to take it (Ok Grande Challenge).”
OK Grand Challenge final field
What A Dandy, Lily Blue, Captain of Tortuga, Finchatton, Only Him, Holy Land, True Beauty, Daffiq, Mr Greelight, Wantage, Armstrong, Bugatti Blue, Edward the Seventh, Seven Seas, Love the View, Citrusdal, Mind Master and Obscue.