TRAINER Bridget Stidolph was the star of the 2018 Castle Tankard show at Borrowdale Park yesterday with three top-four finishers, including winner of the main feature race Roman Discent who was ridden by Johannesburg-based Mathew Thackery.
The only blemish between Stidolph and a clean sweep was Kilrain from the Mike de Kock stable who finished in third place when ridden by MJ Bylevelled.
Apart from the winning outsider, Roman Discent, who was placed at 20/1 on the opening day of betting, Stidolph also had Simona in second place as well as Mathematician, who rose to the occasion following an injury sustained in the 2017 OK Grand Challenge.
Stidolph was elated with the superb show. “I cannot believe it. I am the happiest person today. The horses came to the party and enjoyed it,” said Stidolph, who also paraded Level Point in the same race.
The race had nine runners after Ashton Park from the Penny Fisher stable was scratched.
For winning the Castle Tankard, Roman Discent, the five-year-old son of Dynasty, took home $30 000 for his connections, who include owners, trainer, jockey, and groomer Jackson Manyelani, to share.
The brown gelding also improved his record to four wins and nine placings in 39 races. Ironically, Roman Discent had not won and was placed only once in his last five meetings.
Yet, the Tankard had also not looked like Roman Discent’s for the taking with the lead changing hands between 2017 champion Comanche Brave and Amsterdam.
With only 200 metres to go, it was Simona who emerged as Roman Discent’s biggest challenger with the two fighting neck-to-neck, but in the end, Simona found the going tough but still won a lot of admirers for her show.
Simona took home $10 000 for finishing second while Kilrain was rewarded with $6 500.