Home » Sports » Yer-Maan Completes Historic Double

OVERWHELMING favourite Yer-Maan claimed a historic double following a blistering finish to comfortably win the 27th OK Grand Challenge before a capacity crowd at Borrowdale Race Course yesterday.

Thousands were present to witness the six-year-old gallop to the $24 000 winners’ prize ahead of Thriller In Manila, Rock the Country and defending champion Equina.

The 3310 favourite Yer-Maan joined the likes of Equina who last year won both the grade One Castle Tankard and the Grade Two Ok Challenge.

Now it is up to race-goers to judge who is better, the double winner of last year Equina or Yer-Maan. The Republic Cup which comes next month will provide the answer.

Should the two meet in the Republic Cup, the odds appear to favour the in-form Yer-Maan. Ironically, the double feat by Yer-Maan has been achieved after the horse and the winning jockey Quinton Riddle endured injury early in the season.

Riddle said their focus is now on the treble as they seek to add the Grade 2 Republic Cup to their already glittering season collection.

With what they have done so far Yer-Maan and Riddle look like they have the ability to win not only the Republic Cup but many races to come should the South African horse stay for long in Zimbabwe.

This is Yer-Maan’s sixth win in 10 starts, putting his career record to 10 wins in 36 races. Yesterday’s win was also Riddle’s second OK Grand Challenge title following his previous success with Sweden in 1997.

Yer-maan is owned and trained by St John Gray in South Africa but is groomed in Zimbabwe by George Shenje who will have a share when the connections get their pickings.

Yet all had not looked rosy for Yer-Maan as at first the lead changed hands from Super Trouper to Norgay and later to Madigan.

As the horses turned for home it looked like another of St John Gray’s horses was going to add the Ok Grand Challenge to the stable pickings, but Yer-Maan — the market leader — was not to be left behind.

With 200m to go, it was apparent that neither Kevin Derere’s Thriller In Manila nor Rock the Country would make an impression on Yer-Maan. With that, the Ok Grand Challenge was over and heading St John Gray’s way.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard