Buster Barnes wins OK Grand Challenge race

09 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Buster Barnes wins OK Grand Challenge race MONEY SHOT . . . Buster Barnes (13), with rider, crosses the finish line during yesterday’s OK Grand Challenge horse race at Borrowdale Park in Harare

The Sunday Mail

Don Makanyanga

Sports Reporter

BUSTER BARNES clinched the 2024 OK Grand Challenge horse race after pipping favourite Raffles at Borrowdale Park yesterday.

The horse, which opened at 4/1, beat overwhelming favourite Raffles, who had opened betting at 14/10 on the tap to win this year’s edition of the race.

Raffles, the Castle Tankard winner, led in the home stretch before Buster Barnes got into gear to hit the tap first.

The win became Buster Barnes’ seventh in nine races.

The Debra Swanson-trained brown gelding, which was ridden by jockey Deryl Daniels, won the top prize of US$40 000, which was half of the total US$80 000 stake money on offer from the OK Grand Challenge.

In third place was Raining Again, ridden by seasoned rider Nkululeko Sibanda, and they walked away with US$12 000, while Ideal View came fourth.

Citrusidal and Action Zone completed the top six, coming fifth and sixth, respectively.

It was the second consecutive victory for trainer Swanson, who won last year’s edition of the OK Grand Challenge with Down to Business.

After beating Raffles to the grand prize, Swanson equated the win to that of the biblical David against Goliath.

“I feel like David defeated Goliath today (yesterday),” she said.

“To be honest, I am really proud of what has happened today. I am really proud of Buster Barnes, proud of my team at home, the jockey and the Centaur Syndicate, who continue to get me brilliant horses.”

Celebrating her second consecutive victory in the OK Grand Challenge, Swanson described Buster Barnes’ victory as special.

“I am also proud of my horses; they have done me proud over the course of the past two years. They are youngsters who are pulling off big wins,” she said.

“But this win by Buster Barnes is particularly special. Of course, he won the triple crown, which is a feat in itself, but he was not really up against this class of horses and I did not really fancy him winning.

“But he has pulled it off. It’s quite a brilliant achievement, and I’m so proud.”

Share This: