HARARE – South Africa-bred horse Duffi’s Call claimed the 28th edition of the OK Grand Challenge here yesterday prompting the connections to walk away $28 000 richer.
Jockey Brendon McNaughton seized the opportunity in the last 100 metres to steer the filly into first place after jumping out from lane 6 to win the 1 800m Grade 2.
The three-year-old filly from Brigdet Stidolph’s stable was one of the favourites for the race after bookmakers had given her a 7/2 odd for a first place finish.
Another South African horse, Windigo finished in second place after leading for the greater part of the race.
However, the 1 800m proved too long for the four-year-old gelding as he surrendered the lead to Duffi’s Call in the last stretch.
Windigo, trained by Kirk Swanson and rode by jockey Francois Herholdt seems to be synonymous with the second place finishes after settling for the same position at the Castle Tankard last month.
Whiteline Fever also from South Africa finished in third place as jockey Raymond Danielson ensured the seven-year-old stallion with one of the highest ratings also ended the race with a placing.
Duffi’s Call stablemate, Mathematician, under jockey Wesley Marwing had to settle for fourth place which made it a great outing for Stidolph’s runners.
She was particularly impressed with how McNaughton managed to recover and end up winning the race.
“He’s (McNaughton) a top achiever. He went about his business with great focus and determination,” Stidolph said.
“I’m delighted with the latest victory and, Brendan, thanks once again for the top drawer performance you have done us proud.”