Western Ballad made a sensational return when she clinched the feature 1,400m Mzee wa Pwani Trophy in a time of 1:29:03 at the Ngong Racecourse yesterday. Jockey Daniel Tanui ensured the 2016 Horse of the season conquered the pack by a length and a quarter under damp tracks. The start was punctuated by power running as the four fillies sought to clinch the big meet.
Stablemates El Mundo and Knighthood trained by Patsy Sercombe led firmly for around 600m and fend off challenges from Onesmus Mutua trained Caen. However at the bend, Tanui steered his horse brilliantly from the inside and at the bend exploded to a dizzying sprint. Richard Kibet atop El Mundo tried his top best to catch up but Ballad who won nine races last season crossed the finish line fastest.
An elated Tanui was happy with a well-run race and hoped for a good end year. “We had a good plan particularly at the homestretch which worked. Today was a great outing for us considering it was her first active run of the season.
We look forward to better results with the few classics coming,” he told People Sport. Meanwhile in the 1,200m Takwa Ruins Maiden, Jacob Lokorian was a tad lucky when he won the race by a short head over Henry Muya’s Glascote Rose. The tight meeting was clocked at 1:16:08 and the winning fillie Marais had to be on high flight to secure the victory.
The middle distance was full of colour as the odds on favourite Ione jockeyed by Charles Mwangi fell off the pace in disappointing fashion to hand the win to rival Marais for her first win in the category this season.
Stewards called the photo finish as the winner simply put its nose ahead in a frenetic finish that wowed the punters. The 1,400m Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary also saw some fine and lively action but only between three runners. Richard Kibet’s Soho Mouse was disqualified for coming under starter orders thus Leslie Sercombe riding Clothes Horse breezed through in five and a quarter lengths distance.