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White Dragon steals victory at feature Soprani Challenge Cup

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Leslie Sercombe was patient and diligent as she led White Dragon to a glorious win at the highlight Soprani Challenge Cup at Ngong Racecourse on Sunday.

The 2,060m Derby Trial meet was characterised by hard running in a relatively damp track. However, it was not as smooth sailing for the veteran Sercombe who won by two-and-a-half lengths.

From the green lights, another Sercombe stable bigwig in the frame of Fire Fighter, jockeyed by James Muhindi, threatened to cause an upset. The American breed was good in attack but Jacob Lokorian, atop Risque, proved the nearest challenger against White Dragon. It was an interesting push all the way to the end as the pair chased each other down the straight.

Sercombe had to be tactful as she switched her fillie wide hence a more vantage point to win in a race time of 2:14:07. In the 1,800m Arkle Trophy, Paul Kiarie was impeccable with a good run on the tracks atop Winter Comet.

In the tight race that his fillie won by a mere one-and-a-half lengths, Kiarie had to be aware of threats that lurked in his rear in the shape of marauding Zodi West and Omaha Beach.

However, Kiarie who is an experienced hand, gave trainer Onesmus Mutua something to smile about. His inside attack formula bore fruit as he strode dutifully after sensing some fatigue from his competitors.

He stepped on the gas at the 400m mark and his Zimbabwean bred fillie responded brilliantly and clinched the second win for the stable after clocking 1:57:03.

In the 1,600m Civil Service Gold Cup-George Drew Series for the Watson Trophy, Sercombe beat a strong field to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths. The race, timed at 1:39:08, saw the exceptional running of grand old Western Ballad help him to second position.

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