Barry Silah @obel_barry
Sprinting genius X-Factor, jockeyed by veteran Leslie Sercombe, vanquished rivals to claim victory at the highlight Jim Kidman Bowl at Ngong Racecourse on Sunday.
The 1,000 metres race, which had only four runners, saw Stewart McCann and Patsy Sercombe stables parade their fastest sprinters in the straight line event on the hard tracks.
X-Factor was quicker off the blocks and its pace and stamina was a huge determinant on proceedings as it clinched the race clocked at 59.07 seconds by a mammoth four-and-a-quarter lengths gap. Sercombe selected the wider lane to attack the American-bred fillie for its seventh win.
As Paragon on 4/1 odds and jockeyed by James Muhindi came in second despite a limited weight advantage. It showed character and poise during the chase but then the South African-breed gassed out when it mattered most and with the only 300m to race completion.
In the end, Sercombe showed her mettle while the chasing pack of As Paragon and Flash Harry, settling for the runners-up position separated by only a three-quarter length.
Meanwhile, in the 1,800m Nyanzian Shield Handicap, Charles Mwangi bossed the race atop Busselton in a meet timed at 1:55:07. It was, however, not smooth sailing for the Wakini Ndegwa-trained fillie who endured heat from the rear in the frame of Kidnap, jockeyed by Paul Kiarie.
The eventual difference between the pair in the middle distance meet was a meagre half-a-length in what captivated the fans on the stands. Mwangi had to play smart to earn a third win for the South African breed that was tapped at 5/1 ahead of the race.
Earlier on, Paul Kiarie had led Marais to victory in the 1,200m Duruma Sandstone Series Handicap event that featured three-year-olds. The well-calculated strategy by the winners saw them taking down Istanbul, jockeyed by Jacob Lokorian, by a gap of two lengths in a race clocked at 1:14:05.