White Dragon, ridden by Leslie Sercombe, clocked 1:38 1/10 to emerge victorious in the 2018 Britam Kenya Guineas Challenge at Ngong Race Course in Nairobi yesterday. White Dragon is by Await The Dawn, bred in partnership by Mr Steve Sturlese and P De Marigny.
The three year old remains unbeaten from four starts.
Richard Kibet’s Clothes Horse finished second in the energy sapping race as Daniel Tanui finished third with Busselton that some quarters believed to be the race favourite.
“It’s so amazing to win this coveted trophy more than twice. White Dragon was a great horse to ride today,” Sercombe told Standard Sports.
“I took six weeks to prepare for the race, I did lots of interval training with White Dragon on this course every day,” said Sercombe.
Apart from emerging victorious in the main race of the day, Sercombe also won other two races with the pony.
She was the winner of Britam Property Handicap contest and the Grayham trophy.
Despite the victories, Sercombe is not lying on her laurel as she is set to embark on training at the venue today (Monday).
She wants to sharpen her skills ahead of the Guneas Fillies contest to be staged at the venue in January.
“I will be defending this title next year, but now that I’m free, I will concentrate on serious studies as exams are just around the corner.,” said Sercombe who is a third year Veterinary Medicine student at the University of Nairobi.
Unlucky Kibet said he will try his luck for the third-time next year. He said a small hiccup hindered him from winning the race yesterday.
“I finished in runners-up place in 2015 and the same has happened today. I’m hopeful to break the jinx year,” noted Kibet.
This is the fourth year in a row that Britam is sponsoring the Kenya Guineas Challenge. The company has so far donated over Sh12 million to support the Jockey Club since the race inauguration in 2015 to celebrate 110 years of horseracing in Kenya.
The race has grown in popularity to become a premier day in the horse racing calendar, with attendance increasing from an average of 1,500 people in 2015 to 5,000 people in 2017.
The race has always attracted top international teams and athletes from South Africa, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.