THE COUNTRY’S most prestigious horse racing event, the Castle Tankard, was launched in the capital yesterday with stakes still unchanged at $50 000 for the 52nd edition.
This year’s race will be held on May 10 amid improved excitement and high expectations after successes recorded last year.
The theme of the race for the latest edition of the event remained unchanged with the sponsors Delta Beverages sticking to last year’s idea of making the race the first-ever sponsored horse race in Africa – a “Destination perfection”.
Speaking at the launch held at Mashonaland Turf Club, Delta Beverages marketing manager Patricia Murambinda said this year’s race will be bigger than last year’s, with consumers and traders set to win prizes.
“This year’s celebration will have serious doses of intermittent excitement. These will come by way of a successful consumer and trader promotion which will see some significant winners taking centre stage along the way,” she said.
“Consumers will have a chance to drive away in four Nissan NP300 vehicles and a double cab Nissan Navara vehicle. Our traders will walk away with 1 500 cases of Castle lager. Our punters will walk away with $50 000 in stake money,” Murambinda said.
The premier race will be run over 2 000m at Borrowdale Racecourse and horses from across Southern Africa are expected to take part.
Organisers said they had already received a number of enquiries from South Africa – winners of the race for the past three years. April 28 has been set as the day for the final acceptance for horses that wish to compete at the event.
“The Castle Tankard horse race has left a formidable mark to reckon with in our horse racing fraternity. It has stood the test of time, and is growing bigger and better every year. It is a race which has helped to develop communities around us through employment creation.
‘Destination perfection’ remains our theme for this year’s celebrations.
This theme buttresses the key message from the Castle lager sponsoring brand. Castle lager delivers a message of perfection wherever and whenever it lands in the various segments of our customers. A quest for the best is the anchor which has carried the brand this far and will continue to,” Murambinda added.
Howard Mukundu, the Mashonaland Turf Club operations executive said he was pleased by the commitment shown by Delta Beverages in sponsoring the event despite the economic challenges bedevilling most industries.
“Generally, industry and commerce are suffering severe strains and from an economic standpoint, 2014 may be regarded as an unusual year.” he said.
In spite of that, our partners have once again reconfirmed their commitment to the Castle Tankard horse race and we take pride in that.
“It is a clear authentication of the resilience of our partnership with the Castle brand and Delta Corporation.
“We value this level of commitment from Delta, to maintain the existence of the Castle Tankard race and the development of horse racing in Zimbabwe.” Last year’s race was won by A King is Born of South Africa.