As racing adapts to its new normal of taking place behind closed doors and gears up for Saturday’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas, ROA members Rae and Carol Borras are looking forward to their unbeaten colt Kenzai Warrior lining up against Godolphin’s mighty Pinatubo on the Rowley Mile.
The three-year-old returns to Newmarket where he took the rescheduled Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes in November, which left the husband and wife team dreaming of Group 1 glory.
While the sport has returned this week, owners are unable to attend race meetings under the new protocols introduced by the British Horseracing Authority to limit the spread of coronavirus.
For the Borrases, they are saddened they will not be trackside to witness their first Classic runner.
Rae Borras said: “At the end of the day, it is disappointing that we are going to miss a once in a lifetime opportunity. Carol and I will never get this chance again.
“But the most important thing of course is that racing is back and those involved in the industry are able to earn a living again.”
Sourced for £45,000 at the Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale last year, the son of Karakontie is one of 15 runners in the Group 1 alongside the aforementioned Pinatubo, Qatar Racing’s Kameko and Aidan O’Brien’s talented quartet of Arizona, New World Tapestry, Royal Dornoch and Wichita.
“We’re well aware that we are small players in the Guineas,” Borras continued. “Roger as a trainer and us as owners are small fry compared to some of the others. But I am absolutely certain that we won’t be embarrassed and Kenzai will give a good account of himself.
“You have to acknowledge that Pinatubo was the Usain Bolt of his age-group last year. We think we’ve got a brilliant horse and he’ll be up against several other brilliant horses, it’s as simple as that.
“We backed Roger when he had a feel for Kenzai [at Doncaster] and Roger has proven that his judgement of the horse was really good in the first place. His technique in bringing the horse forward has been brilliant.
“From the minute we bought the horse, he told us, ‘Let’s be patient as I think we’ve got a little superstar here’. One of my favourite sayings is ‘let’s not be victims of our impatience’. With Kenzai we haven’t and I’m quite sure he’ll do us proud on Saturday.”
Before Kenzai Warrior lines up in Saturday’s contest the owners are looking forward to seeing the first horse they purchased, Spirit Of May, contest the second division of a six-furlong handicap that closes Newmarket’s Friday card.
Purchased for £25,000 at the Tattersalls Ascot Breeze-Up Sale, Spirit Of May has notched four career victories in the care of Teal and was last seen winning at Chelmsford in December by an impressive three and a quarter lengths.
With regular jockeys Jack Mitchell and Jason Watson unavailable, the owners have secured the services of Andrea Atzeni for the ride.
Borras said: “We’ve gone from no racing to having a really exciting weekend. Our number one jockey for Spirit Of May is Jack Mitchell, who has done wonders with the horse.
“Neither Jack or Jason were available and Andrea has never ridden for us before but Roger rang me to say he was delighted Andrea has got the ride because he’s a top jockey.”