Sercombe wins 2018 Britam Kenya Guineas Challenge


Britam will host the annual horse-racing competition known as the Britam Kenya Guineas. (PHOTO/Courtesy)
Britam will host the annual horse-racing competition known as the Britam Kenya Guineas. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

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.

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.

“By offering support to his event, Britam aims to promote the development of horseracing in Kenya, as well as other sports in the markets we operate in.

“This is in line with the company’s social responsibility initiatives to support the environment, sports and education,” Benson Wairegi, Britam Holdings Group Managing Director, said.

Wairegi noted that the event directly and indirectly supports jockeys and helps to improve the livelihoods of over 3,000 households who depend on them.

The sponsorship, he said, also supports training, building and nurturing talents of young jockeys, thus enabling the continuity of the sport into the future.

The proceeds from the event usually go towards training, building, and nurturing of talent of young jockeys through workshops run by South African instructors, as well as partnerships with Bird Watchers Club from the National Museum of Kenya.

Britam’s focus on sports has seen the company support many sporting activities in the country including Kenya Open Tennis Championship, rebranding of the Nyayo National Stadium, supporting Kenya Premier League side Mathare United Football Club as well as many marathons and half marathons across the country.

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