Mr. K N Dhunjibhoy, Mrs. Deepa Dhunjibhoy & Mr. A S Narielwalla leading Sorrento (Stephane Pasquier Up), winner of The F.K. Vakil Trophy
Sorrento (Diamond Green – Sonatina) from trainer Shyam Habbu’s yard made every post a winning one as she led early and held on bravely to thwart a stiff challenge posed by favourite Mountain Regiment to win the FK Vakil Trophy in a gripping finish.
Sorrento turned for home and led the field into view and soon Mountain Regiment set about in chase. However, Sorrento always held the upper hand and kept the momentum going making light of the top weight (61.5 kilos) that he was carrying. Mountain Regiment was persistent with his bid as he joined Sorrento in the early half of the straight. Stephane Pasquier was vigorous in his pushing and kept goading Sorrento all the while. Richard Hughes too was busy, getting Mountain Regiment to give off his best. It looked anybody’s race at the distance post with both contenders going for the kill, but Sorrento in the end sustained his tempo to stay ahead by ¾ L at the wire.
Mountain Regiment ended a gallant second while Afsoon wrested the third spot from Desert Eagle in a close finish.
Trainer Pesi Shroff sent out a popular double early in the day, with Rancho (Placerville – Madame Equis) and Stromboli (Bertolini – My Hansel) providing him a back to back double.
Rancho scored his second successive victory with a measure of comfort. Chasing Strategic Change all the way into the straight, Rancho moved ahead with giant strides in the homestretch and won without encountering any threat from his three rivals. Rancho, a power-house in appearance, dominated the rest as he strode out in his big striding action. Neath appeared to pose a challenge when she briefly covered ground to be next to Rancho and Strategic Change, but failed to quicken. Rancho got elusive in the final stages of the race and won handsomely. Strategic Change galloped on to end a decent second. Neath disappointed.
Stromboli too won without much ado coming into her own dominating self once she got past Lyrical Symphony soon on entering the straight. Jockey Anthony Crastus got Stromboli into a fine rhythm and the filly accelerated resolutely. Royal Highness improved just a bit to run second, but never appeared to threaten the winner at any stage. Lyrical Symphony ran on to finish third. Stromboli was never at full throttle that explains the rather ordinary timing she clocked. The initial pace for the mile race was not fiery either. However, the victory was indeed impressive and Stromboli, in this form, has something more to offer in her next outing as well.
Samantha (Placerville – Lindsay), owned by Dr Vijay Mallya and saddled by Dallas Todywalla scored an impressive debut victory giving jockey Anthony Crastus his second success of the day.
Armel made all the early running and had Nicanora and Spinawin in tow. Samantha jumped out smartly but settle back well behind the leading bunch. On turning for home, Armel prolonged his rein on the lead and was hoping the winning post was a lot closer, as the rivals snapping at his tail were too close for comfort. Sariska moved up on the outside and just when she was being noticed, Samantha surfaced from the mid-bunch producing a scorcher to zip ahead past them all to snuff out every challenge in matter of seconds. Samantha literally flew away from the rest and dazzled to glory on debut. Sariska was hapless, as she was on the verge of surging ahead when she was stunned by Samantha’s fiery finish.
Trainer HJ Antia too saddled a fancied brace with Mountain N Dales and Mountain Mynah.
Mountain N Dales (Ontario – Visible Gold) settled into the third spot behind Heavenly Prize and Tudor Regent. As they turned for home, Tudor Regent got more aggressive and zipped past Heavenly Prize without encountering any resistance. Mountain N Dales started to move closer to Tudor Regent with apprentice jockey Akshay working hard to put it across the Naren ward. Both Tudor Regent and Mountain N Dales fought out the final furlong but neither was giving the other any quarter.
Inside the final 100 metres and both were yet inseparable. Seven Seas too warmed up and flew towards the end covering ground briskly but Mountain N Dales just about managed to crane his neck at the wire to win by a thin margin from Tudor Regent. Seven Seas ended a neck behind in the thriller announcing his status of being the one to watch out for next time out.
Mountain Mynah (Ontario – Analonarose) provided a fitting finale in the last race on a day that saw followers of favourites smiling their way back home. Mountain Mynah raced in the third spot behind Charlie Cool and Capitano. Soon on turning for home, Charlie Cool was passed from either side by Mountain Mynah and Capitano, the former moving through the rails.
Mountain Mynah quickened well to speed away from Charlie Cool but had Capitano breathing down her neck. The pair got involved in a grim battle and was heading for a scintillating finish. Both Richard Hughes astride Mountain Mynah and Trevor atop Capitano were in their elements riding hard and getting the best out of their mounts. Mountain Mynah just about managed to stay ahead and win by the shortest of margins.
Besame Mucho looked prominent at a point, however, could not match the fighting pair in front and had to be content with the third spot. Adams Vision completed the frame a neck away from Besame Mucho.
Hawk of the Wind (Black Cash – La Pieta) scored an aggressive maiden victory and strode out powerful without encountering any challenge. Sitting one behind Vaile Rouge, Hawk of the Wind charged to the front soon on turning for home. By the time he galloped past the 400 metres mark, Hawk of the Wind and amassed a handy lead and with the speed at which he was galloping, he looked the winner long way from home. Hawk of the Wind sailed further and further from his rivals. Neither Jewelled nor Brigadier made any impact on the winner.
Word Of Honour (Oath – Where Eagles Dare) came up with a lively performance to pull off a successful start to finish victory in the 2000 metres Adolfito Plate. Setting off at a friendly pace, Word Of Honour led the field home in a close bunch but sped away in the homestretch. Ashwa Yodhaa, who was right next to Word Of Honour coming into the straight, was clearly outlasted and outpaced. Word Of Honour with Trevor astride, accelerated extremely well and galloped away from them all impressively to register an easy victory. Blue Knight came from behind to peg back Cavalryman for the runner-up berth.
Faramarz (Black Cash – Itsmyday) pulled off a sensational coup and landed rich rewards for his connections. Faramarz was alert at start and quickly settled behind Sweeter Then Life and Sizzling Love who were disputing the lead. While the rest followed in a close huddle, Jacqueline Smile was woefully away from the thick of action and tailed the front bunch.
Faramarz shot into the lead soon on straightening for home and never looked back. He strode out majestically distancing himself from his rivals in quick time, causing no anxiety whatsoever to his backers. Blue Flash ran on to end a faraway second yet well ahead of Jacqueline Smile.
Rajdoot (Tirol – Riza) finally came good with a victorious gallop as he chased the leader Arabian Rock until into the straight and then quickened well to storm ahead past the distance post to score his first victory. Jockey TS Jodha waited for the opportune moment before pushing Rajdoot into a fine momentum to run away for a decisive victory. Arabian Rock held on gamely to ward off a double challenge for the place position from Kimaya and Red Sensation.