Mr & Mrs Vijay B. Shirke & trainer M K Jadhav leading Hachiko (B Prakash Up), winner of The Poonawalla Breeders' Multi-Million (Grade 1)
Vijay Shirke’s horses with their jockeys donning the famous Green silks, dominated the races at the Mahalaxmi racecourse. Shirke did not mind the long walk to lead in his horses four times through the day which also included the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi-Million (Grade 1) with Hachiko (Noverre – Indira). His conquests began early in the second race itself when Zervan guided Tolstoy (Emerald Cat – Sound of Silence) to an emphatic victory without any toil. Tolstoy chased Foxtrot all the way into the straight. Helen was right next to him at the turn. Mountain Song found the race too tough to handle and finished in the rut without making any impact.
Foxtrot led them homeward and soon Tolstoy began to move forward at a brisk pace. He soon sped ahead past Foxtrot. Helen started to improve places and easily got ahead of Foxtrot. She tried hard to get closer to Tolstoy but in vain. Tolstoy had stolen a march and was elusive to Helen and the rest. Helen for the second time on the trot had to end runner-up. Crowned Princess came from behind to finish a good third beating Saifeena and Foxtrot on the wire. Saifeena broke a blood vessel.
In the very next race, the Rusi Patel Trophy, Shirke’s Demonstrator got aggressive and compiled a neat start to finish victory, warding off favourite Stromboli’s charge. Demonstrator surged ahead on start and had the pack following him closely and when they turned for home, Demonstrator further quickened and opened a handy gap. Stromboli soon galloped in chase and these two were well ahead of Rajasthan Royals. Neither Dancing Glances nor Orito lived up to expectations. Both looked spent before the distance post. Demonstrator galloped on gamely even as Stromboli tried hard to catch up. Stromboli gained slightly in the final few strides but that just wasn’t enough. Demonstrator won narrowly yet comfortably.
Catharsis was the next Shirke-owned horse to score and bring home the Melbourne Spring Carnival 2012 Trophy. Sitting up front alongside Capri and Smart Rider, Catharsis galloped smoothly into the lead soon on turning for home. He quickened in a trice and shot ahead of Capri. Smart Rider tried to match strides but soon after a brief tussle, found the going too tough. Catharsis stormed ahead striding nicely and went clear to win comfortably. Smart Strider had to be content with the second spot while Capri ran on to end third.
Rehanullah Khan’s Saints N Sinners (Burden of Proof – Corsicana) proved his mettle to score a start to finish victory to clinch the Serum Institute of India Trophy in a close finish. Saints N Sinners was off the blocks in a flash and worked up a nippy pace and carried it through quite nicely. National Glory and Martinique were the closest to the leader. Greatness moved up paces at the turn as did Daffodils.
Saints and sinners came into the straight with a handy lead. Jockey Sandesh relied on going hands and heels until the final 300 meters as Saints And Sinners galloped on relentlessly. Sandesh played his part in the saddle to perfection, ensuring that Saints and Sinners never let his grip off to boot home the early advantage. His use of the whip too was astute and timely. Greatness finished on bravely as did Daffodils. Martinique, however, failed to impress.
Cent Per Cent (Diffident – Credential) piloted by Suraj Narredu rocketed home to a very impressive victory. At the early stages, Banana Boy and Soneeyo tried to outdo each other and in doing so went clear of the rest. Cent Per Cent followed about four lengths adrift and Yuville was further behind.
On turning for home, Soneeyo was the first to bow out as Cent Per Cent, still on a tight rein covered good ground to get close behind Banana Boy. He soon cruised past the leader and held his own past the distance post. Yuville then came with a good gallop and for a moment it looked that Cent Per Cent had a challenge coming, but Suraj Narredu left nothing to chance and Cent Per Cent stayed safely ahead giving no hope to Yuville who resigned to take the runner-up slot. Destined To Glory ran on to take the third spot.
Sheriff (Key of Luck – Hygirl) pulled off a well fought victory to win the Intevalve Trophy warding off a dual challenge coming from either side in the homestretch. It was Apache Indian who led all the way until the turn before retiring. Sheriff soon took over and accelerated well to stay ahead hugging a slender advantage. Tara moved up on the rails to be on the heels of Sheriff and Risky Business seeming to threaten from the outside. The three were close to each other; however, Sheriff always was at least a length in front all the time. Both Tara and Risky Business tried hard to topple Sheriff and stretched him, but Sheriff fought on bravely to hang in there and saw off the ever-lurking threat staying comfortably ahead at the winning post.
Home Alone (Glory of Dancer – Shockwave) who ran an inexplicably poor race last time out, came back strongly this time. He was not sighted among the front runners at the final furlong mark. Rein In Spain, Secret Service, Ishpingo and Smart Chieftain turned for home close to one another and following them closely was Arctic Minstrel. Rein In Spain was soon challenged by Secret Service who in turn faced a dual threat from Our Chieftain and prime fancy Ishpingo. The trio were fighting hard and as the focus was on them, Home Alone produced a thundering gallop to cover considerable ground and sail easily past Ishpingo, who by then had just gained over the others. That was a devastating finish and Home Alone finished with a true flourish. Ishpingo, yet again finished second best. Arctic Minstrel did well to peg back Smart Chieftain for the third place.
Starlight Magic (Placerville – One Magic Moment) made ample amends for his last lapse and this time was determined right from the start. He jumped out well and then settled to follow Sylvinia until they turned for home. Once into the straight, Starlight Magic shot past Sylvinia without trouble and then gathered solid momentum to stretch out commendably. He soon was out of reach and even a good late bid from Humming Bird proved futile as Prakash kicked on relentlessly to pound the opposition to submission. Cheponski overcame a rough passage and at least one speed breaker, yet managed to end in place money.
Earlier in the day, Fantastic Kingdom (Epicentre – Classy Missy) put his best foot forward taking charge early in the straight to drive home on the fiery momentum that he worked up. He improved from the third position to lead the field soon on straightening for home. Blades of Glory galloped hard and fast to try and chase Fantastic Kingdom down but found the winner too good. Solid Rock did well to end a close third keeping the fast finished So True at bay.
For the professionals, trainers MK Jadhav and Dallas Todywalla saddled a double each, while jockeys, Suraj Narredu, Staphane Pasquier and S Zervan scored a double each.