Presentation ceremony of the Mr Greedy Trophy
A longish ten race card was in the offing for the rare Wednesday schedule. With the Invitation Cup weekend on the threshold and no racing this weekend in Mumbai, this was understandable. Trainer Dallas Todywalla had a rewarding day as three horses from his stable returned triumphant. The Chenoy father-daughter duo pulled off a race each while Imtiaz Sait chipped in with a long-priced double.
Masterofthesky (Major Impact – Matisse), ridden by B Prakash, improved as expected and after placing twice (4th & 3rd) in his last two outings, finally earned his winning bracket. He was the obvious favourite and he delivered like one! He hit the front soon on start with the other fancied opponents Be Cool, Unknown Rebel and Marine Zone in pursuit. Once they straightened up for home, Masterofthesky surged further ahead and none of the others could match his speed. Masterofthesky pulled away to win handsomely, while Unknown Rebel, Be Cool and Marine Zone followed him home.
Dallas Todywalla’s next success came in the Mulberry Plate another interesting race in the day. Sledgehammer scorched right through the race and just as stable-mate Masterofthesky, he too pulled off a start-to-finish victory. He flew off the gates and set a nippy pace taking off by four lengths with Bretton Wood alongside, then settled down to a steadier pace. Cogito Ergo Sum and Knighton followed them, with Clinton and Lake Geneva in the rear.
Sledgehammer (Burden of Proof – Saddle Star) quickened well after turning for home and galloped on at a fiery pace. He was comfortably in front past the distance post and none questioned his authority. Sledgehammer stayed well ahead to notch his second victory of the season in style. Cogito Ergo Sum held by a thread the runner-up berth from the fast finishing Lake Geneva. Neither Knighton nor Clinton raised any hope.
Star Goddess (Alnasr Alwasheek – Palazzio) was easily Todywalla’s most impressive winner on the day. The hot favourite won in a manner befitting a well-fancied horse, causing no anxiety to her supporters and giving no hope whatsoever to her rivals. She surged to the front alongside Glorious Miss, who had a very brief stint at the front, but once they turned for home, Star Goddess outclassed them all. She stretched out nicely and full of running without any assistance from the saddle, providing jockey Prakash with a very easy ride to victory. She looked good for another couple of victories in the manner she hacked this opposition. She clocked an impressive timing of 58.57 for the 1000 m scurry. Emerald Valley showed enough zip to pip Keringdingan on the post for the second spot.
The Chenoys scored two victories between them while father Bezan led-in Illuminique in the first race of the day, daughter Nazak saddled Svelte Lady to victory.
Illuminique (Placerville – Aerogramme) looked every bit a winner. His paddock looks, his last run form and the betting ring support made him the appropriate prime fancy. He won like one too! He set about in chase of Wells Fargo and coming into the straight, Danny Grant lost little time and in pursuing Illuminique to take to the lead. The Jaydev Mody owned mare responded instantly and tore away from the rest and that was it! Wells Fargo persisted and was rewarded the second place as Ashwa Yodhaa failed narrowly to get past her.
Svelte Lady (Ikhtyar – Musical Pepper) powered her way to a fashionable victory with jockey Dashrath Singh guiding her confidently. She was fourth as they settled down, and was galloping from the outside. Tell Me More, Diani and Roesti were close to one another on turning for home. Diani tried to break free from the cluster and just as she was attempting to poke through, Svelte Lady accelerated ahead. Svelte Lady quickened smoothly and drew away from them all to post a very easy victory. Aristocratic took his time to warm up and towards the fag end and when the winner was out of reach, something fired Aristocratic up and he charged towards the winning post. That late dash was evidently suggestive and Aristocratic is one for the note book. He certainly is showed a lot of life in the final fifty. Araine and to an extent Living The Dream too can take some positives from this race.
Imtiaz Sait’s double with Scaramouche and Deja Vu were absolute long-shots the latter flooring many jackpot pool hunters. Bookmakers offered Scaramouche at 8/1 while Deja Vu was at fancy odds.
Scaramouche (Placerville – Lecce) produced a sustained gallop as he gathered momentum 300 meters from the winning post. A crack or two got him going and Akshay did nothing wrong once they were in the lead.
Expelliarmus and Money Flash were the joint leaders in the early part of the race and Scaramouche tagged behind these two all the way until the turn. Into the straight, Expelliarmus held on to the lead and was working hard on keeping up with the mounting challenge. Scaramouche bounded forward with a terrific burst and left nothing to chance. His surge earned him a handy lead and he built on that to return home scoring a fine victory. Staffan improved a bit and beat the rest to take the second place while Ashwa Apollo huffed and puffed to land the third.
Deja Vu (Black Cash – Bon Sang) sprung a surprise. He had shown little of his potential in his only start so far and did not attract much attention in the betting. Step Up was well fancied, Showers Of Heaven and Zoom Zoom had moderate takers.
Step Up sat behind You Lordship but tore away from the rest soon on turning for home. In the straight, Step Up stormed ahead and looked good to last all the way. He still looked in command with just over 100 to go. Deja Vu whose run matched his silks (Green) was all over the place. He moved in to the rails and was out the next moment, yet never lost the momentum. It appeared that he didn’t know where to go, but he was surely in a hurry. Once jockey Nirmal Jodha managed to show him the direction, he ate up ground at an alarming rate and in a flash, bludgeoned past Step Up to shock her close home. Step Up was unfortunate to catch Deja Vu in such devastating form and destructive mood. Zoom Zoom ended a good third.
Angel Child (Razzen – Veena’s Pet) scored an incredible victory. Jockey Anthony Crastus seemed in no hurry whatsoever as they jumped out. He went far too easy on Angel Child and showed little concern as the rest of the field marched on ahead leaving him no one for company. She raced at the rear end of the field for most of the journey a couple of lengths adrift from the bunch!
Scone, meanwhile, was at the helm and builds a comfortable lead for herself. Capital Attraction chased Scone and the rest were more than 8 lengths behind her and with 600 more to travel, Angel Child was still in the rear, a distance away from the tail of Scone.
It all began to happen at the curve. Angel Child started to make headway, yet as they straightened up, she was way behind from the action in front. Capital Attraction seized the lead and went all out, sensing that the more fancied runners had some catching up to do. That thought was seemed spot on and Capital Attraction looked menacing approaching the final furlong.
Favourite Ice Empire by then had progressed to one behind Capital Attraction with Admirals Stride alongside, but they were still nearly three lengths away. Crastus signalled Angel Child that the moment had arrived to show her mettle and the filly, full sister to Clinton, unleashed an impressive gallop and go for the kill. Angel Child was gaining on Capital Attraction beyond doubt, but Admirals Stride was in her way. The duo started to cut down the lead rapidly as the progressed jointly, but Angel Child was simply too good as she raced ahead to score an inspiring win on debut. Angel Child displayed superior quality and even better maturity to score this scintillating win on debut. Distance surely seems her forte and she comes about as a top class filly.
Walking Tall (Royal Gladiator – Liquid Gold) scored a victory after years. He displayed the zest of his early days and ought to be grateful to Lord of Killarney who helped his cause by going extremely wide. Lord of Killarney may have ended up in the parking lot but for the outer rails!
Justerini, Scintillo and Circus ring were abreast on turning for home and Lord Of Killarney was on the outer railing. Walking Tall was within the vicinity of the trio immediately in front and he started to surge forwards at the distance post. Lord Of Killarney had the slight advantage and fought it out with Walking Tall all the way to the post. Walking Tall just managed to pop his head on the wire to win narrowly. Lord of Killarney squandered another opportunity to score and has himself to blame. Walking Tall dished out a commendable effort and put up a brave performance and deserved to win.
Walking Tall had to face the agony of being disqualified after his first race this season, however with this victory, he made up amply for his owners Peter Deubet and partners. Peter is passionate about his racing and is instrumental in the IGCC campaign a high-point of the Mumbai races. He was visibly happy this time and said nothing pleased him more.
Visionist (Warrshan – Star Profile) who had been pretty consistent in Pune finally found the winning form when he strode powerfully to finish on well. He settled down behind the leader Mountain Wind and got a quick gallop going on straightening up.
In the homestretch, Visionist surfaced quickly to get past Mountain Wind and unleashed a powerful gallop to storm into the lead. At the distance post, he was almost home and dry and looked a comfortable winner. However a sustained late bid from Signor Sassi and the top weighted Limitless Hills began to eat into his lead. It only added a bit of spice to the finish as Visionist had enough cushion, to spare just under two lengths and ward off the late challengers. Limitless Hills managed to head Signor Sassy for the runner-up berth.
For the Jockeys, Anthony Crastus, B Prakash and Akshay scored a double each.