Mrs Magansingh P. Jodha & trainer Adhirajsingh Jodha leading Ranthambhore (C S Jodha Up), winner of The Mathradas Goculdas Trophy
Ranthambhore (Hymn – Radiance), after finding his Classic assignment a bit too hot to handle, resumed his winning ways in style. He was a tad slowly off, while making his bid for the Mathradas Gokuldas Trophy over 2000 meters. Desert Rule made the entire initial running White Knight in tow, while the more fancied runners were racing off the pace. Stromboli who was the next in demand after Ranthambhore was fifth, while Ranthambhore chose to race in the rear.
Desert Rule fell back soon on turning for home and even as White Knight had barely taken charge, Ranthambhore appeared menacingly to take charge. Ranthambhore, with CS Jodha in the saddle, worked up his famous steaming gallop and bounded forward full of running to dismiss the opposition with complete authority. None could match his aggressive gallop as he stretched away to score a very impressive victory. White Knight did well to finish second ahead of Royal Highness, the latter covering a lot of ground to finish in the money. Stromboli would be better off over lesser distance as of now, as she so implied, ending a tame fourth.
Tushar Nemane is the new kid on the block. He made his mark in the very first time that he mounted a horse in the big league. He partnered Faramarz in the PA d’Avoine Trophy Division I and made a memorable winning debut. Faramarz provided him this dream debut and Nemane handled his first assignment with aplomb. The lad should guts and presence of mind and was not the least bit nervous. He rode as if he has been doing it all his life!
As the gates flung open, Spirit of Ecstasy sailed into the lead and Nemane quickly brought Faramarz just behind with Prize Fighter on his outside. Favourite This Ones For You was tailing the front bunch. Into the straight, Spirit of Ecstasy was going well and Nemane moved Faramarz from the rails to the haunches of the one in front. Prize fighter was not finding much to tag along and fell back. At this point This Ones For You started to make his presence felt. Tushar, who has been a riding boy for more than a couple of years, showed no signs of nerves and was sitting on Faramarz, still on tight rein, even as This Ones For You joined alongside, unperturbed even though they were well into the straight. This was a good sign as confidence goes a long way between winning or not.
Approaching the distance post, Spirit of Ecstasy was still going well when Nemane decided to open up Faramarz. The Janardhan trainee responded well and managed to set aside tough resistance that Spirit of Ecstasy offered to prevail comfortably. There was no punching in the air, no display of emotions as Nemane remained calm and focussed to the task which showed a mature head on the young shoulders.
“I have been riding work for four years now. I am lucky to have Pesi sir (Shroff) for a mentor and he told me to go out and ride as usual. He told me not to think too much as this being my debut, or getting overawed. He told me to follow the trainer’s instructions and not to worry about anything else. I saw the previous run of Faramarz and was confident that he could win again. I did what I was told and I am happy with the result,” Nemane told indiarace.
The lower division of the race was won by Imtiaz trained Seven Seas (Placerville – Ramada). Seven Seas, was not too prominently poised early on as Conztanza made all the early running. On straightening up, Conztanza carried on her good work, but soon Encore started to apply pressure. Seven Seas by then, had moved up to third. Past the distance post, Encore took charge briefly and soon Seven Seas finished on with a strong gallop to challenge the new leader. The duo battles it out for the final 100 meters and Seven Seas ended the challenge with a much stronger finish. Nirmal Jodha celebrated his victory thumping his mounts neck with joy. Encore ended a fighting second while Conztanza did well to end in place money.
Trainer MK Jadhav and P Trevor combined to return a lucrative double. Piano Man struck the right note as he surfaced from the mid-pack soon on turning for home. Defining Moment had just grabbed the initiative from Spinawin. He took off for the winning post and worked up a nice lead. However, he could not sustain the momentum and succumbed when Piano Man made a fiery dash for the winning post. Eclipsed was in third but was taking a while to generate the required acceleration. Piano Man seized the opportunity and shot ahead. Trevor nearly paid a hefty price as he eased Piano Man once in the lead and thought with only fifty to go, he was home and dry. Eclipsed streamed closer and nearly got him on the post and had that happened, Trevor would have to do a lot of explaining. Fortunately for Trevor, Eclipsed was a shade late to pull off the rug from under him and Piano Man won it by a neck, when he should have won a lot more comfortably. In objection by Srinath against Trevor for infringement was thrown into the bin by the stewards.
Snow Angel (Noverre – Ashwakrupa) pulled off a fashionable start-to-finish to provide a fine double for MK Jadhav and Trevor. This time Trevor was a lot more alert and ensured that he kept at it all through the end. Snow Angel led them homewards and Trevor played his part well as he eased her to a fine rhythm. Snow Angel responded with a game gallop and she stayed ahead comfortably right through. Gates of Heaven covered some ground, but made no impact on the winner. Burgundy Rose ended a decent third, while Amika ran to complete the frame.
Cent Per Cent (Diffident – Credential) showed yet again that he is blessed with speed in abundance. He followed Staying Alive all the way until into the straight. Staying Alive came into the homestretch with a sizable lead but Cent Per Cent was quickly on to him. Cent Per Cent with Suraj in the saddle, shot ahead and once into the lead, the pair never looked back. Cent Per Cent got stronger in the final furlong and left nothing to chance as he galloped on impressively to score his third victory on the trot. Cent Per Cent mopped up the opposition in style to win convincingly ahead of Staying Alive and Hidden Goodness. Limitless Hills ended a tame fourth.
Jockey DK Ashish booted home a splendid back-to-back double on the day. He first partnered Belle Brise to a solid victory and then in the very next race, piloted Our Chieftain to a powerful finish. Belle Brise received terrific support at race time being backed down to less than evens after opening at 2/1. Belle Brise looked impressive in the paddock as well.
Were Wolf guided the field all the way into the homestretch with Belle Brise in chase. The rest were in a closely huddle bunch. Belle Brise cut down the lead of Were Wolf in little time and marched on ahead with authority. Were Wolf faded out soon and Ashish and Belle Brise were firmly on their way to victory. The fight was on only for the minor placing and Celsius and Athos involved in a grim fight. Mariachi Man who was right with them, could not quicken. Celsius managed to wriggle ahead of Athos but Honey Bee came from a long way back to pip her for the runner-up berth.
In the very next race, Ashish got Our Chieftain to produce his best to score a clinching victory over Rule Forever. Capitano showed early speed and led them all the way to the straight. Lake Leader was right up with the leader and was followed closely by Rule Forever and Our Chieftain. Capitano was the first one in and as Lake Leader began to question his lead, Our Chieftain started to flex muscles. Rule Forever too was pushing his way into the fray. However, jockey Ashish started to force Our Chieftain who galloped powerfully in the final furlong to stretch out nicely and gain the upper hand. Our Chieftain won untroubled and Rule forever ended a decent second. Capitano held on to the third.
Only White (Black Cash – Sweet Spot) pulled off a sensational betting coup for those in the know. The Himmat Singh gelding was backed down to less than 2/1 at race time, opening at longer odds. TS Jodha got the gelding from the inner rails and Only White showed a lot of zest as he strode away into the lead and stretched out nicely to completely outclass his rivals which included an equally well backed Ashwa Yodhaa. The latter paled once Only White dazzled past to win handsomely. This was a bold gamble considering Only White was coming into this race with no promising record.
The last race showed a pepped up performance from Distant Promise (Mr Mellon – Over The Ocean). Marciano and Ran Banka showed the early pace and led comfortably until the turn. Once into the final 400 meters, Banana Boy came with a sustained gallop and went past them all. Distant Promise and Rajendra were not done yet and they came swooping down with a show of brilliance to sail past Banana Boy and score a decisive victory. Golden Memory too ran a good race to end in the money taking the third spot ahead of Pound Foolish.
For the professionals, trainer MK Jadhav saddled a good double while jockeys DK Ashish and P Trevor scored a double each.