Trainer P Shroff leading Coccinella (S Zervan Up), winner of The Cursetjee Dhunjishaw Trophy
Pesi Shroff trained Coccinella (Alnasr ALwasheek – Palazzio) carried on her sublime form to score yet another victory – her fourth on the trot, this time, winning the Cursetjee Dhunjishaw Trophy with a sustained burst at the finish. This victory would be very satisfying as Coccinella came from behind and easily sailed past Cent Per Cent and Sugar Loaf who were engaged in a grim battle.
Snow Blaze guided the field homeward and soon was accounted for by Cent Per Cent. Sugar Loaf closed in on the new leader and the way he accelerated, he did raise hopes of victory. Coccinella then started to inch her way closer to the two and in the final fifty had gathered terrific momentum. She eventually won a lot more easily than the neck verdict might suggest.
Shroff scored again in the day’s concluding race with Shahenshah (Black Cash – Zenana). This victory too was commendable considering Shahenshah had not raced after his last victory in March 2011. As the horses jumped out, it was business as usual for Shahenshah as he took charge from the word go. He worked a steady pace and led marginally until into the straight. Once into the straight, Shahenshah stretched out away from Stuntacular and Prakash eased the top weight into a fine rhythm. There were a pack of horses snapping at his tail, but Shahenshah galloped on regardless.
Equiano took forever to warm up and that was good enough only to get to a length of the winner. Scintillo could consider himself a tad unfortunate as he could not unleash his full prowess due to lack of clear passage. He found himself trying to poke through a non-existent gap between the inner rails and Shahenshah and that proved fatal. Aflame failed to fire and he was present in the front bunch but could not quicken as needed.
It was a day of doubles as quite a few professionals notched up two races each. The most lucrative of them all came from the stables of trainer Dr Anil Kumar. Gibran (Black Cash – Mimi’s Brett) stumped the pundits as he literally flew from a hopeless last to beat every rival on the way to finish a thumping winner.
Domain Anna brought the field into view but was soon losing pace as Bay Blues, Double Diamond and Celsius crowded around her. Celsius somehow wriggled out of the crowd and shot ahead. At this point even Double Diamond lost out as Xenia started to go after Celsius. Gibran had by then started his forward march and was within striking distance coming into the final furlong. Celsius was shaping well as Xenia looked spent, but the Gibran produced a fiery gallop to wear down Celsius close home to win by a safe margin considering he was last to turn for home.
Diamondzip (Graeme Hall – Irish Glitter) scored an encore this time with even more dazzle. Veneziano led the field and was closely followed by Crowned Princess, Diamond Zip made rapid progress to be third, while Herculean Star Blessings and Stylish Strokes were all huddled together in the front bunch.
Veneziano entered the straight with a clear advantage but Diamondzip bounded forward breaking into an impressive gallop. That quickly gained him rapid ground and he surged away to ensure there was no threat lurking from behind. He marched on ahead and stayed clearly in front to notch his second win this season. Crowned Princess and Star Blessings followed him home. Herculean managed to take the only other slot in the frame.
Jockey Dashrath Singh, on course to the Champion Jockey title, helped himself to a fine treble. He started the day on a winning note astride the well backed second favourite Mumbai King, who had failed as a favourite in his last outing. Reckless Romeo was installed the firm favourite with high support in the betting ring.
On the track, Al Zamarud showed some early speed to lead the field. Mumbai King was quick to move to second. Reckless Romeo kept tabs on Mumbai King and Knight Rider came next conforming the front bunch. The rest were a good four to five lengths behind.
Al Zamarud could not maintain his lead for too long and surrendered meekly as Mumbai King dominated the proceedings early in the straight. Reckless Romeo appeared to be in panic mode as he started to realise that he had a lot of catching up to do. He was erratic in his finish going wide and then trying to come back inward and although he managed to gain composure in the final fifty, Mumbai King kicked on relentlessly to stay ahead by half a length at the wire. Zorba and Song of Praise were both far behind and did well to take the remaining two slots in the frame.
Cypress Point (Out of Place – Dixiana Sky) was perhaps the most impressive winner on the day. The dark bay filly from Imtiaz Sait’s yard looked battle ready in the paddock amongst other good lookers and translated her paddock looks onto the track to complete an authoritative victory which totally demolished the opposition.
Lorelei was the obvious favourite after her stylish win last time out. Belle Brise and Jens Glory had a good share of supporters. Cypress Point too had her backers and they were thrilled no end, even before the runners were midway up the straight. Word of Honour played the front running role and set a decent pace for the mile and quarter journey. Jens Glory and Sebastian were up close to the leader; a couple of lengths away was Belle Brise. Cypress Point was out of view on the TV monitors and was off the pace with only Fairy Empress behind her and some distance away from the action in front.
Into the straight, Word of Honour persevered and galloped on, the others were catching up with Lorelei slipping from the inside rails. Jens Glory, Sebastian, Belle Brise and even Remniscing were all right there together spreading out for a clear run. Cypress Point simply flew from the outside and once she arrived, the others simply looked stranded. Cypress Point was powerful in her final fury and romped home to win dishing out an awesome turn of foot. She was a truly magnificent victory that completely outclassed her rivals. Lorelei’s effort paled in comparison to the sizzling run of Cypress Point. Sebastian’s too.
Dashrath’s magic was in full view when he brought about a scintillating run from Money Strike (Duja – Money Star) to make a late entry and hog all the limelight. Money Strike was not sighted as the closely huddled group of runner turned for home. Brunello was in command and was working hard to keep his stranglehold on the race. Looming large on the leader were Houdini and Bonny Light, Chasing Memories, Golden Kingdom and Last Tango were also too close for comfort. Money Strike was behind all these horses and he came into prominence inside the final furlong. He drove home his top speed finish to catch them all and fly past in the final few strides to shock them all and return triumphant. Dashrath was in absolute sync with Money Strike and played his part to perfection. Houdini ended second while Brunello hung on to finish in the money.
Soneeyo (Placerville – Difficult Doll) raised her level to showcase her best and score her second career victory after a long gap. Her last victory was during the last Mumbai season almost a year back. He drove her bottom weight advantage to the hilt and shocked Risky Business and all his supporters as well. Risky Business moved up well turning for home and got past long time leader Eye of the Storm and his main threat Invictus. Once ahead he looked heading for a certain victory only until Soneeyo appeared with forceful strides. It was in the final 100 meters that Soneeyo pulled ahead and away to register a comfortable victory. Glowing Star too covered ground to pip Risky Business on the post for the runner up berth.
Snow Ball (Warrhan – Regal Fantasy) notched up his maiden victory but not without a scare. The on-money favourite was backed heavily and started off on a right note, hitting the front soon on settling down. Song Of Sparrow held the rails while Amika joined the pair. The rest were close behind with Amitayus in the second last position just ahead of Samburu. Snow Ball couldn’t shake off Amika who was constantly asking questions and the two were going stride for stride.
Amitayus had some catching up to do and also had to weave his way between horses. He had little difficulty in accounting for the rest and was soon gaining on Snow Ball and Amika. The winning post was not too far away when Amitayus gathered top momentum and that’s exactly why Snow Ball managed to scrape through to etch out a maiden victory. Amitayus was simply brilliant in the final finish but just failed to nail the favourite. Amika finished alongside a neck separating each of the first three finishers.
Spinawin (Ivan – Denisovich – Spina Christi) scored her maiden victory with a good performance winning the five furlong scurry end to end. She jumped out smartly and grabbed the lead even as Starsonboard staked his claim as well right from stride one. Enlightening and Quando Quando were in chase and the rest were not too close to this front bunch.
At the turn, Spinawin stepped up the pace and tore away from Starsonboard opening up a huge lead. At the distance post Spinawin had shot away clear of her rivals and looked in no danger. Mylastwish covered some ground to pip Starsonboard for the runner up berth.
For the professionals, jockey Dashrath Singh was the star performer with a treble. Zervan, CS Jodha and Ashhad Asbar scored a double each. For the trainers Pesi Shroff and Dr Anil Kumar saddle a brace each.