Mr K. N. Dhunjibhoy & Mr Berjis Minoo Desai leading Amadeus (S Zervan Up), winner of The Madras Race Club Trophy
The Penultimate Sunday of the Mumbai Season 2011 -12 saw some starry performances. Amadeus ran the best race of his life, in fact the best race any sprinter has run on this track, to rewrite the course record for the six-furlong sprint by split seconds, clocking an impressive 1:09:62 eclipsing Forest Flair’s freshly created 1:09:79 this February. Trainer Dallas Todywalla and jockey Zervan stood with stellar performances as both notched up three victories each. Lesser fancied horses called the shots in most races with only one clear favourite obliging in the day’s first race.
Amadeus (Choisir – Anise) ran a cracker of a race as he chased Weizhou into the straight. Bullet Class Apart were close behind while Orito and Dancing Glances were not too far with Pepe Junior being the ‘also ran.’
Amadeus shot ahead soon on turning for home and worked up a fiery pace. He sped away from them and none seemed to halt his march. Orito warmed up late in the homestretch to narrow down the margin to get as close as half a length at the wire, but never looked threatening at any stage. Amadeus was powerful in his gallop and went clear past the distance post and had the race covered long way from home.
Trainer Dallas Todywalla started off with a bang scoring right from the outset. Starlight Magic (Placerville – One Magic moment) who took off from the gates and set about to lead the field was soon joined by Beyond Comparison and the pair led the rest comfortably until the turn. Starlight Magic then reigned supreme as he accelerated nicely to extend his lead with jockey B Prakash having little to do. Starlight Magic looked the winner long way from home. Calypso Queen galloped on when all was over to beat Beyond Comparison for the runner-up berth. Zaracha and Cuba the other fancies did little of note. Starlight Magic scripted his own terms and won well.
Dallas struck again in the very next race with Step Up (Jeremy – Mix Me Up). Step Up took the mile trip very well and dictated terms from the start. She took a little while to settle down, but jockey Zervan calmed her and soon had her galloping in fine rhythm. She entered the straight with a handy lead and soon charged forward. Mzima, the favourite, struggled to match strides and looked in distress even before the final run-in. Step Up seemed to heading for an easy win when Nigella rushed to the front with a sudden surge, providing a last minute thrill. Step Up however, was up to it and had enough momentum going to ward off the late challenge.
Dallas’ third for the day came in the Pradeep Vijayakar Trophy dedicated to one of the finest and versatile sports journalists of his era. Pradeep was a dear friend and was popular and respected scribe known for his deep understanding of the subject and articulate description in his articles. He represented the Times of India for many years and died last year battling cancer. His wife and daughters were invited to do the presentation honours.
Serena (Burden of Proof – Loch Katrine) packed off her opposition in style notching up her maiden victory. She was up in the front bunch and in the straight and when Zervan asked her to go, she produced a scintillating burst to sail past the front runners smoothly and win without encountering any resistance. Habibian ran from a long way back to finish a notable second beating at least half a dozen horses on his way in the final furlong, which included the favourite Menage A Trois who ended a tame fourth, just behind Purple Mokara.
Saifeena (Warrshan – Overrule) with Sandesh atop whipped up an impressive start to finish victory over the nine-furlong trip. She was tracked by Carlyle Hills until the turn but once into the straight, Saifeena picked up momentum and stretched out cleanly to draw away from the rest. At the distance post, Saifeena looked good enough to outpace the rest with only Atlantic Star in the vicinity but she too looked beat in the final 100 meters. The Imtiaz trainee was fashionable in her victory and won this race without exerting too much.
Spirit of Mercy (Tirol – Cozumel), like most of the runners in the day, was another one who pulled off start to finish victories. Starlight Magic, Step Up, Saifeena and also Agni Baan were all successful in similar fashion. Spirit of Mercy got past a couple of horses soon on jumping out of the gates and rushed to the front to dictate the pace with a furlong from the start. He maintained a couple of lengths over Sledgehammer and the rest were not too far behind. In the straight, Spirit of Mercy showed no mercy towards his rivals and quickened further to take a firm grip on the race. Sledgehammer fell back as Chemin De Fer moved up, but it was Enlightenment who showed more aggression to raise a fight. However, Spirit of Mercy was going at a good clip and the winning post was fast approaching and Enlightenment’s strong efforts were futile. Spirit of Mercy stayed ahead comfortably to post a solid victory.
Agni Baan (Major Impact – Fire Dancer) created a major flutter as he too led from the start and never relented. Jacques tried hard to get past and at one point seemed to be gaining on Agni Baan. In the ensuing fight, Agni Baan started to drift our and Jacques had to be weary of this outward drift. Jacques, on his part, didn’t really accelerate and although he got to Agni Baan’s haunches, never passed him. Agni Baan maintained the slender advantage all through. Nirmal Jodha, the rider of Jacques later lodged an objection, which the Stewards reviewed and overruled.
Arabian Champ (Major Impact – Freedom Cry) put up a gritty performance to stubbornly hold the assault of Golden Memory. Arabian Champ was second behind Glorious Miss who showed a lot of spark initially before bowing out in the straight. She broke a blood vessel. Arabian Champ took charge midway in the straight and had Golden Memory breathing down his neck. Hot fancy Roger Bcool lost all his chances by going out to the extreme wide outside. He ended a poor third. Arabian Champ however, dished out a spirited effort to quell the threat posed by second in demand Golden Memory to emerge victorious.