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Shroff, Zervan, Rehan and Sandesh Hog Limelight

By Mahendra Mallya | 29 Dec 2011 | MUMBAI

Mr Vijay B Shirke & trainer P Shroff leading Amadeus (S Zervan Up), winner of The TM Goculdas Plate

Trainer Pesi Shroff would have trimmed down quite a bit and may have come close to his riding weight owing to the long walk back and forth to lead in his winners. The route to the track from the location he watches the race is quite a distance to trudge along and the furious pumping of hands on his way are both sure signs of losing weight. He had to do this repeatedly as three of his horses won on the trot starting from the third race.

Amadeus (Choisir – Anise) finally came to terms with himself and showed what he can do when in good nick. He put his last run folly behind and this time came into his own to dish out a forceful victory, in what was touted as the toughest race of the day. Class Apart shot into the lead soon on start and maintained a safe two-length lead all the way into the homestretch.  Beyond Stars and Amadeus came next, while Oceanic Wisdom. Dancing Glances and Orito ran almost glued together. Class Apart could not hang on too long and was soon passed by Beyond Stars. Amadeus, ridden confidently and deftly by Zervan made his move at precisely the right juncture and gathered a good momentum. He sailed into the lead approaching the distance post, and once in front, kept a firm stranglehold on the race. Orito came from behind to get all but the winner, nosing out Oceanic Wisdom for the second slot.

Bretton Woods (Placerville – Warsaw pact) tasted the sweet taste of victory in her third attempt, the first in Mumbai. Bretton Woods was also judiciously handled by Zervan and the Shorff stable benefitted by another good piece of riding. Zervan settled the hot favourite Bretton Woods behind leader Expelliarmus and waited until they turned for home before making any aggressive move.

Zervan could do no wrong on the day and he urged Bretton Woods at about the precise moment when the filly was beginning to respond. He quickly shot head and then rode out Bretton Woods safely ahead, well aware of the unknown quality in Mountain Song lurking close behind. However, Richard Hughes realized that he would not match up to Bretton Woods’ performance and let his mount not undergo undue stress and eased into the runner-up berth preferring to live to fight another day. So Royal came from behind to run into place money.

Bespoke (Ikhtyar – Sartorial) won the Rao Saheb DK Parkar Trophy, the feature of the day, staving off a serious last moments’ threat. Retained jockey Neeraj Rawal kept Bespoke right behind leaders Titleist and Phosphor and when the chance came soon on turning for home, Neeraj wasted no time in getting Bespoke to the front. He hustled the filly to speed ahead and soon established a handy lead. Silver Screen made progress through the rails and Star Empire was desperately looking to get out of major traffic congestion.

Bespoke kicked on, oblivious to the commotion behind and Neeraj relentlessly goaded the filly towards the wining post.  Both Silver Screen and Star Empire came charging up in the dying moments of the race, but Bespoke managed to just about keep his neck in front at the all important end. Star Empire ended an eye-catching third and this effort signals his comeback and his next attempt ought to be a successful one.

Zervan completed his treble in the very next race astride Hachiko (Noverre – Indira). Amazing Desire and Snow Princess were the two prime contenders going by the market trends and these two shot to the front soon on start. Snow Princess guided the field home and soon Amazing Desire inched closer. These two were grappling hard when Hachiko appeared on the scene, Zervan lighting him up to full steam. Hachiko devoured ground with alacrity and he was easily travelling the best of the lot in the final furlong. Hachiko put in a power-packed finish and stretched away from them in a trice, compiling an impressive victory on debut. Amazing Desire and Snow Princess were left fighting for the minor slots and the former edged out the latter in a very close finish.

Bizarro (Noverre – The Phenomenon) kept his date with victory and justified the faith of his strong contingent of supporters. This time he was well in touch with the front-runners and jockey David Allan kept him a handy fourth until into the straight. Victorian Vice who made the initial running ran absolutely green in the homestretch and in a dreadful drift, veered out violently almost knocking Bizarro beyond the outer rails. Bizarro displayed guts and his jockey, presence of mind. Both were unaffected by that jolt and Bizarro kept the momentum going to get past Tachyon in the final hundred to post his maiden victory under trying circumstances. Tachyon ran a good race too and ended a noteworthy second. Catharsis improved a couple of notches moving up from the inner rails to end in place money.

Trainer Rehanullah Khan dropped a bombshell in the day’s first race and summed up the day by leading in another long-priced winner in the last. Both the winners were partnered by Sandesh.

Minute To Win It (Glory of Dancer – Dance In The Stars) took 0.90 secs more than his name suggests to shock the field. Highway Express and Fairy Queen garnered most of the support. While Highway Express went without a whimper after leading them homeward, Fairy Queen galloped to prominence approaching the distance post and poked through the rails to get past Highway Express and Quick Returns. Minute To Win It who was seventh at the turn, showed tremendous acceleration and covered a lot of ground. Sandesh got him to fly in the final 100m and that brilliance clearly overwhelmed Fairy Queen who had to be content playing the bridesmaid. Itsmyway ran on to finish third.

Major Wager (major Impact – Anissa) pulled off a sensational start to finish victory over the mile long race. Sandesh this time pulled off a clever ploy. In a sudden surge past the 1000 m marker, Sandesh let Major Wager go and opened up a huge lead as they turned for home. This massive lead held the eight year old gelding in good stead as he had a solid cushion with just a quarter mile for the winning post.

Svelte Lady, who was languishing at the rear end of the field all the while, accelerated well but jockey Roshan had left too much to do in the final furlong. Svelte Lady covered ground remarkably but could only get to ¾ lengths of Major Wager at the wire. Blue Mellon too rose from behind and did well to end earning place money.