Dr Vijay Mallya’s Stromboli Scales to Glory
Trainer P Shroff leading Stromboli (Imran Chisty Up), winner of The Khushro K. Jalnawala Gold Cup
Stromboli (Bertolini – My Hansel), owned by Dr Vijay Mallya, turned in a winning performance despite running green to shock fancied Mountain Glory a stride away from the winning post. The Pesi Shroff student was always up in front chasing stablemate Indomitable and Mountain Warrior well into the straight. Favourite Marauder was not up to it and ended a tame third. Coming into the straight, Mountain Glory was quick to take charge. Stromboli, ridden by Imran Chisty, a late substitute for Hayes, soon started making his presence felt and was gaining on the leader. Marauder was right with them until the final furlong after which Mountain Glory and Stromboli stretched away from the rest. Richard Hughes kept Mountain Glory going at a good clip and also straight as an arrow. Stromboli, however, started drifting alarmingly past the distance post, almost galloping diagonally. She finished very close to the outer railing. Nevertheless, Stromboli was finishing on strongly and despite the wide run, caught up and passed Mountian Glory at the right moment.
Mr Khushro Jalnawala presented the trophy which was received by Mr Pesi Shroff. Mr Jalnawala also released a calendar which had pictures of strong and handsome thoroughbreds and posing alongside were dainty damsels who complemented each other and this calendar sure is worth possessing.
Oh Calcutta (Juniper – Fabulous Fortune) was well ridden by Rajendra who managed to ward off a stiff challenge from favourite Sine Qua Non. Oh Calcutta hit the front soon on start in the mile race, leading by a comfortable margin while cutting a steady pace. Pelikano, who was up with the leader, dropped out of contention even before the turn. Sine Qua Non got closer to Oh Calcutta in the straight, as Demonstrator too attempted to make a fight of it. The trio was close together approaching the distance post, but Demonstrator threw in his towel soon after. Oh Calcutta and Sine Qua Non then fought out the issue, the latter getting closer with each stride. Oh Calcutta had just enough steam to touch the wire in time as Sine Qua Non was certainly moving better of the two in the final fifty.
Dante Rossetti (Royal Kingdom – Pharellia) lived up to his pre-race expectations pulling off a well-carved victory. A small field or four jumped level for the mile and a half The Romantic Liaison Plate. It was a routine single-file run at a moderate pace right through until the home turn. Fire Vault, Dante Rossetti, Mia Stella and Tromos ran in that order. Fire Vault soon surrendered his lead to Dante Rossetti who readily went to the front soon on straightening for home. Mia Stella came to challenge just before the distance post and jockey B Prakash rode with confidence successfully keeping Mia Stella at bay. Dante Rossetti finished on well and stayed the trip convincingly. Mia Stella was hard ridden and lost to a better horse.
Jockey Dashrath Singh scored a lucrative double astride Celtic Maor and The First Lady in the second and third races. He had a good part to play in the fortunes of both the winners. Celtic Manor (Razeen-Ladybank), running after his last start win in Pune, had to cope with the blaze of Glorious Miss who was the firm favourite. Glorious Miss expectedly scorched into the lead outpacing another quick starter in Mypethoney. Celtic Manor stayed in third. Into the straight, Glorious Miss stole a march and had a sizable lead. Mypethoney was not making any headway and Celtic Manor easily went past her. Dashrath had still to cover a substantial deficit and started to work on his filly. Celtic Manor took her time to ease into a rhythm and gradually started to gain on Glorious Miss. In the final furlong, Glorious Miss still had a handy lead, but the momentum was not with her. Celtic Manor worked up a fiery final dash and zipped past the slowing Glorious Miss to spare a length at the finish. Sea Diamond improved a couple of notches to end in the money, without troubling the top two.
The First Lady (Diffident – Ampula) scored her second victory on the trot and this one was a lot easier than the one before. Sitting in the mid-bunch until the straight, The First Lady got to top gear around the 300 meters and poked the middle passing early leaders Hickory and Secret Talk effortlessly. She then skipped away and looked the best of the lot finishing on. Aleutian Zone impressed even though she finished third behind Hickory.
Imran Chisty was the only other professional to score a double. After guiding Stromboli to a well-earned victory, he partnered Antia’s Star Builder and carved a scintillating win in the last race of the day. Star Builder (China Visit – Magic Foundation) scorched from the wide outside and won readily bounding forward midway up the straight. Pound Foolish had brought the field homeward and favourite Twin Spice after being prominent just fizzled out. Proud Star started to make a statement, but the dazzle of Star Builder left them all shocked. Star Builder stormed in from the wide outside to shut every challenge off in the final furlong. Gatravat, ran on to finish a good second, while Laserre was found wanting as she finished a tame third.
Jockey-turned-trainer Malesh Narredu just lost out an opportunity of saddling his first winner in his first attempt. Beemer came from his stable and had it not been a traffic congestion that jockey Suraj Narredu had to come through, Malesh would have tasted victory on debut. However, that was not to be, as River Dragon (Diffident-Conqueress), a long shot from Vinayak’s yard, with I Pasha astride, produced a surprise win.
Fortunately, River Dragon was on the wide outside and never got into a rut that was looming large closer to the inner rails. Midsummer Knight was found guilty of causing a severe check to Doctor No and was subsequently disqualified after the stipes initiated an enquiry. Sea Bucaneer thus got a place in the judge’s frame. Beemer broke through the shackles but by then River Dragon had a nice clip going and Beemer fell short by a short head. Royal Gesture ran a good third.
Suzy Wong (China Visit – Altimara) won the day’s opener beating favourite Pharoah and Tommorrows Dreams. Suzy was lucky in a way as both Pharoah and Tommorrows Dreams were found wanting for competent assistance from the saddle. She came in home first with a slender lead then built on it. Tommorrows Dreams had Chisty astride but even Chisty could not get him going for a while. Pharoah warmed up far too late and both came charging when it was all over. Tommorows Dreams is one for the notebooks.