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Idar Gold Trophy - Spearhead Creates Major Upset

By Mahendra Mallya | 15 Sep 2012 | PUNE

Spearhead (Ryan Marshall Up), winner of The Idar Gold Trophy (Gr.3)

Spearhead (Burden of Proof – Imposing) coming from Bangalore based trainer SS Attaollahi, carried the least burden on his back and scored an imposing victory, shocking not only the elite opposition, but also the followers of form. His last victory had come in another giant killing effort when he beat Becket eight runs ago in August last year in the Governor’s Trophy at Bangalore.

The start seemed sedate, as they jumped out to race for the Idar Gold Trophy (Gr 3) as Spearhead, true to his name, led the field at the jump and all the way into the homestretch. Macchupicchu, Hills and Stars, Ocean And Beyond and Native Knight followed in that order all through until the final turn. About eight lengths covered the field from Spearhead at the helm to Native Knight at the tail end.

Spearhead’s comfortable three-length lead was cut down by Macchupicchu and Ocean And Beyond approaching the 600 m marker and Hills And Stars too started to inch closer. Into the straight, Spearhead showed no signs of relenting as both Macchupicchu and Ocean and Beyond came up to his haunches.

Macchupicchu and Ocean And Beyond were jostling to gain ground and Hills And Stars who was right behind them seemed undecided which way to move towards a clear passage. Native Knight came from the outside to deny Hills And Stars the chance to skirt around the horses in front. In these crucial moments, in-form jockey A Sandesh could not exactly ride out Hills And Stars thus losing precious ground. By the time he got around horses and made the final dash, Spearhead had pierced the target and sailed home for a surprisingly comfortable victory by 2.5 lengths. Native Knight ran a notable second holding Hills And Stars narrowly. Ocean And Beyond edged out Macchupicchu from the frame.

Spearhead is owned by Dr & Mrs Vijay Mallya representing the United Racing & Bloodstock Breeders Ltd and bred at the Kunigal Stud Farm.

Mrs Viveka Kumari Idar daughter of Mr Rajendra Singh Idar popularly referred to as 'Maharaj' presented the Trophy which was collected by Pesi Shroff who stood in for SS Attollahi. 

The day began on a positive note for the followers of favourites as on-money favourite Warrior Prince (Major Impact – Ghazwat) owned and trained by Antia, burst through the gates and galloped on to score a facile victory without causing any anxious moments to his supporters.  Apprentice jockey Tushar Nemane atop Warrior Prince, sped ahead of Star Blessings and won untroubled flashing past the winning post a good 2 ½ lengths clear of Star Blessings. Twittillator did well to force his way into place money shoving out Tudor Regent in the process.

Mr Pervez Andhyarujina’s Walk of Life (Ikhtyar – Cape Vaticano) trained by Hoshidar Daji galloped to her second victory on the trot, yet again providing the favourites’ supporters the joy of punching their fists in the air in triumph.  Although the verdict showed only half a length, Walk of Life looked the winner the moment she arrived in the thick of things.

Walk of Life was settled down the closely knitted field and surfaced only in the homestretch. Jockey M Kharadi was confident and was in no hurry allowing the mare to make a strike at the opportune time. That came in the final 300 and Walk of Life shaped like a winner, covering ground majestically. Adventurer did try and make things dramatic, but was fighting a losing battle. Walk Of Life had got the measure of her challenger soon on passing the distance post and stayed ahead to win comfortably.

United Racing Sydicate property Home Alone (Glory of Dancer – Shockwave) provided trainer Dallas Todywalla his only winner on the day. Partnered by Rajendra, the Nanoli bred bay gelding forced his way to the front soon on turning for home. He quickened well and the driving force of Rajendra ensured that he stayed ahead warding off a game challenge from Silk Cut who rose from the last position to end on the winner’s tail. With this run, Silk Cut announced his return to form and fitness and should thrill in his next outing.

Sumo (First Samarai – Special Tapestry) owned by Mr Mohan Thakur, Mr Shagun and Shikhar Thakur, lived up to expectations, putting up a strong performance to coast to a convincing victory. Chasing the leader Beyond Stars into the straight, Sumo emerged ahead but was engaged in a brief tussle by Living the Dream midway in the straight. However, Sumo shook him off and surged away. Saba was the one to cover a lot of ground and did well to earn the runner up berth.

Sacred Soul (Placerville – Pre Eminent) owned by Mr Saleem Jasdhanwalla created a huge flutter returning triumphant under jockey JE Pereira. The good-humored veteran jockey himself couldn’t remember when he last won in the western India circuit, but did a commendable job astride the rank outsider who paid the maximum return of over Rs 400 against Rs 10 on tote.

Apocalypse had stolen a march coming into the straight and was shaping like a winner. Smooth Operator was working his way to cut down the three-length deficit that he had to cover. Approaching the distance post, Apocalypse was finding it hard to sustain when Smooth Operator joined him. Sacred Soul put in a resolute gallop and whizzed past Smooth Operator to score an upset win.

Belmont (King’s Best – Corbette) owned by The Mistrys & Mr Tariq Vaidya finally produced his best over this longer trip of mile and quarter to score his maiden victory. Jockey Imran Chisty rode intelligently to carve out this victory. At the start, he focused on settling Belmont well not unduly perturbed staying at the tail end of the field. He made his first move past the 1200 m mark and improved positions to be in fourth approaching the 800. Here he again gave his mount a sort of a breather and on straightening up, switched on Belmont to give it all. Belmont responded with a good gallop and soon was sailing clear of the field. However, he shifted out under pressure which gave Star Mountain and Rodeo to cut down the margin considerably. Rodeo in particular looked laboring at the turn but came back strongly to finish a good second, pipping Star Mountain for the runner-up berth.

Prince yet again was beaten to second after looking good to win in the final furlong. This time it was Let It Fly (Mr mellon – Free To Fly) who scored a major upset. Captain Smart brought the field homeward and fell back. Prince pounced ahead and took charge and the short burst made him look a winner. However, Let it fly soon came forth and easily galloped past Prince to win handsomely. Let it Fly from trainer Naren’s yard, carried feather weight with apprentice jockey Nikhil Bhujbal riding his heart out to emerge victorious.

Golden Memory (Ontario – Extreme Contact) wore his galloping shoes and provided his owner –trainer Mansoor Shah a lucrative victory. Stalking the front bunch in the fifth position until the turn, golden Memory unleashed a terrific gallop in the final 100 to surge past Gloria whose start to finish essay was defeated in the final stages of the race. The Well backed Roger Becool was far too late on the scene, but finished a noteworthy third. Marine Zone too made an impact by finishing fourth after being the last one to turn for home.

The last raced provided some relief for the favourite backers with Seen It All scoring a decisive win. Towering High led the field into the straight, with Sweaty Betty, Highway Express  and Auraria in tow. Seen It All (Brave Hunter – Hungarian Rhapsody) started to gallop strongly from the outside.  Towering High kept it going well into the final furlong but the inevitable happened as Seen It All gave it all to catch up and get past Towering High a few strides before the winning post.

For the Professionals, trainer Hormuz Antia saddled a popular double, while jockeys Imran Chisty and Akshay scored a double each.

RWITC Appeal Board Allows Pesi Shroff’s Appeal 

In a development later in the evening, the Board of Appeal of the RWITC, in their hearing of the appeal filed by Pesi Shroff on the Boldenone case, allowed his appeal to set aside the reprieve granted to him by the Stewards of the Club in the said case. They decided to expunge the sentence from his records.