- india's first & foremost horse racing portal


By Usman Rangila | 12 Mar 2023 | MUMBAI

Mr K H Vachha & trainer Imtiaz A Sait leading Flying Visit (Bhawani Singh up), winner of the R N Kanga Trophy

Flying Visit, the eight-year old bay gelding being taken care of by veteran trainer Imtiaz Sait, gave a vintage performance to lift the RN Kanga Trophy for the second year in succession. Being asked to concede weight to younger rivals in the small field of six and the task of guiding his fortunes being entrusted to jockey Bhawani Singh probably led to Flying Visit being given a pass by most punters. But none of those concerns bothered Flying Visit and he produced a robust performance which his rivals failed to match. Flying Visit’s success nothing short of a tribute to his master’s perseverance and skill in not allowing his fighting instinct to wane.

Taking into account their current form, much of wagering that took place in the feature event was focussed on Count Of Savoy and In Contention. Count Of Savoy showed the way to the field and was chased by Euphoric, Giant Star and Knight Templar. In Contention was ridden well off the pace and graced the wrong end of the field with Flying Visit giving him company. Flying Visit was the first one to go off the bridle as the no-hopers chasing Count Of Savoy started falling back when the field entered the home stretch. A Sandesh tried to get the one-paced Count Of Savoy to stretch out and repel the challenge posed by Flying Visit but the Malesh Narredu saddled joint favourite ran out of fuel. Bhawani meanwhile elicited a superb response from Flying Visit (China Visit – Ooh Aah Camara) and strode out gallantly to claim the honours. K Nazil-steered In Contention, who reportedly returned with bleeding through her nostrils, moved up without raising any glimmer of hope for her supporters, The mare ended third, half-length ahead of Giant Star. 

Five-year old Charlie was not only tuned to the moment by trainer Vinesh Gaekwad but his decision to exploit him once again over a mile trip, following his narrow defeat over a mile and quarter last month, turned out to be a smart one. Charlie justified the faith imposed in him by his master and made amends with an authoritative victory in the Byram Jeejeebhoy Trophy. PS Chouhan settled Charlie (Planetaire – Miracle Of Love) at the back of the seven-horse field as Souza took up his customary front-running role with Dali Swirl, Empower and Flaming Lamborgini in pursuit. Chouhan showed Charlie the daylight shortly after the heads straightened for home and powered him to go clear of his rivals in the last 100m. Own Voice ran on from the rear to finish runner up, just ahead of her fancied stablemate Flying Scotsman and Souza. Apprentice Mustakim Alam astride Empower, who was racing in a striking position towards the rails behind Souza, made a tactical mistake in seeking a rails run and never got the anticipated opening and lost all his chances when Souza closed the gap by shifting in slightly.

Punters, who felt that Flying Visit’s success was an aberration, were subjected to further misery when Willy Wonka and Rhythm Of Nature returned victorious. Alpine Star shot ahead from the gates as usual and held the advantage deep into the home straight causing agony to Alpha Domino, who seemed poised to overpower him but couldn’t do so.  S Zervan-partnered Willy Wonka, who was racing just behind this duo and Galway Bay, put in a resolute run when asked for an effort and threw a strong challenge at Alpine Star and Alpha Domino. Brave Beauty took her own sweet time in warming up and found the winning post coming to the rescue of S Waheed saddled Willy Wonka (Smuggler’s Cove – Enchanted Forest) who had just managed to snuff out the challenge of both Alpha Domino and Alpine Star.

Few would have expected Saeed Shah-groomed six-year old mare Rhythm Of Nature to win after finishing down the field in the lowest class three weeks ago. But that’s exactly what she did and swept her six rivals, including the favourite Treasure Gold, off their feet over a seven-furlong trip. Rhythm Of Nature (Kingda Ka – Leonora), with apprentice Mustakim in the saddle and carrying feather weight on her back, found herself leading the field on sufferance and skipped away to elude Campaign, who was hard-ridden by Sandesh but to no avail. Treasure Gold, who ended third ahead of Jetfire, failed to recover subsequent to being inconvenienced by Campaign at a crucial juncture. 

SK Sunderji schooled filly Ameerah made a winning debut and gave a respite to the bettors. Goddes (sic) Of Dawn showed plenty of initial speed to take charge of the running and was in control till the last furlong where she was overhauled by Ameerah (Roderic O’Connor – My Lakshmi). After lying in the mid-bunch. Sandesh brought Ameerah through a narrow opening between Giant King and She’s A Teaser and won warding off the spirited challenge of Endurance. She’s A Teaser pipped Goddes Of Dawn for the third place. 

Moment Of Madness (Net Whizz – Crosspatch), who was running in the lowest class, from trainer Rehanullah Khan’s yard also obliged as a favourite with a convincing win though in a weak set. Zukor led shortly after the start and gave up in the straight making way for Moment Of Madness, who was driven out by apprentice Haridas Gore to easily overtake the leaders Zukor and Red Riot. Fidato ran on towards the end to finish runner up while Zukor and Red Riot followed him home.

Subhag Singh-trained Majorella Blue (Oath – Starynessey) defied the penalty incurred for his previous victory to register an encore in the hands of TS Jodha. Majorella Blue tracked leader Hela till the last furlong and gained the upper hand in the closing stages of the six-furlong sprint. Tyrone Black and Fortune Teller completed the judge’s frame. Even-money favourite My Princess ran far below par and was outpaced throughout. She ended a poor fifth.

Ridden with positive intent on this occasion, Shazaan Shah’s ward Lord Murphy (Fiero – Historica) produced a strong run in the straight to make amends for his previous failure. Though lacking early speed, Lord Murphy unleashed a big run when given his head by Zervan and swooped down on the leaders. Arbitrage, who was brought through the shortest way home by apprentice Gore, was the fastest moving horse in the straight somehow failed to topple the winner and fell short by a neck at the wire. Lady Di ended a close third ahead of Smart Choice. The rider of Lady Di tried to get the placings reversed by lodging an objection against the winner for crossing him close home. Praveen Shinde’s protest lacked merit and was rightly overruled by the stewards. Zervan was however penalised for careless riding.