Spinoza just too good
Spinoza (P.Kamlesh up) winner of the Abdullah Khairaz Trophy being led in by Members of High Grove Stud Syndicate
He was just a short-head behind Nimble Feet in the Nanoli Stud Pune Derby and had earlier vanquished Beyond Belief, a subsequent winner of two races, yet the support for Spinoza in the 1800-metre Abdullah Khairaz Trophy was less than the numbers that went for Nimble Feet and Totalitarian. This was not to have any effect on the performance of the dark bay son of Pennine Ridge out of Shingle Path, who was recently back in trainer Vinayak’s fold. All the three fancied runners in the field were ridden off the pace as Scarsdale headed the field and Spinoza with P. Kamlesh in the seat made his move only when the nine runners had straightened for home. He pierced through the two front-runners to go surging into the lead whilst Niall McCullagh ridden Totalitarian also went off the bridle and tried to make the handicap count. But Spinoza had so much power packed into his strides that Totalitarian had no option but to chase his shadow. Nimble Feet slipped into the third place without posing any threat to the supremacy of the winner. Kamlesh’s demeanour aboard Schubert in the concluding race came in as a rude shock for all students of form and was in stark contrast to his artistic exhibition on Spinoza. Schubert appeared to be in a beautiful position to launch his assault when the six-furlong race came to a boil yet Kamlesh, with no apparent reason in sight, suddenly decided to switch lanes. His action instantly sealed Schubert’s fate. The eyes of jockey Malcolm Kharadi however lit up when he saw Kamlesh going on a suicide mission. He expectedly seized the opportunity atop Hosidar Daji trained Star O’War, who had ended three-and-a-half lengths behind Schubert at Pune in his first run after being gelded, and shot into the lead. Star O’War (Warrshan – Halos and Horns) got a tremendous reception from those in the know on his way back to the winner’s enclosure much to the chagrin of Schubert’s admirers, who neither believed nor were convinced that they had made the wrong choice. Attention Seeker ran a dismal last after bursting her blood vessels. Cosmic Flower’s outing deserves to be ignored as the filly experienced too rough a journey for any serious contender to make the desired impact. It was difficult to judge whether he had any ‘mischief in his eyes’ when he raced prior to his maiden appearance on the Mahalaxmi racetrack but the horse named thus from trainer Imtiaz Sait’s yard was seriousness personified when carrying the public’s purse in the Amber Flash Plate. Mischief In His Eyes (Major Impact – StarsInHerEyes) was content racing in close attendance of Xian who in turn chased no-hoper Imogene right from the word go. Xian took over when Imogene retired but was unable to consolidate his slender lead. Jockey Harish meanwhile spared his whip and very subtly inspired Mischief In His Eyes to overhaul Xian. The bay three-year-old slowly but surely gained ground on his rival and nailed him at the post. Mischief In His Eyes has the ability to repeat on promotion while a shorter trip should help Xian’s cause. Dallas Todywalla trained filly Dingle (Topanoora – Royal Retreat), ran virtually bare-back which tilted the scales in her favour when Samarkhand tried to bridge the gap in the final furlong. Dashrath Singh piloted Dingle made rapid progress in the straight to assume charge from Flames of Fire and didn’t yield to the intimidation of late-finishing Samarkhand, who didn’t have the luck of the race. Pesi Shroff’s candidate Spectacular Queen ran a hopeless sixth. Rehanullah Khan’s ward Te Quiero (Cruachan – Ganadora) was another horse to have capitalized on the handicap advantage. Heart of Danger and Sound of Silence faded away after cutting each other’s throat to make way for Te Quiero, who moved with resolute strides when urged by whipless D. K. Ashish. Sphinx and Fear of Tears took the minor places ahead of Beaming. Touch A Star ended a close fifth. The outcome of the first two races on the card bore the unmistakable stamp of the influence wielded by the market forces. Jockey T. S. Jodha established a commanding lead as he drove Vijay Kasbekar trained Pure For Sure (A In Sociology – Sparkling Cyanide) out from the barriers and played the role of the Pied Piper to perfection. Upstage and Arzano, ridden respectively by Nirmal and Chotu Singh from the Jodha clan, danced to the merry tune played by the winner. Upstage finished with a rattle to end second ahead of Arzano, who chased the winner in vain throughout. Entrusted to T. Bernard, Nirad Karanjawala trained Able Eagle (Tirol – Compassion) ran true to the expectations of the moneybags after embarking on a successful wire-to-wire mission. Open Season, Attia In Sunlight and Naseebdar had a resemblance to the mice seen chasing Pure For Sure in the curtain raiser.