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By Usman Rangila | 21 Oct 2023 | PUNE

Mr Zavaray S Poonawalla and trainer Dallas Todywalla leading Successor (P Trevor up), winner of The Delhi Race Club Trophy

The six-year old bay mare Successor gave a dazzling performance to make her rivals look ordinary in the Delhi Race Club Trophy, the feature event on Saturday. Trevor Patel took control of the running astride the Dallas Todywalla trainee and was never headed at any stage of the seven furlong event. Surprisingly, the odds against favourite Snowfall saw a drift during the pre-race betting round and the Akshay Kumar-ridden filly gave a below-par show to finish off the board. Snowfall raced in the rear bunch as The Protector and Count of Savoy chased Successor into the straight and came wide into the home stretch to essay her challenge. The filly however was caught flat-footed as Successor bowled along merrily towards the winning post to achieve a comprehensive win. In a close finish for the minor places, Baby Bazooka rallied well to edge out The Protector and Son Of A Gun for the runner-up slot. Count of Savoy stumbled at the start and could only finish fifth after being in close attendance of Successor till approaching the final turn. In an anti-climax of sorts, Snowfall’s hat-trick bid ended disastrously for her admirers as she finished in the rut beating only Flying Visit, the last one home.

Treasure Gold from the yards of Bezan Chenoy surprised many race-goers and probably his master too when he scored a stunning victory at the start of the day. Ridden by lesser-known jockey S. Mosin, Treasure Gold (Phoenix Tower –Tropical Blue) was off to a slow start but recovered the lost ground steadily to race with the pack ahead at the bend. Meanwhile, last-outing winner Silver Spring sprinted ahead for a start-to-finish dash and shook off Sweet Emotion in the straight to gain a tidy lead as Spring Bay and Commandment sought to throw a challenge at her. But it was Treasure Gold who came with a rattle down straight when Mosin showed him the daylight and swooped down on Silver Spring to gain the upper hand in the dying moments of the race. Spirit Bay ended third ahead of the well-fancied Remy Red, who was a victim of jostling as he was caught between Spirit Bay and Commandment as soon as the field came out of the gates.

The sparingly-raced mare Chamonix, who started her belated career with a hat-trick at Mahalaxmi during the 2021-22 season, finally found her way to the winner’s enclosure in the Democraticus Plate after a long wait. Pesi Shroff-nursed Chamonix (Dunaden –Beacon Lady), who had a lung-opener in the early phase of the current season, raced unperturbed behind leader Golden Kingdom, Own voice and Gangster till the six-horse field reached the final turn. Apprentice Navnath Bhosale stirred the mare into action when the heads turned for home and got a fabulous response from Chamonix. Navnath drove her both with confidence and vigour to collar Golden Kingdom, who was battling hard to maintain his supremacy, and Own Voice, who came through the shortest way home, in the last 100m. Both Own Voice and Golden Kingdom fell victim to the splendid turn of foot shown by Chamonix. Shroff’s tact in claiming Navnath’s 5kg-allowance proved crucial as Chamonix prevailed over Mustakim Alam-piloted Own Voice by a neck at the wire. Golden Kingdom finished third ahead of Truly Epic.

Later on, Shroff led in two more winners for a good treble including Cordelia, who raced in the same colours as Chamonix. Cordelia (Multidimensional – Dhaawiah), who is bred as full sister to multi-classic winners Multifaceted and Manifold, failed to make a winning debut last week as she veered out in the straight. Entrusted to C. Umesh once again, Cordelia made amends for that failure after taking off smartly from the innermost draw which enabled her to hug the inner rails as she embarked on a wire-to-wire mission. The three-year old dark bay maiden showed a clean pair of heels to both Supreme Spirit and Dali Swirl, who chased her in vain and were left stranded in the straight when she stepped up the pace. Umesh rode her plain and heels to an emphatic victory over Dali Swirl, who pipped Supreme Spirit on the post to clinch the runner-up berth. Attained completed the judge’s frame.

Shroff recorded a treble whilst Umesh achieved a double when, much to the chagrin of the punters, Des Marquis graduated from the maiden ranks at the expense of his stable-mate Chagall. Trevor-ridden Chagall, who had caught a tartar in stable-mate Capitolium last month, was expected to make amends against an opposition that wasn’t imposing, or so it seemed. The support Chagall attracted in the betting was such that he went out as the on-money favourite over the mile and quarter trip. Des Marquis found himself in front as the starter’s flag came down and the son of Irish stallion Postponed, brought in-foal to Sneaky Fair, set his own pace throughout the mile and quarter journey. Chagall was eased off by Trevor shortly after the start allowing Floyd and Banksy to pursue the leader and when he tried to improve his position, the favourite was unable to find enough room to manoeuvre after Neeraj Rawal-ridden Alpha Domino ranged alongside . Trevor then tried to come through the inner rails but was inconvenienced by Floyd and by the time he could get a clear run, Des Marquis had stolen a march and was beyond the reach of his rivals. Des Marquis and Umesh had literally pulled a fast one over Trevor and Chagall en route to victory. Jerusalem finished on after a lethargic start to finish third whilst Alpha Domino ended fourth.

After a disappointing show last month, Imtiaz Sait-schooled Geographique gave an improved performance to earn her third career success. Neeraj Rawal seized the initiative astride the sparingly-raced bay filly and made every post of mile journey for the Dakshin Maharashtra & Goa Sub-Area Trophy a winning one. Geographique (Golden Horn – Island Dreams) was initially chased by Cipher but it was joint favourite Ataash with Trevor in the saddle who threw a gauntlet at her adversary in the home stretch. Geographique, however, skipped away for an easy win over Ataash and stable-mate Kiefer. Cipher faded out in the straight but narrowly held on to the fourth place from late finishing Brave Beauty.

The day concluded with the last of the five start to finish successes witnessed during the day when Dagger’s Strike crushed his seven rivals and went on to record his maiden win at the age of six. Owned and trained by veteran SS Shah, Dagger’s Strike (Arazan – Cincinnati) carried feather weight on his back and the apprentice MS Deora-ridden dark bay relished running freely in the front, which caught his rivals by surprise. Esfir, who graced the wrong end of the field till entering the straight, finished on to take the second place ahead of Zacapa and Silver Steps, who were in a futile chase of the winner inside the final two furlongs.