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Kunigal Stud’s 2 Year-old is ‘Class Apart’

By Mahendra Mallya | 17 Oct 2010 | PUNE

Mr. Zeyn Mirza & trainer Dallas Todywalla leading Class Apart (C Alford Up), winner of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Million

Kunigal Stud Farm produce, Class Apart (Burden of Proof – Royal Deeds) did ample justice to her name and lived up to the confidence her connections had, making a memorable debut to announce her arrival on the racing turf in winning style. Black Magic Woman was the punters’ favourite, as most in the know felt that she had done enough on the work-track to capture most of the attention both inside and outside the betting ring.

Class Apart and Black Magic Woman both looked fit for the fray, looking good in the parade ring. Class Apart showed great alacrity at the gates and jumped out smartly to lead the field. Black Magic woman set about in chase and the rest were completely outpaced by the duo. Class Apart entered the straight with a slender lead and started to accelerate well. Black Magic Woman moved closer to Class Apart and got as close to the latter’s hind quarters. That’s about as close as she could get.

Class Apart kept the momentum going and jockey C Alford relied on his pushing, going hands and heels and never once going for the whip. Black Magic Woman was giving it all, yet failed to collar the winner and ended a close second. Miss Starlight covered a lot of ground to finish in the money, while Gossip came from a long way back to catch a place in the judge’s frame.

Mr Zeyn Mirza, Managing Director of the United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders Ltd, received the Trophy for the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Million from Kenneth Thomson, the Irish Ambassador to India. Mr Mirza was visibly elated, not only for winning the race, but also for the fact that he had predicted to the entire Irish delegation that Class Apart would win. And surely, to be proven right on a first timer at odds of 5/1 is an added reason to be overjoyed. Trainer Dallas Todywalla too deserves his share of accolades for working on bringing Class Apart to the level of fitness required to pull off a sensational debut win, particularly against a worthy and promising rival.

General NS Kharb AVSM (Retd), Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India, was a special invitee to the Pune racecourse. He had been invited to witness the races and also to give away the trophies for the Division I & II of the Animal Welfare Board of India Trophy. Gen Kharb said he had closely inspected the different facets of horse racing and was highly satisfied by the methods followed for the upkeep of the horses and the way they were looked after. He said he was confident that the RWITC was doing enough to place the welfare of the horses at top priority and he expected the mishaps (such as the Running Bangle issue) were now a thing of the past. Emerald Valley (Emerald Cat – Classy Devil) upset the applecart of hot favourite Maria Teresa in the Div I of the Animal Welfare Board of India Trophy.

Fallen Angel took the early lead with Maria Teresa, Emerald Valley and Sun Kissed close behind. The rest were a good four lengths away. As they turned for home, the front-running foursome was closely huddled, but soon Maria Teresa moved past Fallen Angel. Emerald Valley gave chase to the favourite and past the distance post, produced a strong gallop to storm past Maria Teresa and post an impressive victory. Fallen Angel did well to hold on to the third spot, while Ocean Snow covered good ground without much effort to end in the frame. Sun Kissed disappointed as she had a huge upper hand over the rest yet finished off the board. Cape Ferrat (Hurricane State – Royal Divine) kept his date with victory and clobbered the opposition with authority.

Sitting on the tail of leader Marigold until the turn, Cape Ferrat went sailing clear midway up the straight and marched on ahead without encountering any resistance. Marigold, who led them all for the most part of the race, found only one better and ended a worthy runner-up. High Society, who had attracted a lot of pre-race talk and money, was prominent right through, but when it mattered most could not measure up to the expectations and ended a tame third. However, this was his first essay and he should be given another chance.

The most gruelling race in the country, the Suresh Mahindra Trophy over 3,200m was listed towards the end of the day. The weather was just right with cool breeze blowing across the racecourse and signs of showers very much in the air. The four in the fray got off and Maseeha set the tone for a very cautious and slow pace. The major part of the race was on a crawl as they cantered on a tight rein. The jockeys had not only to ensure that their mounts had enough in the tank at the business end, but also had to be on the guard on what the others had on mind. Such races are tricky and it always helps to have a plan B ready if things didn’t go according to the script.

However, Clarion Call, with a speedy surge past the 800, left nothing to chance and put paid to any recovery plans his rivals may have had. Clarion Call (Alnasr Alwasheek – Star Fortune) was the first to dare the others as he shifted gears just as Highland Crown started to make his move. Clarion Call, in a sudden burst of speed, raced past Maseeha, who might have been caught unawares. This happened between 800 and 600 meters and by the time they straightened for home, Clarion Call had shot ahead and built a sizable lead, with still a lot left in him.

Maseeha and Highland Crown were left to salvage the minor placing and Maseeha ensured that all his good work was at least compensated with the runner-up berth. Highland Crown ended close behind Maseeha while White Knight was clearly outclassed and outlasted. Sunset Boulevard (Bachelor Duke – Intimate) showed all was well with her and demolished the opposition to canter away with the Strengthtostrength Trophy. Quick at start, Sunset Boulevard settled right behind Hunter Bay, Crème De La Crème, Highland Vision, Gloria and Rajasthan Royals who were all bunched up close together.

San Rafael was a bit tardy at the start but soon made rapid progress to be in the thick of things. Sunset Boulevard took charge rounding the bend and once in the straight, galloped majestically to snuff out any possible threat. Rajasthan Royals was the only one in close vicinity but he too was not looking dangerous. Sunset Boulevard sailed effortlessly in front and won drawing away. If she had any setback as was believed, she showed no sign of it. Sunset Boulevard triumphed in style and was never fully pressed for effort. Rajasthan Royals duly ended second and San Rafael did well to ward off Starrer for the third. Starrer did not do justice to his cause as he was never sighted near the action until when all was over. The Wadhawan, Tharani camp made their presence felt with three winners to show on the day.

Ocean Sonata (Warrshan – Secret Miracle) had garnered a lot of support and he lived up to that status with a fiery gallop in the straight to romp home in style. Ocean Fairy led the field, from Grant Park, Swoosh, Giesha and Ocean Sonata in close attendance. Cogito Ergo Sum galloped close behind this bunch, the rest also ran. Ocean Fairy bowed out once stable-mate Ocean Sonata surged ahead. Swoosh gathered some momentum but was not able to match the superior acceleration of Ocean Sonata. The favourite showed tremendous power to stretch his lead and won comfortably from Swoosh. Grant Park was ridden out to hold Cogito Ergo Sum for the third.

Starry Ocean (Choisir – Hay Hill) stirred a storm and inflicted a devastating defeat upon his rivals with complete disdain. Sitting third close behind front-running Stud Of Gold and Avon Creek, Starry Ocean burst into the lead soon on turning for home. He then quickened with gigantic strides and ran away from the opposition in a trice. Wings Of Angels laboured behind only to be pegged back by Honey Bee close home. Honey Bee did well as she had not had the best of starts and covered a lot of ground in the straight to finish the best of the beaten lot. In the following race, the Wadhawan camp had three runners. Star Glory was the most fancied of the trio and the next in demand after favourite Crowned Princess. There was a lot of jostling in the straight and Crowned Princess was the worst to suffer.

She could not get a clear run at the right time and as the others in the field galloped ahead, there was hardly any time for the favourite to recover lost ground. River Gem, who led them in, shifted in a bit just as Crowned Princess was shifting into top gear. By the time she got the space to renew her bid, Sea Bucaneer (Royal Kingdom – Eau De Vie) had bounded ahead and Star Glory was eating up ground in full flight. Paper King was also putting in his might. He too shifted in and the hapless Crowned Princess had lost crucial time and could not resurface to make any impact on the horses in front. Sea Bucaneer never let his guard down and Star Glory went down fighting all the way.

There was an objection lodged by the rider of Crowned Princess against Paper King and also a stewards’ enquiry. But the Stewards, after due deliberations, ruled that the judge’s order of placing shall remain unchanged. Enchanted (Inhabitant – Enchanteur) finally broke the shackles and notched up her first win in the day’s opener. Trainer Nirad Karanjawala rubbished the theory that Enchanted was being overexposed this season saying she was fit to take the rigours on the turf. Enchanted endorsed her master’s reasoning and won as if she was fresh and well-tuned for the occasion. She was tried over different distances and she showed that the seven-furlong race was her best bet. Winchester sailed into the early lead with Lady Black Star in second and these two were a distance clear of the rest, with Enchanted somewhere in the sixth position and favourite Double Delight further down the field.

Enchanted made rapid progress passing the 800 and was in striking position at the turn with jockey Towfeeq hardly moving his elbows. Enchanted looked the winner soon on straightening up and he carried on at a good clip and won with a fair measure of comfort. Musical Rhapsody covered good ground to finish second ahead of Double Delite. Victor Ivanov (Tirol - White Magic) won a thrilling battle with long-time leader Scintillating Star. Bounding forward from the fifth position, Victor Ivanov mounted his challenge midway up the straight and the pair fought out the final furlong in a keen finish. Victor Ivanov finished on strongly to spare a neck to Scintillating Star on the wire.

Pharoah ran on to finish third ahead of Jalsa, who had all the chances but squandered it away. Trainer Dallas Todywalla was the lone professional to saddle a double. He won two big races of the day, one over a short scurry (1000m) and the other over the extreme distance of 3200m. What better advertisement of his repertoire of training horses over varying distances!