- india's first & foremost horse racing portal

Queen Blackjack Deals An Ace

By Mahendra Mallya | 16 Oct 2010 | PUNE

Blackjack (P Kamlesh Up), winner of The Goffs Juvenile Million

Trainer Bezan Chinoy had a double whammy on Saturday, winning both the feature races of the day. It was Blackjack who picked up the Goffs Juvenile Million convincingly in what was expected to be a closely fought race. Blackjack (Alnasr Alwasheek – Academy), owned by Mr Jaydev Mody, showed great speed and temperament while pulling off a clinical victory without any fuss. Quickly out of the gates, Blackjack settled close behind leaders Showstopper and Ciel Indienne who were trying to outdo each other vying for the early lead.

Ocean Admiral trudged alongside Blackjack, while Moon Star raced just ahead of favourite Scarlette, who wasn’t exactly a bad last. As they wheeled round the final curve, Ciel Indienne took charge early and soon Blackjack announced her arrival and went past Ciel Indienne just as she was stepping up the tempo. Moon Star started to cover ground briskly too, making up the deficit, getting closer to Ciel Indienne.

Blackjack looked home and dry once they entered the final furlong, but Kamlesh, not one to leave anything to chance, gave her a couple of cracks just to ensure that Blackjack didn’t loosen her grip and went for the full Monty. Ciel Indienne fought hard and held on to the runner-up slot and did a good job in keeping a determined Moon Star at bay. The biggest let down was Scarlette. She dented her reputation somewhat, as she could not make any impression at all.

She was a close last most of the time and only managed to beat the retreating early leader - Showstopper. It could be a case of a bad day in office for Scarlette, who sure has a lot more to offer than what she did on the day. Hopefully, she puts this run behind her and lives up to the trust her connections have in her ability. Ocean Admiral took the remaining place in the frame. He ran on without making any telling effect on the first three.

Nefyn (Senure – Machrihansih) was awesome in his victory yet again and won a lot more easily than it appeared. He possesses a lot of speed and has abundant class to match. Although the set of rivals he confronted was not the toughest, the fact that he carried chunks of weight and still won the way he did, puts him in a different class. Here seems a candidate who will figure prominently in any contest for the country’s ‘top sprinter’ tag. From what he has shown so far, particularly in this season, it may not be too early to envisage Nefyn as a champion-in-waiting in the shorter version.

All this praise for Nefyn was on sheer impressive performances and he underscored this in the Coolmore Stud Crystal Trophy. The odds-on Nefyn drifted upward alarmingly, implying that even the usually smart bookmaker too can be floored. From 10 to 8 on ante post, to 16/10 against at race time, the bookmakers actually believed that Nefyn was gettable. However, Nefyn demolished his opponents decisively and was hailed the winner at least a furlong from the winning post. Highland Music set the tone for the five-furlong scurry at a good clip and Nefyn was right behind. Our Fortune, Saints N Sinners and Blumarine chased Nefyn with Lago Medio with them.

Estevez surprisingly was a couple of lengths away with only Star Alliance behind her. Highland Music came in home first but soon watched Nefyn cruise past. Prakash tried his best to latch on close, but was falling back as Nefyn sped away effortlessly, adding turf between them. Dashrath Singh never once even thought about using his whip; on the contrary, he was easing up Nefyn towards the finish. Nefyn didn’t drop a sweat and notched up his third victory literally on the trot, and I assure you, no pun intended here!

Jockey Dashrath Singh sealed his grasp on the Champion Jockey Title with an awesome four winners on the day. The demure lad is riding at his best and has struck a purple patch in his career. He is growing in confidence and his self-belief is his strength. He had produced a beauty while shocking favourite Manitou Splendour a race before Nefyn’s triumph, partnering Prince of Troy to a splendid victory. Manitou Splendour shot out of the gates and set off at his cracking pace to be in front. Prince Of Troy was quickly in second with Great White and Ocean Sensation in close attendance.

At the turn, Manitou Splendour led, but only just, as Prince of Troy was looming large right on his tail. As they straightened up, Prince Of Troy wasted no time and galloped past the favourite, then drew away further to end the agony of the followers of the favourite early, giving them no hope whatsoever. Prince of Troy (Warrshan – Princess Helen) won readily and by a comfortable margin. Manitou Splendour was clearly overwhelmed and ended a tame second. Eye Of The Storm caught the eye, coming from a long way back to end in the money.

Star Empire (Razeen - Anagram) justified the support he received and coasted to a facile victory. Dashrath again caused no anxious moments to his followers and drove Star Empire to the front soon on turning for home. Well, there was a slight thump in the hearts of his backers when Star Empire looked momentarily cramped for space. But in a jiffy, Dashrath had him in the clear switching to the outside and Star Empire quickened in a trice. Once in the lead, Star Empire responded with a strong gallop to outpace his rivals without encountering any worthwhile challenge.

Ashwa Pushkar finished on strongly and did cover a lot of ground. He fought hard with Belligerent who was equally up to the task and the duo fought from the second spot grimly. Belligerent got it by a neck on the wire. Generalissimo, just like cops in a Hindi movie, appeared on the scene when all was over, yet did well to end up in the frame. The one for your notebook is Smokin Aces, who was travelling over 1,400 m for the first time with ‘blinkers on’. He was seen finishing on and caught the eye as he ended just off the frame only a short-head behind Generalissimo.

With a cool treble under his belt, Dashrath was not done yet. Claim To Fame (Ikhtyar – Queenscliff) in the last race of the day was perhaps his best effort. Hillary, the hot favourite, ended a poor fourth. Appalina and Native Lady shared the lead, with Major Wager, Red Tabasco, Hillary and Claim To Fame following close behind in a bunch. Appalina soon bowed out as Native Lady looked imposing on the outside.

Soon Hillary tried to match strides but was not quickening. Claim To Fame was behind horses and Dashrath manoeuvred his way through and came from the wide outside with a tremendous gallop. Native Lady galloped on but Claim To Fame was simply too fast for her. Claim To Fame bounded ahead in the final fifty and stormed home to post his second successive victory this season. Major Wager did well to hold to place money disallowing Hillary to take it from him.

Pound Foolish (Kalanisi – Moneypenny) finally earned his winning bracket with a neat start-to-finish display. Leading the field all the way on his own terms, Pound Foolish stretched away in the straight with stronger gallop to emerge victorious without confronting any resistance. Perfect Strength seemed his only challenger going by the market trends, but the dark bay colt was too far back when Pound Foolish accelerated in the homestretch. Perfect Strength, ridden well off the place was in fact the last to turn for home.

By the time he launched his final assault, Pound foolish had stolen a march and the lead was too much for Perfect Strength to cover. Suzy Wong did well to end third as this was her first essay over the longer trip. Winning Treat showed signs of hitting form and improved to finish in the frame. Samiel (Placerville – Shamaal) lived up to her promise in her last effort and pulled off an exciting win over nearest rival Royal Porthcawl. Samiel hit the front soon on start but let Royal Porthcawl take charge soon thereafter. Silver Screen was not too far back with Azul improving all the time. As they turned for home, Royal Porthcawl was all-out in front and Samiel caught up approaching the distance post. Azul was getting closer to the pair. Approaching the winning post, the three were scrambling to get to the wire.

Royal Porthcawl was fighting a losing battle. Samiel had a very slender advantage, while Azul was covering ground dangerously. It all ended well for Samiel as she just managed to ward off a stiff challenge from Azul who ended on her haunches and a neck ahead of Royal Porthcawl. Albuurz (Diffident – Knowle Park) advertised that he did not belong to the lowest class by posting a comfortable start-to-finish victory.

Albuurz led and had Secret Talk and Ocean Trail for company until the turn. Into the straight, Albuurz shot ahead and quickened well to go further ahead. Secret Talk shut shop, while Ocean Trail gathered momentum and set about chasing the leader. Celtic Manor also made a forward move but by then Albuurz was fast approaching the winning post with no danger in sight. Ocean Trail settled for the second and Celtic Manor ended third.

Despite being tardily off, Dante Rossetti was hustled to go to the front and set a decent pace to Arabian Champ and Shodaan. The two fancied horses, Flying Jewel and Running Sun not too far behind. Chingari, as usual was an unconcerned last. When the race took a serious turn coming into the home straight, Running Sun was the first to make his move, but jockey Pradeep astride Flying Jewel (Flitch – Heavenly Sound) on the rails seemed to be travelling very easily, and shot through a gap to sail into the lead and won convincingly.

Chingari came flying from the rear but was meeting a better rival on the day, hence could only finish second. Running Sun has only just started his career and should do better next time. Dante Rossetti seems to be one-paced.