Snow Blaze, the grey colt by China Visit out of Snow Tiger, who was beaten in a Class IV race at the start of the season, sprang a pleasant surprise for his connections when cantering away with the Panchshil Million in a start-to-finish mission.
The Dallas Todywalla trained joint property of Hoshang Nazir, Zinia Lawyer, Rustom Lawyer and Sameer Tapia, took a smart jump from the gates to wrest the lead at the start and relished calling a merry tune to his eight rivals. Josephine tried to intimidate Snow Blaze after entering the home stretch but the Neeraj Rawal ridden colt snubbed her by drawing away for a fluent win. Suryaveer also tried hard to catch up with Snow Blaze but had to settle for the second spot ahead of Soneeyo, who struggled to find room for a clear run especially after Y. S. Srinath astride Pronto Star made sure that Rajendra was pocketed on his inside. Pablo Neruda ended a tame fourth while Pronto Star ran below expectation.
| ||Snow Blaze (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Panchshil Million, being led in by trainer D Todywalla & Mr.Hoshang J Nazir|
Neeraj Rawal in fact was in full flow having earlier steered the Pesi Shroff trained favourite Roesti (Ikhtiyar – Sarmatara) and later Spirit of Ecstasy (Black Cash – Passion Dance) for Nosher Cama. Both the winners raced in the colours of Shyam Ruia.
Roesti after being settled behind Ariane and Ashwa Puskar till the bend, was then brought into contention by Neeraj. The grey gelding overwhelmed the duo in the last furlong and stretched out to convincingly from Light My Way and Zaar. The latter is slowly but surely getting into shape to deliver the goods for his connections.
Spirit of Ecstasy made easy meat of leader Oluchi and favourite Emerging Star while they were involved in a dispute in the straight. The well-backed filly won comfortably in the end. Emerging Star had a hard time wresting the runner-up berth from Oluchi while Follow Me ran on late to finish a close fourth.
Mansingh Jadhav trained filly Incognito (Kheleyf – Indistinto) ran true to form and the expectations of the race-goers when winning the Roman Rose Trophy in the hands of Dashrath Singh. The applecart of the favourite was almost upset by the C. S. Jodha ridden filly Illustrious, who refused to buckle under pressure till the last couple of strides where Incognito asserted her superiority. Silver Screen ended up in the money and was well ahead of Bold Dancer at the wire. Bold Dancer and Ocean Emperor ran far below par.
C. S. Jodha was soon rewarded with success when he persisted with the Adhiraj Singh Jodha saddled Rajasthan Royals (Hymn – Jukebox) when involved in a keen tussle with Angelo and Moon Flower. It appeared for a moment that Angelo would cause a major upset before Rajasthan Royals` sudden surge of power floored him. River Blitz also looked threatening but wouldn`t respond to Suraj Narredu`s urgings and ended third a neck ahead of Moon Flower. Ancient Wonder, who ended a close fifth, got stuck towards the inner rails and it remained a mystery whether he was happy to be in that situation. Ancient Wonder`s deserves to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Vittoria (China Visit – Prevalence) was the shortest price winner of the day and the Bezan Chenoy nurtured filly scored a fluent win in the hands of Ladjadj Stephane. Vittoria had no trouble in snuffing out the challenge of her main Visionist and Ashwa Prerna, who ran well to be third despite running after a long layoff.
The two divisions of the Track Music Plate were won by horses ridden by whipless boys. In the curtain raiser Adhiraj Singh Jodha`s ward Towering High (Case Law – Consortium) seized the initiative quickly from favourite Auraria and her saddle partner Kavraj Singh then kept her going all the way and managed to carve a narrow win over Auraria, Hickory, who ran on late, and Watch Out.
In the concluding event of the day, Sheraz Sunderji`s candidate River Gem (Ikhtiyar – Kilshannig) made work relatively easy for rookie Akshay when going streaking into the lead at the start. The bay gelding stepped up the pace when the field straightened for home and was home and dry by the time Tag Along Tommy could gather momentum. Ran Banka chased the winner in vain and retired to be third ahead of Macho Uno. Adventurer kept the hopes of his supporters alive till the bend but then chickened out of the fray without much ado.