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Ruffina impressive in lead up to Guineas

By: Frankel   November 19 , 2017

Dallas Todywalla trained Ruffina who is a strong challenger for the Gr 1 Indian 1000 Guineas, won her lead up race to the big event by claiming the 1400 metres Rotary Club of Bombay Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of opening day`s races of the long winding Mumbai Racing Season on Sunday. English jockey David Allan who continued his association with the filly was also successful on other Todywalla trained Goldie`s Pet in the day`s opener.

Ruffina had recorded a matter of fact victory at Pune and this was the reason why there was keen interest in the race as to how the filly would perform on the track which had seen sensational performances from her last season. There was no question of her suffering an unexpected defeat and the only academic interest from the race was the manner in which she would assert her supremacy. She did so with ease to give hopes of a big classic success for first season sire Excellent Art.

David Allan had Ruffian settled in about the fourth position in the small field of five runners. Remember Me who is traditionally sluggish from the start, took off from the gates well and led the way with Ship Rock, Mygrator and Ruffina in close order. Super Sunshine who was lethargic at the gates trailed the field. Entering the straight, Ruffina appeared to be in a spot of bother and looked to be boxed inside. Suraj Narredu on Mygrator tried to tactically keep the favourite confined to the inside. David Allan`s tremendous reflexes and the filly`s courage and maturity enabled the filly to shoot through along the rails. Thereafter, Ruffina stretched away to win by a widening margin of four lengths over Mygrator who barely managed to stave off Ship Rock to get the runner-up berth. Super Sunshine was faraway fourth.

The day`s opener saw Pesi Shroff trained Anacapri and Todywalla ‘s ward Goldie`s Pet receive spirited support to win the 1000 metres UPL Limited Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Anacapri had better credentials in that the filly had won a million at Bangalore but the only thing going against her was the fact that she was racing after a very long break. Goldie`s Pet was coming into the race on the back of an impressive two for two winning performance. God`s Own showed speed to lead the way with Goldie`s Pet in the second position ahead of Anacapri and the rest. Entering the homestretch, David Allan got busy on Goldie`s Pet who got the better of the front-runner and shot ahead in the final furlong. Anacapri pressed hard but could not produce that bit extra as Goldie`s Pet skipped away. Ladislaus finished on well to take the third place. Anacapri surely needed this lung opener as she looked far from ready.

Shiraz Sunderji trained Turning Point had gone down narrowly at Pune after a sluggish beginning and the strong support to make amends in the 1600 metres Janak Ram Jethmalani Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 65 was well placed. The odds on Take Five to perform a repeat winning performance went up dramatically. The race was confined to these two horses. Take Five failed to sustain her lead right up to the winning most as Trevor Patel timed his challenge nicely on the well backed horse. Turning Point measured Take Five close home to justify the huge expectations. Glorious Eyes finished on strongly to end up a close third.

The experienced Forest Fairy asserted her supremacy in the 1400 metres Smt Sarla & Rtn Girdharilal Modi & Rotary Club of Mumbai Downtown Sealand Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. In The Stars who had made an impressive debut at Pune was the favourite but what went against the filly was her lack of experience of running in tougher company. Forest Fairy had run against horses which had attained higher ranking. In the hands of jockey Srinath, Forest Fairy came home with a powerful effort to surge past In The Star to record an easy win. Sassy Lass showed out when finishing an impressive second ahead of Glyndebourne who with a second wind beat In The Starts to the fourth spot.

One expected Malesh Narredu trained Renato to have it easy in the race meant for horses rated 20 to 46 but the on-money favourite huffed and puffed before getting the better of Ascension in the closing strides of the race. Priceless Girl threatened to bring off an upset but slackened in sight of the winning post. Ascension then had her say but drifted out under pressure which perhaps helped Renato to pull off a narrow win. Priceless Girl was a close third.

Pesi Shroff trained Lincoln had recorded a runaway win in his last outing at Pune and was backed to the exclusion of the rest. Lincoln had beaten a submissive opposition in his last effort and his merit looked exaggerated. It came as no surprise when Lady Sergeant got the better of the favourite quite easily in the final furlong and spurted away for a comfortable win. Fringe Benefit who was running after skipping the entire Pune season, showed out when finishing a suggestive third.

The 1200 metres Kamal Foundation & Rotary Club of Mumbai Malabar Hill Trophy, a race for horses in the lowest class, had the worst possible field in the fray. Winner-picking was difficult as the surface form of the contestants was poor. Three horses were in the betting namely Moonshine, Yutaka and Lilac Time. The last named beat herself by taking a fly jump and failing to find her rhythm. Yutaka was not seen in serious hunt. Moonshine who was well positioned going into the final furlong, shook off the challenge of Milwalkee to record a comfortable win. Yutaka nosed out Forever Free to get the third position.

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