Trainer Dallas Todywalla`s prized filly Ruffina (David Allan-up) and Sulaiman Attaollahi`s Azzurro (Trevor Patel), both public choices, kept the date with their respective events, the 1,200m Sprinters` Cup and the 3,000m Stayers` Cup, on Saturday. The speculations that the RCTC`s short straight, and the also the false rails not being in position, may work to the advantage of trainer Pesi Shroff`s speedster`s, Lincoln`s (A. Sandesh), proved a wishful thinking. Ruffina, the daughter of Excellent Art, devoured ground in customary brilliant fashion in the final furlong and recorded an easier win than the verdict suggested.
The only consolation for the backers of Lincoln was that the verdict between the two four-year-olds was a shade under a length. Ruffina had beaten Lincoln, in S.C. Jain Sprinters` Championship by two and a quarter length over the long Mahalaxmi track, about a month ago.
The Hyderabad challenger, Amorous White (C. Alford) was a fair third, finishing only a length behind Lincoln while the Chennai-entry, Cavallo Volce (Y.S. Srinath) was barely half-a-length in fourth.
The 5/4 course-favourite, Azzurro (Trevor Patel) made a mockery of the opposition in Stayers` Cup. The seven-year-old made every post of the 3000 race a winning one. Trevor dared to take a calculated risk on the stamina tank, in view of the suspect fitness of most in the opposition rank, to power his way to a four-length-plus victory over the late finishing Cadman (S. John), from Vijay`s stable while Lord Of The Sea, Raees and Jack Frost, the early challengers had lost the steam to fight as the field was brought into the home straight. The blinkers perhaps helped Azzurro take a brisk start from the gates. Azzurro pulled up in distress after crossing the winning post and it is quite possible this could well be the last run of his career.
Most of the favourites, in the eight-event card, otherwise found the going tough but Vijay‘s 9/2 shot Cadillac displayed plenty of courage, in her maiden start, as the Excellent Art filly complimented her gutsy jockey Suraj Narredu with a ‘nose` victory over Arti Doctor`s Accidental (Trevor). Cadillac, a 4/1 favourite, led from the start to land the spoils after a grim battle with the Accidental who was brought into the fray with a late run to fight the issue in the last 200m of the race. Trainer Javed Khan`s debutante, The Kiss (C. Alford) was a good third in the race.
Arti had notched up a brace of wins early in the afternoon. Starting off with a pillar-to-post victory of Namid (S. Zervan), in the 1,600m Sans Craintes Stud Trophy, the Lady trainer, also saddled Sweet Music, to victory in the 1,600m Brave Dancer Cup. Incidentally, apprentice R.S. Bhati rode a well-judged race on Sweet Music to beat the 6/4 course favourite, Hartnell (Y.S. Srinath). More importantly, Bhati scored a hattrick of wins during the season on the Dean`s Kitten son.
Dr. MAM Ramaswmy`s colours are rarely witnessed of late but Vijay`s charge Devotion (S. John) revived the past memories when the Top Class son won the 1,600m Japan Cup, though narrowly, from trainer Harvinder Bath`s 4/1 favourite, Fiorelle (Trevor).
The 1,200m Bookmaker`s Association Cup was also keenly contested between Arti`s 18/10 favourite and Javed`s 7/1 quiet fancy Malana (C.S. Jodha) who robbed the Lady trainer`s happiness, virtually in the final 20m of the race.
The victory of trainer James McKeown`s friendless winner Claymore (Suraj) brought the curtain down. The grey horse won the Mohanpur Choudhury Estate Trophy, making every post of the 1,400m trip a winning one.
Devotion (S John up) winner of the Japan Cup
Namid (S Zervan up) winner of the Sans Craintes Stud Trophy
Sweet Music (R S Bhati up) winner of the Brave Dancer Cup
Malana (C S Jodha up) winner of the Bookmakers` Association Cup
Ruffina (David Allan up) winner of the Sprinters` Cup (Gr.I)
Azzurro (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Dr M A M Ramaswamy Stayers` Cup (Gr.1)
Cadillac (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Nanoli Stud Cup
Claymore (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Mohanpur Chowdhury Estates Trophy