Dallas Todywalla trained Ruffina maintained her champion status with a cheeky win in the 1400 metres F H Tapia Memorial Million, a terms race year-year-olds and over, the feature event of Sunday`s Mumbai races. Jockey David Allan who has partnered the filly in most of her wins rode with supreme confidence despite New England breathing down his neck and extended the filly just enough to secure the victory.
Ruffina had been restricted to sprint since the last one year. She was essaying the trip of seven furlongs after winning a five-furlong race earlier in the season. Though she was conceding weight to some accomplished performers, the odds offered on her continued to be miserly. David Allan had Ruffina settled in the third position as Your Royal Majesty set the pace followed by Perfect Star, Captain Courage and New England. David Allan let Ruffina cover ground on the front-runner on the bridle and was not perturbed when New England came up with a strong challenge. The jockey continued to ride her hands and heels and toyed with the opposition. Though Ruffina won by half a length, the margin was flattering for the runner-up. Your Royal Majesty stayed on to finish third.
Bottom-weighted Lord of the Sea could steal the race by the fellow contestants in the 2000 metres Homi Mody Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above because of the timidity of the other jockeys. Jockey N S Parmar had the luxury of setting a slow pace with others content to fight with their horses and settle them behind. Jockey Trevor Patel who was on B Fifty Two rode a strange sort of a race on a known front-runner. The slow pace ensured that Lord of the Sea had good reserves when crowded by the others. In such a scenario, the one in front can always spurt to advantage. This is what happened as B Fifty Two took a long time to warm up and was squeezed out by the slightly drifting Lord of the Sea which resulted in Trevor checking his horse and dropping out of contention. Supreme General who came home with a big effort could not topple the front-runner and had to settle for the second spot ahead of favourite Gloriosus whose winning streak was thus halted.
Vishal Gaikwad trained Golden Hind recorded an encore when easily staving off the challenge of last start winner Flying Visit in the 1600 metres April Blossom Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Flying Visit lost a possible winning opportunity when he jumped outwards at the gates and lost considerable ground. He fought for his head for a while before settling down. He was effectively out of contention by the time the horses approached the final furlong. Unimaginable set a good face with Golden Hind settled in about the fourth position. Trevor moved up briskly on the favourite rounding the final turn and Golden Hind easily tackled the front-runner and went sailing clear. When Flying Visit began to cover ground, the front-runner was well beyond the reach. Golden Hind won by a margin of five lengths. Arrecife ran on to finish third.
Half-brother to Jacqueline, Kennedy who had the benefit of a race run had no problem in dismissing the opposition with ease in the 2000 metres Rapidash Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Jockey Leigh Roche kept Kennedy in the fourth position as Fanfare set the pace. Roche brought Kennedy into contention well into the straight and the progeny of Dean`s Kitten had the race well sewn up in the final furlong. There was a semblance of a fight from Retained Asset who however flattered to deceive. Fanfare was far away third.
M K Jadhav trained Bushtops swamped the opposition in the 2000 metres Londonderry Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Smasher who went as a pacemaker for his stablemate and stayed put to cause an upset last time out was the favourite ahead of Bushtops. Leigh Roche rode him in check this time and the favourite did not look the part though he ended up finishing second. Jockey Sandesh had Bushtops eased in the last position before warming up to the task in the stretch. Bushtops tackled the front-runners with ease on the wide outside and went away for a win by a widening margin of seven lengths over Smasher. Augustus Caesar was third.
Pesi Shroff-trained Hunt For Gold made an impressive winning debut in the 1400 metres Kheem Singh Gold Cup, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Backed strongly to win ahead of those who had the benefit of a race run, Hunt For Gold was eased in the rear till turning for home before Leigh Roche found the spaces on the inside. The favourite showed a good turn of foot to settle the issue in the final furlong to win with a measure of comfort from Trouvaille and Divine Glory. Hunt For Gold is by first season stallion Leitir Mor.
Imtiaz Sait trained Iron Age who was brought back to the five-furlong trip, was backed to the exclusion of the rest in the 1000 metres P D Bolton Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Despite the wide outside draw, Trevor was able to take Iron Age to the front and the favourite had no problem in keeping the challenge of Bateleur who was running for the first time after being gelded, at bay. Oracle was third while Gazino gave a disappointing performance after an encouraging second in his previous outing.
Last outing winner El Comandante was strongly backed to win ahead of Officer In Command to win the 1200 metres Pradeep Vijayakar Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Anatevka who had failed as a favourite was available at lucrative odds this time. There was a change in the equipment with the cross-nose band having been taken off. Run Forest Run led by many lengths into the straight before El Comandante measured the front-runner in the final furlong. Anatevka who had taken a good jump this time out was a few lengths drift when El Comandante made his move. The filly covered the ground swiftly and managed to overhaul the front-runner in the closing moments of the race. Officer In Command ran on to finish third.
Deepesh Narredu trained Kingsman had it easy in the 1400 metres Ibrahim A Rahimtoola Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Trevor brought Kingsman into striking position from the wide outside draw and the favourite assumed command in the final furlong to win the race easily from Aurora Australis and the late-finishing Aberlour.
Kennedy (Leigh Roche up) winner of the Rapidash Plate
Lord Of The Sea (N S Parmar up) winner of the Homi Mody Trophy
Golden Hind (Trevor Patel up) winner of the April Blossom Plate
Bushtops (A Sandesh up) winner of the Londonderry Plate
Hunt For Gold (Leigh Roche up) winner of the Kheem Singh Gold Cup
Ruffina (David Allan up) winner of the F H Tapia Memorial Million
Iron Age (Trevor Patel up) winner of the P D Bolton Trophy
Anatevka (Akshay up) winner of the Pradeep Vijayakar Trophy
Kingsman (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Ibrahim A Rahimtoola Trophy