Rajesh Narredu trained Star Superior had to be stretched to measure Sacred Roman in the Gr 2 Ramniwas Ramnarain Ruia Gold Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds, the feature event of Saturday`s Mumbai races. The traditional lead-up race for the Indian Derby saw Star Superior who is rated the second-best horse in the country and up and coming Sacred Roman. The race produced an absorbing contest with Star Superior winning easier than the verdict suggested.
Jockey Leigh Roche took Sacred Roman on a start to finish mission and the tactic appeared to be to check out whether the Pesi Shroff trainee would tackle the longer trips the hard way as also to exploit the stamina limitations if any of Star Superior. Scared Roman led by many lengths even as Suraj Narredu eased Star Superior in the third position, sitting still till well into the straight. Scared Roman had such a commanding lead that there was a possibility of an upset if Suraj`s tactic went awry. However, the progeny of Excellent Art covered ground swiftly and caught up with the front-runner in the closing stages of the race to win by half a length. There was no doubt about the superiority of Star Superior, but it appeared to be a diminishing one over the extended trip. Star Superior had beaten Sacred Roman by six lengths over a mile. There is no doubt that Sir Cecil towers over the rest especially over the extended trip and if he is in the line up for the Derby overcoming his physical niggles, he will be hard to toss. For the record, Tasawwur was third more than eight lengths behind the runner-up.
Noshir Cama trained Joplin who is formidable over a scurry, once again asserted her supremacy over the 1000 metres Indian Air Force Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Shiraz Sunderji trained Between The Waters was expected to be a force to reckon with but one handicap that he suffered was the fact that he was brought back in distance. In the event, Between the Waters had an interfered start and fell back to the rear and could not make up the leeway on Joplin and had to be content with the second position. Jockey C S Jodha tried to reverse the verdict by taking an objection against the owner-mate of Joplin, namely Triple Threat for interference by its jockey Nikhil. The objection was to insinuate that the owner-mate had deliberately interfered to felicitate an easy passage for Joplin. It appeared to be far fetched and it was thrown out with the contempt it deserved. Gold Field was a well-beaten third.
After a below par effort, Imtiaz Sait trained Truly Epic bounced back to winning ways, easily accounting for the opposition in the 1600 metres Onassis Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Jockey C S Jodha had Truly Epic settled in the midfield as Timeless Deeds set the pace. Midway though the home stretch, Truly Epic came home with a big effort to storm ahead and had the race sewn up a long way from home. Zanzibar was second ahead of Relentless Pursuit. Till End of Time appears to have lost the zest of Pune.
Hoshidar Daji trained Thailand easily won the 1200 metres Rochester Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Thailand and Missing You were strongly fancied to win. The latter is by Arazan out of St Leger winning Change of Look and as such was expected to find the trip sharp. Trevor had Thailand assume charge early in the straight and sped clear to win with a measure of comfort. Missing You went in the chase but did not have the speed to overhaul the front-runner. Jockey Neeraj Rawal put an objection against Trevor who rode the winner for shifting out inside the final two furlongs which caused him to check his mount, seriously impairing his chances. The objection was overruled. Copper Queen who was up with the pace, weakened to finish third. Speed Air who was sluggish at the start, covered ground in the straight to be a fair fourth.
Vinesh trained Juno`s Quest who was the last start winner over six furlongs and Noshir Cama trained Lorraine were strongly supported to have a bold show in the 1400 metres RM Mandal Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Juno`s Quest got the better of front-running Fleur De Lys in the final furlong but could not cling on to the lead as Lorraine came from a way back to assert her supremacy. Excellent Sorrento rallied late to be a close third.
Lesser fancied True Grit from the stables of trainer Shiraz Sunderji managed to get the better of front-running Golden Horde to land the spoils in the 1000 metres Bourbon King Plate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category. Apprentice jockey Prabat Singh rode the winner. Good Thing necked out Make It Shine to get the third position. Another five kg claimer Peter guided Sangram Joshi trained Isinit to victory in the lower division of the race over the strongly supported Outstanding. Maestro was third.
Dallas Todywalla trained Western Front staved off the challenge of Rogue One to win the day`s opener, the 1600 metres Perceived Value Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Rogue One led aggressively in front but was overwhelmed by the eventual winner in the final furlong. Rospomare and Eternal Memories were both fancied strongly but they lost their chances at the gate itself with a lethargic beginning.
Western Front (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Perceived Value Plate
Truly Epic (C S Jodha up) winner of the Onassis Plate
Isinit (A S Peter up) winner of the Bourbon King Plate (Div-II)
Joplin (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Indian Air Force Trophy
Star Superior (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Ramniwas Ramnarain Ruia Gold Cup (Gr.3)
Thailand (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Rochester Trophy
Lorraine (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Rm Mandal Trophy
True Grit (Parbat Singh up) winner of the Bourbon King Plate (Div-I)