David Allan who has been going great guns this season gave a peach of a ride on Dallas Todywalla trained Missing You and guided the progeny of Arazan to a splendid win in the Gr 1 Poonawalla Breeders` Multi-Million, the richest race for juveniles in the country at the Mahalakshmi on Sunday. ``Barring the initial hiccup when the pace of the race abruptly slowed down, once I got my filly to stay clear of the trouble, it was a straightforward race for my horse. I was confident at the top of the straight that I would land the spoils,`` said David Allan who was winning this race for the second time after having guided Ruffina to victory two years ago. For the Poonawalla Stud Farm, this was the third straight success and all of them have come in the family colours.
Dr Cyrus Poonawalla who owns the filly was emotional when asked to comment on the victory of Missing You. ``This win is far greater than any win that my wards have scored including the Indian Derby. The name was chosen in remembrance of my beloved wife Villoo Poonawalla and the success has been an emotional one for me,`` said Dr Cyrus Poonawalla breaking into tears.
Pesi Shroff-trained Hunt For Gold who had won back to back races in impressive fashion was the obvious favourite to win the race as the other runners did not have similar accomplishment. While Hunt For Gold was a strong favourite, the rest of the runners including Missing You and Hyderabad challenger Marinetti, the only other horse to have successive wins to his credit, were all quoted at big odds.
Dragon Mountain who was adjudged the best turned out horse hit the front from the start before Makhtoob took charge of pace setting. Marinetti was handily placed in the third or fourth position while Missing You who was keen and getting cramped because the pace of the race had slowed down, was moved out of trouble by David Allan and got her a clear path to enter the straight cruising up. David Allan immediately got into his act and Missing You went storming ahead leaving the others stranded. Headway who had beaten Missing You by four lengths over a six furlongs trip went in chase but found his reserves waning. Hunt For Gold came up with a spirited bid but failed to find an extra gear. Trouville ran on from behind strongly to get the second position ahead of the favourite while Headway weakened to finish fourth. The winner clocked a smart time of one minute 22.976 seconds. The rest of the runners did not measure up to the challenge. Marinetti caved in when the pressure was applied soon after turning for home and finished a poor tenth. Dragon Mountain finished last.
Incidentally Dr Cyrus Poonawalla also raced the dam of Missing You namely Change of Luck who had won the Indian St Leger on the same track.
Deepesh Narredu trained Awesome One who had come back to the handicap category after two failed efforts in terms races, gave an assertive performance in the 1400 metres Sir Victor Sassoon Gold Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Intense Stylist was the favourite but the spirited betting on Awesome One was also reflective of the confidence of the connections of the progeny of Dean`s Kitten. Yash Narredu kept Awesome One a handy third as Celestial Light moved up on the wide outside to take charge. Mozart was second while Intense Stylist was in the fourth position. Mozart stormed ahead inside the final furlong, but he could not sustain the lead for long as Awesome One challenged the leader and easily sailed ahead with a furlong left in the race and won by a widening margin of four lengths. Intense Stylist failed to produce a strong effort and in fact eve,n failed to get past Mozart and had to be satisfied with the third position. The winners for Trevor Patel seem to be drying up.
Sandesh`s power-packed riding ensure last start winner Divine Power to snatch a last stride win in the 1200 metres Dr Goolam E Vahanvati Gold Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The heavily supported Dazzling Star who was running after more than 300 days had a comfortable lead going into the final furlong. With Divine Power struggling hard to gain momentum, it looked as though the favourite would oblige but Dazzling Star began to falter. Divine Power closed with a rush and managed to snatch the win in the closing stride of the race. Bounty Queen added to the excitement of the race with a late flourish which nearly had her toppling the market fancies.
Imtiaz Sait trained B Fifty Two seems to be on the decline as the seven-year-old failed to sustain his challenge in the 1600 metres R N Kanga Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. Trevor had graded race performer lead freely in front but inside the final 300 metres, surrendered meekly when last start winner Turning Point essayed a strong challenge. The latter went on win comfortably while B Fifty Two barely managed to retain the runner-up berth from stablemate Gloriosus who overcame a lethargic beginning and covered a lot of ground in the straight to finish third.
Pesi Shroff trained Across The Sea came up with a flourishing run in the final furlong to get the better of strongly backed Turmeric Power to land the spoils in the 1000 metres Kumar R Dalal Gold Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Daddy`s Pride came from a long way back to be a suggestive third.
Shroff had a quick double when in the very next race, the third race of the day, Momentum justified the strong support by easily claiming the 2000 metres Intervalve Poonawalla Ltd Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Mount Olympus who was leading the field went wide midway through the race forcing jockey Akshay to hit the front on Momentum. The favourite led comfortably in front and though Brazos threatened briefly, the front-runner had enough legs to pull through for an easy win. Jager Bomb was third.
Asad Siddiqui trained Gandalf produced an upset in the 1400 metres Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy, a race for horses in the lowest category. Gadalf came up with a tremendous burst of speed on the wide outside in the hands of five-kg claimer A S Peter to sweep past the front-running Dragonmoss to record a handsome win at long odds. Hi Ho Silver nosed out Solo Mission to save place money.
Turning Point (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the R N Kanga Trophy
Across The Sea (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Kumar R Dalal Gold Trophy
Momentum (Akshay up) winner of the Intervalve Poonawalla Ltd Trophy
Missing You (David Allan up) winner of the Poonawalla Breeders` Multi-Million (Gr.1)
Awesome One (Yash Narredu up) winner of the Sir Victor Sassoon Gold Trophy
Divine Power (A Sandesh up) winner of the Dr. Goolam E Vahanvati Gold Trophy
Gandalf (A S Peter up) winner of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy