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Trouville clinches a thriller in record time

By: Frankel   December 22 , 2019

Jockey Nicky Mackay extracted the maximum out of Trouvaille to beat Alexei to clinch a thriller in the Gr 1 1600 metres Villoo Poonawalla Indian 2000 Guineas, the second classic of the season, on Sunday. The Shiraz Sunderji trainee won the race in a new course record timing of one minute 35.68 seconds.

Bangalore challenger Knight Templar was the marginal favourite ahead of Sultan Suleiman with Kildare getting good support even though the horse is totally inexperienced. Alexei who had run below par last time out was available at big odds. The Pune Derby winner Trouvaille was surprisingly quoted at liberal odds despite being the only Grade I race winner in the fray.

Alexei was sluggish at the start, but jockey Trevor Patel did not panic and got Alexei to roll over to the rails to make a ground-saving effort. Trouvaille too lacked the early speed and was in the rear. Wizard of Stocks did the pacesetting with Knight Templar for the company with the rest spaced out behind. Wizard of Stocks battled on in front even as Knight Templar put pressure, but the complexion of the race changed the moment Alexei showed up getting the spaces on the inside to make his bid along the rails. Alexei shot ahead inside the final furlong and shaped like a winner as Knight Templar failed to make an impression and Trouvaille had some lengths to cover. However, under a strong ride by Nicky Mackay, Trouvaille responded gamely and managed to snatch the verdict in the concluding race of the day. Knight Templar beat Wizard of Stocks to take the third position.

Nicky Mackay who recorded his first classic in his first season in India said: `` I could not get into a forward position and I decided to wait. Trouville responded well in the end and was getting stronger at the finish which augurs well for the gelding over the longer distances as well.`` Trevor Patel showed that he has the ability to judge the worth of a horse by opting to ride Alexei when the got-abroad had failed in his previous outing. Trevor is under suspension, but he could get an exemption for one day to ride in a Group I race. He had the option to ride in the 1000 Guineas and the 2000 Guineas and he reportedly chose the latter and very nearly proved right.

Pesi Shroff trained Del Mar who had the trust of the punters managed to oblige with a last stride win over Del Mar in the 1000 metres Satinello Trophy, a race for horses 20 to 46 but confined to three-year-olds. Hidden Gold had a comfortable lead going into the final furlong and looked set to provide visiting jockey Nathan Evans with his first win on the Mumbai track, but the horse faltered close to home. Del Mar who was lost in the crowd, however, produced a big effort on the wide outside in the hands of jockey Trevor Patel and managed to clinch the race in thrilling fashion. Luminosity was third some lengths behind ahead of Blazing Bay.

Vishal Gaikwad trained Castilian recorded an impressive win in the 1200 metres P M Rungta Golden Sprint Stakes, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Headway was backed to the exclusion of the rest because the three-year-old had finished well ahead of Castilian when these two ran in the same race at Pune and the others in the fray didn`t impress by their level of performance in their recent outings for one reason or the other. Jockey Nicky Mackay had Headway take over the running after the first furlong and enjoyed what looked like a winnable lead going into the final furlong. Trevor Patel had problems in getting Castilian a clear passage and he had to change course twice and finally roll over to the rails. The got-abroad gelding found his way and finished with a powerful effort to collar the front-runner with a measure of comfort. Headway lost his bearings as Sassy Lass, with a late charge, managed to clinch the runner-up berth.

David Eagan drove out favourite Galloping Goldmine to victory in the 1600 metres Ghulamhussein Essaji Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Dumas led all the way but in the final furlong was strongly challenged by Tudor Hall and Galloping Goldmine. Dumas shifted out under pressure and inconvenienced Tudor Hall who had to change course and roll over to the rails. Galloping Goldmine galloped strongly to win the race with a measure of comfort. Tudor Hall managed to nose out stablemate Dumas to get the runner-up berth.

Pesi Shroff trained Roberta once again let down supporters in the 1600 metres Ranjit V Bhat Memorial Gold Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. Roberta has made more news for reasons other than racing performance. Backed to the exclusion of the rest to make a winning return in a handicap race after failed attempts in terms races, Roberta was sluggish, to begin with and galloped in snatches in the stretch to eventually finish a tame third. Pure Zinc led from the start before surrendering the lead in the final furlong to the consistent Flying Visit who got stronger close home. For the record, Roberta hasn`t won for 336 days, her last win coming in the Indian Oaks.

Shiraz Sunderji trained Air Blast made an impressive winning debut in the 1200 metres Faiz Jasdanwalla Trophy, a race for maiden two-year-olds. Though the progeny of Air Support got the wide outside draw, the horse had the class to overcome the disadvantage as he unleashed a powerful burst of speed on the wide outside in the hands of Nicky Mackay to swoop on the front-running Rising Sun and stretched away for a facile win. Rising Sun who had the benefit of two race runs led in the charge in the final furlong but was floored by the superiority of the eventual winner. Rising Sun just about managed to stave off Pense`e to keep the runner-up berth. Air Blast is a half-brother to Indian 1000 Guineas winner Marinsky.


Del Mar (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Satinello Trophy

Castilian (Trevor Patel up) winner of the P M Rungta Golden Sprint Stakes

Galloping Goldmine (David Egan up) winner of the Gulamhusein Essaji Trophy

Flying Visit (A Sandesh up) winner of the Ranjit V Bhat Memorial Gold Trophy

Air Blast (Nicky Mackay up) winner of the Faiz Jasdanwalla Trophy

Trouvaille (Nicky Mackay up) winner of the Villoo Poonawalla Indian 2000 Guineas (Gr.I)

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