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Roberta makes it after many failed efforts

By: Frankel   January 5 , 2020

After many failed efforts as a strongly fancied runner, Pesi Shroff trained Roberta asserted her supremacy in the 2000 metres Homi Mody Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of Sunday`s Mumbai races. Roberta`s last success was in the Indian Oaks last year and after that, she had gone without a win.

Some of the better races run by Roberta was when she had gone to the front from the start and enjoyed an uncontested lead. Jockey Leigh Roche pushed Roberta to take over the running within the first furlong from Frivolous and thereafter did not come under much pressure to retain the lead till the winning post. The well-backed Truly Epic made a strong bid but found Roberta having enough stamina reserves to stay put in front and win by a shade over a length. Gloriosus was third more than four lengths adrift of the stablemate Truly Epic.

Imtiaz Sait trained Flying Visit continued to be on the upgrade with an emphatic win in the 1400 metres Homai and Nusly Pudumjee Million, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Costa Brava who had shown a declining curve in her performance graph was nevertheless backed with conviction to win the race ahead of Awesome One and the rest. Despite an impressive win to back his credentials, Flying Visit was quoted at longer odds. The speedy Bateleur who was running after a longish break of 287 days was taken on a start to finish by jockey Neeraj Rawal with Sandesh easing Flying Visit in the second position. It was clear that something was amiss with Costa Brava who did not show the customary speed and graced the rear. Costa Brava made little progress in the stretch and was a beaten cause well before the race came to the boil. Flying Visit overhauled Bateleur inside the final furlong and stormed ahead to win by a margin of two and ¾ of lengths. Awesome One ran on to take the third position ahead of Pure Zinc.

The connections of One for the Glory perhaps believed that a couple of mock races and extensive preparation were good enough for the four-year-old gelding to make a winning debut in the 1600 metres Polish Patriot Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Accordingly, the Vishal Gaikwad trainee came in for big batting ahead of his experienced rivals, but such horses rarely oblige. The fact that the horse is making a delayed debut apart from requiring mock races itself was a negative factor apart from the declaration of Kishore Kadam in the saddle. Long shot Aquarius led from the start and stayed on stubbornly in front, but David Egan was able to drive out second favourite Ithaca from the stables of trainer Imtiaz Sait to nail the front-runner on the post. So Splendid who was out for an airing finished third ahead of the heavily backed owner mate who struggled in the stretch to bridge the gap and finished a dismal fourth and reportedly returned sore.

Pesi Shroff trained Exotique had the benefit of a solid forward run and looked good enough to win the 1400 metres Karl Umrigar Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. After Moon River set a decent pace and weakened on straightening for home, Leigh Roche pushed Exotique to take charge inside the final 300 metres. The favourite bounced clear and held off a resolute challenge from Salvo by half a length. Rubik Star galloped in snatches to take the third position three lengths adrift.

Antia trained Untitled had the best credentials to win after the seven-year-old had run a noteworthy third in his last outing and he was backed to the exclusion of the rest in the lower division of the Pradeep Vijayakar`s Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The punters must be considered a courageous lot because the trainer hardly wins races consistently and more so as strong favourites. Jockey Hanumanth Singh too doesn`t get winners consistently. Untitled appeared to be in a spot of bother when he could not take a forward position from the start and was in the seventh position at the final bend. However, Untitled found his bearings in the final furlong after being pulled out to get a clear run. Untitled covered the ground with a sustained effort and managed to neck out Brave in the closing strides of the race. Westeros was third.

Vishal Gaikwad trained Dumas had run a noteworthy third behind Galloping Goldmine in his last outing and looked better than the rest in the1400 metres R M Mandal Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Backed to the exclusion of the rest, Dumas was kept a handy second behind the runaway leader Brothersofthewind by jockey Zervan who made his bid on the favourite approaching the final furlong. Dumas got into his rhythm in no time and sped clear of the rest to win with ease from late rallying Be Frank. Despatico held off Eternal Dancer to get the third position.

Adhiraj Jodha trained Golden Era made amends for the narrow loss to Tudor Hall by winning the 1600 metres Director General of Police Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Majestic Warrior and Golden Era were both well supported in the betting ring. Majestic Warrior came into strong contention inside the final 300 metres even as Golden Era fell behind baulked for a clean run. After being pulled out, Golden Era came up with a renewed vigour and got the better of Majestic Warrior close home and then held off the big rally made by stablemate Fencing.

Antia had a rare double when Slam Dunk who was well backed made it start to finish in the 1000 metres Pradeep Vijayakar Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The last two efforts of Slam Dunk had seen the seven-year-old gelding finish more than 20 lengths behind the winner. Despite these poor runs, Slam Dunk was backed with conviction. Apprentice jockey Shubham took the favourite on a start to finish mission and lasted out competently to win from Highland Lass and late rallying Caesar. The third career win for Slam Dunk in 39 outings was coming after a gap of 798 days.


Ithaca (David Egan up) winner of the Polish Patriot Plate

Exotique (Leigh Roche up) winner of the Karl Umrigar Trophy

Roberta (Leigh Roche up) winner of the Homi Mody Trophy

Untitled (Hanumant Singh up) winner of the Pradeep Vijayakar Trophy (Div-II)

Dumas (S Zervan up) winner of the R M Mandal Trophy

Flying Visit (A Sandesh up) winner of the Homai And Nusly Pudumjee Million

Golden Era (A Sandesh up) winner of the Director General Of Police Trophy

Slam Dunk (D R Shubham up) winner of the Pradeep Vijayakar Trophy (Div-I)

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