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Victorious Sermon strikes sublime form

By: Frankel   January 9 , 2020

Vishal Gaikwad trained Victorious Sermon who performed way below known potential at Pune bounced back to sublime form thwarting the bid of overwhelming favourite and Indian 2000 Guineas winner Trouvaille in the Gr 3 Ramniwas Ramnarain Ruia Gold Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds, the feature event of Thursday`s Mumbai races.

The race traditionally serves as a lead up to the Indian Derby and Trouvaille was expected to come out with flying colours, but he blotted his copybook once again raising questions about his ability to get longer trips when others are competitive.

Trouvaille had done everything right thus far while Victorious Sermon had struggled to find the form of Bangalore where he had thrashed the likes of Indian 1000 Guineas winner Gift of Grace. Thereafter Victorious Sermon reportedly had a setback and his comeback runs did not indicate that he would ever reach his known potential. At the same weights, Trouvaille had beaten Victorious Sermon by four lengths and it was hard to expect him to reverse the verdict in such fashion.

The only top local horse missing from action was Alexei who hasn`t been seen in serious workouts after his brilliant second behind Trouvaille. The latter went to the post at a very cramped price. Bangalore challenger Malwa set a slow pace followed by Victorious Sermon, Sultan Sulaiman and Trouvaille. Colm Donoghue pushed Victorious Sermon to take over the running on turning for home as Malwa failed to keep the lead buckling down under pressure. Victorious Sermon then bounced clear and opened a useful lead. Trouvaille failed to pick up the speed he was expected to, and he struggled along with the others. Victorious Sermon marched on to win the race by more than three lengths over Trouvaille who held off Sultan Sulaiman for the runner-up berth. Victorious Sermon`s win has given an intriguing twist to the Indian Derby.

Shiraz Sunderji trained Intense Stylist went one better in the 1000 metres Madras Race Club Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. La Magnifique led from the start and had a useful lead going into the final furlong. Intense Stylist who was boxed on the inside of Gazino broke through inside the final 100 metres and produced a strong effort in the hands of jockey Nicky Mackay to nail the front-runner in the closing strides of the race. Gazino was third.

Pesi Shroff trained King Solomon who had run below expectations last time out was seen in a different light as the lesser fancied runner held off the late bid of favourite Moriesiki to win the 2000 metres Vallbhdas H Adwalia Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Jockey Neeraj Rawal as astride the winner. Tasman ran freely in front and held the lead till the final 350 metres. At this point, King Solomon who was in the chase overhauled the front-runner and opened a useful cushion which held him in good stead. Moriesiki was alerted to the task in the final furlong by jockey Trevor Patel and though the favourite covered ground rapidly, King Solomon held on to win by a neck. Justified ran on to edge past Goshawk to get the third position. The latter was sluggish from the start and was effectively out of the contention.

The well-bred Anatevka who had the benefit of a good race run easily accounted for the opposition in the 1200 metres Perceived Value Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The Pesi Shroff trainee was undoubtedly the best-bred horse but also had a noteworthy effort to back her claims. Tristar who came in for strong betting led the field into the straight before Anatevka overhauled the front-runner and sped ahead approaching the final furlong. Istanbul and Mount Olympus gave a chase but found the front-runner too good for comfort.

Pesi Shroff led in his third winner in a row when Benghazi slammed the opposition in the 1200 metres Rochester Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds despite drifting out of a straight course in the closing stages of the race. With no clear-cut idea about the horses, Wind Whistler was backed to the exclusion of the rest even though Benghazi too had a run benefit to his credit. The presence of two horses from the same stable with good jockeys astride them has often put confusion in the minds of the punters. In the event, Benghazi who was at 8 to 1 was taken on a start to finish mission and did not allow anybody to come close with Trevor Patel having it easy. Percivale was second four lengths adrift while Wind Whistler was a poor third.

A good gamble was landed on Jolly Blue Eyes by trainer Noshir Cama in the 1000 metres Anmol Preet Plate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category. Jolly Blue Eyes had run more than 14 lengths behind the winner in her last run at Pune and as such, one could fancy her chances only going by the betting trend. Jolly Blue Eyes was backed down as a favourite though close to race time Resolute came in for spirited betting to end up as the favourite. Jockey Pradeep Chouhan had the fancied runner in front, enjoying an uncontested lead. Though the filly was faltering in the end, the challenge from Resolute came too late to make an impact on the result. Dilbar who was the closest challenger weakened to finish third. The lower division of the race was confined to the Lagad trained horses with long shot Abraxas coming up with a late challenge to edge out favourite C`est L`amour whose attempt to win from the word go came to nought in the dying moments of the race.


Judy Blue Eyes (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Anmol Preet Plate (Div-I)

Intense Stylist (Nicky Mackay up) winner of the Madras Race Club Trophy

King Solomon (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Vallabhdas H Adwalia Trophy

Anatevka (P S Kaviraj up) winner of the Perceived Value Plate

Benghazi (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Rochester Trophy

Victorious Sermon (Colm O Donoghue up) winner of the Ramniwas Ramnarain Ruia Gold Cup (Gr.3)

Abraxas (P S Kaviraj up) winner of the Anmol Preet Plate (Div-II)

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