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Mzilikazi pulls it off in Amateur Riders Trophy

By: Frankel   March 5 , 2020

Apprentice jockey K S Kaviraj drove out Pesi Shroff trained Mzilikazi to a comfortable win in the 1200 metres Amateur Riders Club Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66, the feature event of Thursday`s Mumbai races. Memorable Memories came in for sustained support to complete a hat-trick but the favourite failed to sustain after hitting the front in the final furlong and was beaten to the third place.

Castilian had finished ahead of Mzilikazi when the two clashed last time out. The first named began as the favourite but the flood of money on Memorable Memories ensured that the Imtiaz Sait became the market rage. The odds on Castilian drifted out with Mzilikazi moving up as the strong favourite. After Slam Dunk led the field well into the straight, Sandesh pushed Memorable Memories to take charge. Castilian who was in the rear bunch moved up strongly even as Kaviraj manoeuvred his way on Mzilikazi. The latter got strong close home to win with ease from Castilian who flattered to deceive. Memorable Eyes weakened to finish third.

Shiraz Sunderji trained Athulya got the better of Daddy`s Pride close to home to win the 2400 metres P R Mehta Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Daddy`s Pride is a horse which always gives hope but falls short when it comes to winning. Daddy`s Pride was the on money favourite to win the race as the four-year-old had run sixth in the Indian Derby albeit 16 lengths adrift of War Hammer. Nicollini was taken on a start to finish by apprentice jockey Kaviraj and the filly had the lead deep into the stretch. Daddy`s Pride engaged the front-runner in a duel in the final furlong and by the time he could surge ahead, Athulya had joined issue from way off the pace and got stronger. The 1- to 1 shot Athulya who was the last start winner edged past Daddy`s Pride to win by a length. Nicollini managed to keep the third position necking out Gdansk.

Shazaan Shah trained Nightfall pulled off a thrilling win over Dragonmoss to win the lower division of the 1400 metres Costa Del Sol Plate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category. Nightfall had won a race during the Pune racing season 203 days ago at a rating of 16 and now the seven-year-old had dropped back to a rating of 12 after running nine times perhaps without any serious intent. Most trainers who specialize in winning in the lower class races employ this practice of getting their horse to drop below the last winning mark before a serious attempt is made to win. Nightfall had a good forward run last time finishing third and was backed as the favourite to win the race. Jockey Sandesh who had partnered Nightfall in its last win was astride the horse. He tracked the front-running Nusrat well into the straight before surging ahead in the final furlong. Dragonmoss joined issue and the two fought all the way in the final 100 metres. Sandesh`s riding made a critical difference in Nightfall winning by a whisker. Nusrat stayed on to finish third. Nightfall reportedly broke a blood vessel.

Betting on horses quite often defies logic. Punters tend to take the flow of money more seriously than the merit of a horse. Nothing else explains the way Narendra Lagad trained Cest L`Amour was backed to the exclusion of the rest in the 1400 metres D W Reid Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30 when the progeny of Verenar was yet to win a race in 16 outings. Moreover, Lagad is not someone who wins at such cramped prices. Apprentice jockey K S Kaviraj appeared to be in a hurry to get through with the race going by the pace at which he went in front, much to his own detriment. Approaching the final furlong, C`est L`Amour began to slow down and first-timer Cracker Barrel from the stables of trainer Faisal Abbas pounced on the front-runner and went sailing clear to win by a widening margin of six lengths. Va Bene ran on to take the second position ahead of Bohemian while the favourite disappeared from the sight.

The well-bred Parisian from the stables of Pesi Shroff trounced the opposition when recording an encore in the 1600 metres Keukenhof Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Parisian who had made a winning debut was the firm favourite and the progeny of Champs Elysees did not disappoint. After Luminosity went at a scorching pace in front and tired out, Trevor Patel who had kept the favourite in about the third position made brisk progress in the stretch to go beyond the reach of the rest in the final furlong and won pulling up by a widening margin of five lengths. Shae held off the late rallying Noble Heir to get the second position. Parisian appears a cut above the class and deserves to be backed till beaten.

Trainer Pesi Shroff led in his third winner of the day when Alluring River swamped the opposition in the 1200 metres A F S Talyarkhan Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. The progeny of Leitir Mor Alluring River came in for reasonable support to make a winning debut. Decaprio who had the benefit of two race runs was the favourite. Decaprio led from the start followed by Treasure Hunt, Aegon while David Egan relaxed Alluring Silver in about the fifth position. Alluring Silver picked up speed in splendid fashion in the stretch and had covered the front-runners by the final furlong and then stormed ahead for an impressive win by two lengths. Renala ran on to take the second position ahead of Treasure Hunt. Decaprio failed to run to expectations.

The commitment to win a race by a jockey can easily be made out by the intensity of the ride and this was clearly evident in the way Trevor Patel drove out Shazaan Shah trained So Splendid to a resolute win in the 1400 metres Cost Del Sol Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 4 to 30. So Splendid who had recorded his maiden win 25 days back n his 18th attempt recorded an encore. Backed strongly to win, the five-year-old gelding So Splendid was brought into contention inside the final 350 metres. Retained Asset shaped to collar the fancied runner but Trevor rode with determination to ensure a comfortable win. Favourite Caesar did not show much enthusiasm when finishing third ahead of Saffron Flower who lost ground at the start but finished with purpose in the end.


Nightfall (A Sandesh up) winner of the Costa Del Sol Plate (Div-II)

Athulya (Nicky Mackay up) winner of the P R Mehta Trophy

Mzilikazi (P S Kaviraj up) winner of the Amateur Riders Club Trophy

Cracker Barrel (C S Jodha up) winner of the D W Reid Plate

Parisian (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Keukenhof Plate

Alluring Silver (David Egan up) winner of the A F S Talyarkhan Trophy

So Splendid (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Costa Del Sol Plate (Div-I)

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