Dallas Todywalla trained Ruffina, the best sprinter in the country, easily made the switch back from seven to six furlongs in breath-taking fashion, winning the Gr 2 1200 metres Dr S C Jain Sprinters Championship, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, in amazing fashion on Sunday. Jockey David Allan executed the instructions to bring the filly from way off the pace with precision.
Ruffina had always been campaigned over seven furlongs and on the odd occasion over a mile. She was brought back to sprint and there was no doubt that she would make the switch without fuss as she was a class above the rest. The daughter of Excellent Art has indeed no peers when it comes to a sprint and each of her wins has been equally emphatic. She suffered just one defeat over a mile in a close finish and barring that she has remained unbeaten in all her efforts. Her facile manner of victory makes her a strong candidate for the Sprinters Cup should the connections decide to take her to Kolkata. There is some hesitancy on the part of Dr Cyrus Poonawalla to subject his horse to the ordeal of the long road travel. If Ruffina doesn’t make it, it will rob the race of its value.
Lincoln who was thrown to the deep end after a series of wins in the lower class, led the field from the start and went at a good clip. The progeny of Excelebration travelled nicely in front and was under no pressure even as he was approaching the final furlong. The others who were in close proximity of Lincoln were making no headway. David Allan brought Ruffina with a trouble-free run on the wide outside and the favourite devoured ground caught up with Lincoln in the final furlong and sped away to win in a smart time of one minute 09.6 seconds which was fractionally slower than the course record. Lincoln managed to stave off the late bid of Captain Courage who was hemmed up for a clear run on the inside and had to be pulled out to get going. Dancing Prances who had won this event three year’s in a row, ran to be a tame fourth.
The Gr 2 Deltin Casinos Eclipse Stakes of India, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, had just two runners in the fray. The smaller the field, greater is the uncertainty in racing. And in keeping with this established fact, Temerity who was money back, went down narrowly to B Fifty-Two. Jockey Trevor Patel who enjoyed a good day, took B Fifty-Two on a start to finish mission and set his own pace as there was no pressure from Temerity to quicken as Neeraj Rawal was content to bide for his time. B Fifty-Two came into the straight a few lengths clear of Temerity and with jockey Trevor immediately getting into the act and riding out his mount vigorously, he enjoyed the edge right throughout the race. Neeraj Rawal perhaps thought that he could change gears any time he wished to and, in the end, this went against the favourite as in the slow run race, the front-runner had enough legs to stay put and prevail by a neck.
Vishal Gaikwad had two horses running in the 1600 metres Native Knight Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds and one of them, Unimaginable was quoted at short odds. Whether the perception of the race was influenced by the reading of the trainer or the mistake of the bookmakers and punters, Van Dyke who was quoted at long odds, swamped the opposition by a widening margin of eight lengths over Unimaginable. Gold Medallist was third. Whenever the same connections more horses in a ray, time and again the punters end up getting the wrong end of the stick.
A small field of six runners contested for the 2000 metres Sonny Brar Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. With Pesi Shroff-trained Daffodil running within a weak of participating in the gruelling Indian Derby, punters were hesitant to back her with confidence though she had more merit than the rest. Odessa who was coming on the back of four straight wins, was the favourite though the long absence from the last win was a cause for concern. In the event, Daffodils who led from the start managed to stave off the strong challenge from Eternal Sunshine and prevailed by a neck in the hands of David Probert. Square Moon was third while Odessa was not sighted.
Imtiaz Sait trained Celestial Light showed good improvement over his previous effort while producing a sparkling acceleration in the final furlong to win the 1400 metres Koku-Al-Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Favourite Chaplin was well positioned to strike but failed to produce the same energy as he did over a furlong short and barely managed to keep the second place from Aberlour. There was an objection by Zervan who rode the fourth-placed Hopelicious against David Allan who rode the runner-up for interference which was overruled. The lower division of the race saw Narendra Lagad trained Star of Thea produced an upset as the four-year-old stayed put stubbornly in front and was beyond the reach of favourite Ebony, despite making an aggressive effort, fell short. Tessa finished third, a neck behind the runner-up.
After two lacklustre efforts, Karthik Ganapathy trained Moonshine produced a scintillating effort in the hands of jockey Bhawani Singh and won the 1400 metres Deltin Casinos Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66 by a widening margin of four lengths over Aurelia to win at long odds. Roosevelt gave no hope as he finished a tame fourth.
Nazak Chenoy trained Epiphany was strongly backed to win the 1000 metres Dr Jagjit Singh Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Trevor had Epiphany take over the running well into the straight and the progeny of Phoenix Tower kicked clear to win easily from late-finishing Cherry Blossom. Stunner was third.
Daffodil (David Probert up) winner of the Sonny Brar Trophy
Van Dyke (A Sandesh up) winner of the Native Knight Plate
B Fifty Two (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Deltin Casinos Eclipse Stakes Of India (Gr.2)
Celestial Light (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Koku - Al Trophy (Div-I)
Moonshine (Bhawani Singh up) winner of the Deltin Casinos Trophy
Ruffina (David Allan up) winner of the Dr. S. C. Jain Sprinters' Championship (Gr.2)
Star Of Thea (T S Jodha up) winner of the Koku - Al Trophy (Div-II)
Epiphany (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Dr. Jagjit Singh Trophy