Rajesh Narredu trained Star Superior hammered the opposition pointless in the Gr 3 1600 metres Shapoorji Pallonji Breeders’ Juvenile Colts’ Championship, a terms race for three-year-old colts and gelding, the feature event of Sunday’s Mumbai races. The progeny of Excellent Art had the field stranded inside the final 300 metres to win by a widening margin of five lengths.
The Bangalore challenger was taken to Mumbai by the enterprising Rajesh after an impressive debut win. The big made horse ran a game second behind Corfe Castle in the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi-Million and was rightfully accorded the status of being the favourite. The price on him started to drift once there was spirited betting on Spitfire. The expanded odds could be considered as a bonus for those backing the Bangalore challenger. The performance of Star Superior was so superior that it was difficult to expect anyone to topple him.
Star Inspiration did the job of setting the pace with Suraj Narredu easing Star Superior comfortably in the third position. Suraj did not show any anxiety even as the other contenders were crowding around at the final bend as his horse was travelling powerfully. The moment Suraj released the grip on the horse, the favourite easily overhauled the front-runner and went storming clear. Within a trice, he had gone beyond the reach of the rest and won pulling up in a record time of one minute 35.7 seconds. For those who must be wondering why the timing was called a record one, the mile races are always run from the chute which has only one bend. However, due to Metro work, the mile chute is no longer operative for trips up to a mile and hence the horses run in the regular oval-shaped route. Since the records of the races over the oval route are not available, the announcement of the record could have confused the racegoers as the record stands in the name of Zachary at one minute 33.96 seconds. Spitfire and Van Dyke made no impression when occupying the second and third positions.
It was a graded race double for jockey Suraj Narredu as earlier in the day, he had guided the Hyderabad challenger to win the day’s other feature, the Gr 3 1600 metres Forbes Breeders’ Juvenile Fillies Championship, a terms race for three-year-old fillies. Vishal Gaikwad trained Oomph was the on-money favourite based on her noteworthy third in the Poonawalla Multi-Million, but the progeny of Midnight Interlude ran green and was a spent force by the time the race came to the boil. She reportedly returned sore after the race. Vittal Deshmukh trained Catalonia who was the second favourite, chased Kora Jade well into the straight before taking command inside the final 300 metres. The daughter of Air Strike showed grit and determination as jockey Suraj Narredu drove her out to stave off the challenge of Marietta and Shae. Interestingly, Shae had gone down as a favourite to Kora Jade, but this time out beat the latter convincingly.
Jockey Sandesh had no problem in guiding the well-backed Sagittarius to a start to finish win in the 2400 metres P R Mehta Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Sagittarius and Grand Accord were the strongly fancied runners. Grand Accord lost a few lengths at the start and thereafter, stayed out there and the attempt by jockey Trevor to get his horse to improve in the straight failed. Grand Accord finished a poor third. Sagittarius who came into the straight a few lengths clear of Silver Edge enjoyed the lead in front and was not challenged by anyone as he skipped in the final furlong to record an easy win. Lady Be Good improved slightly to finish second with Grand Accord making it to the frame. Jager Bomb ran like a tired horse and was a dismal last.
Timeless was effortless in his victory in the 1200 metres J P Vazifdar Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Timeless had recorded a smashing win in his last outing over an extended trip but considering the class of horses he had competed against, he should have been the firm favourite even over the sprint. However, Rising Brave who reportedly suffers from soundness issues, came in for spirited betting to enjoy the status for a while. But closer to race time, Timeless once again found favour to become the favourite. Rising Brave led the field into the straight and caved in without a fight when Timeless showed up on the wide outside with a powerful effort. Timeless won easily from Summer Rays while Rising Brave managed to get the third position. The reason why Rising Brave got into serious betting because the five-year-old had finished a noteworthy second to Lincoln when he was not in serious business as indicated by the betting on that day.
Iron Age had the benefit of a race run and the Imtiaz Sait trainee went to the post as a strong favourite to win the 1200 metres J Rustomji Soparivala Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. The fact that there were debutants would have confused the punter as to the choice but the firming up of the support for Iron Age indicated the connections of the debutants were not optimistic about the chances of their wards. In the event, Iron Age who had a free run in front skipped clear to win comfortably from Pablo who too had the benefit of a race run. Barack showed some zest towards the close to take the third position
Vishal Gaikwad trained Yellow Zone was running after155 days and as such there was not much enthusiasm for him to oblige in the 1600 metres Racing World Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Dragonmoss who had the benefit of a good forward run came in for stronger support. It was last start winner Tor Heel who showed greater resolution and had the lead going into the final furlong when Yellow Zone came up with a spirited challenge. After a brief duel, Sandesh’s stronger riding and the readiness of the horse to respond enabled the lesser fancied runner to edge out the challenger. Dragonmoss was a tame third more than four lengths adrift of the winner.
Shiraz Sunderji trained Tenerife was knocking on the doors of success and true to expectations, the progeny of China Visit who was a well-backed favourite was guided to a comfortable win by Trevor in the 1200 metres Pronto Pronto Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Queens Best was second while Make It Shine necked out Transform for the third position.
Sagittarius (A Sandesh up) winner of the P R Mehta Trophy
Timeless (C S Jodha up) winner of the J P Vazifdar Trophy
Iron Age (Trevor Patel up) winner of the J Rustomji Soparivala Trophy
Catalonia (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Forbes Breeders Juvenile Fillies Championship (Gr.3)
Yellowstone (A Sandesh up) winner of the Racing World Trophy
Star Superior (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Shapoorji Pallonji Breeders Juvenile Colts Championship (Gr.3)
Tenerife (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Pronto Pronto Plate