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Raees has it easy in Byculla Cup
Review: By: Frankel
January 18 , 2019

Imtiaz Sait trained Raees had it easy in the 2800 metres Byculla Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the feature event of Friday’s evening races held at Mumbai. The race named after the place where racing was held much before it moved to Mahalakshmi, had just four runners in the fray but Smasher who was bidding for a hat-trick and running a week after recording an impressive win was withdrawn at the gates on veterinary grounds. Raees thus had an easy task on hand.

Smasher was quoted at short odds to achieve the difficult task of winning in a week’s time another long-distance race against horses like Raees who had excelled over these trips. At the gates, Smasher was withdrawn resulting in Vulcan and not Raees becoming a firm favourite. Vulcan led from the start with Raees held back in the second position by Robert Downey while Frivolous who was off to a patented slow start, racing in the third position. Rounding the final turn, Downey made his move on Raees and the second favourite easily overwhelmed the front-runner and went away for an easy win. Frivolous fought it out with Vulcan and nosed out the former to get the runner-up berth.


The new stallion at the Usha Stud Farm, Speakingofwhich has already been serving notice with his progeny Angel Grace winning back to back races at Kolkata. The first set of his horses were seen in action in Mumbai in the 1400 metres Y M Chaudhary Memorial Million, a terms race for three-year-olds. The three-year-old son of Speakingofwhich, Makhtoob from the stables of Shiraz Sunderji led from the start and had no problem in tackling the challenge of the rest to win in impressive fashion. Éclair necked out Taarradhin to get the second position.

The change of name perhaps brought luck to Shiraz Sunderji trained Kaneez (late Bottega Louie) who recorded an emphatic win in the 1200 metres Ferrari Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Kaneez, in fact, was winning after 618 days. In what appeared an open affair, Kaneez went to the post as a favourite at lucrative odds. Untitled led the field deep into the straight and Albareto who went in chase succeeded in surging ahead in the final furlong. But the complexion of the race changed when Kaneez showed up with a powerful run along the rails in the hands of jockey Ajinkya. The horse zoomed past the battling duo in front to win as she pleased with Albareto having to be satisfied with the second position. Albareto was running after 397 days but had been well prepared with the aid of a noteworthy mock race. Take Five ran on from behind edge past the long-time leader Untitled to save place money. Checkmate who was to run after a break of 278 days was withdrawn on veterinary grounds.

Noshir Cama trained Emotionless recorded an encore easily accounting for the opposition in the 2000 metres Maharashtra, Gujarat & Goa Area Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Emotionless faced a modest opposition and jockey Pradeep Chouhan who brought Emotionless with a well-timed run inside the final furlong, easily tackled the semblance of a challenge thrown by Jager Bomb who rallied from behind to come into contention only to be beaten to submission by the favourite. Honourable Eyes held off Red Revenge to get the third position.

Pesi Shroff-trained Costa Brave whose winning sequence was halted by the superior New England on the last occasion over a mile-long trip was racing back over a more suitable trip of seven furlongs in the 1400 metres Rajpipla Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. Backed to the exclusion of the rest, Costa Brave had no problem in asserting his undoubted supremacy in the stretch to win the race by a widening margin of seven lengths. Celtic Prince necked out Congressional to get the third position at long odds.

Rehanullah Khan trained Sharareh who had the benefit of a forward run while finishing third to El Comandante in her previous run, produced a winning effort in the 1000 metres Magic Touch Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Jockey Bhawani Singh brought Sharareh into contention approaching the final furlong and the progeny of Verenar produced sparkling acceleration to win the race comfortably from Julio Cesaro. Highland Princess was third. There was an objection by the trainer of Julio Cesaro against the winner for shifting out causing a momentary check which affected the chances of his ward. The objection did not have merit and it was quickly overruled by the Stewards.

Adhiraj Singh Jodha trained Office In Command appeared to be better than the rest in the 1200 metres Anmol Preet Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category and was backed to the exclusion of the rest. The favourite obliged with a start to finish mission albeit giving a scare to his supporters as Ebony shaped to overhaul the favourite Apprentice jockey Nazil drove out the favourite with all the resources at his command to pull off a narrow win. Last start winner Isinit ran on to take the third position.


Raees (Robbie Downey up) winner of the Byculla Club Trophy

Makhtoob (S Zervan up) winner of the Y M Chaudhry Memorial Trophy

Emotionless (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Maharashtra, Gujarat & Goa Area Trophy

Costa Brava (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Rajpipla Trophy

Sharareh (Bhawani Singh up) winner of the Magic Touch Plate

Kaneez (R Ajinkya up) winner of the Ferrari Plate

Officer In Command (K Nazil up) winner of the Anmol Preet Plate

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