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Fontana wins feature without raising a sweat

  March 31 , 2024

Fontana, trained by Pesi Shroff, faced little challenge as she secured victory in the 1400 meters Western India Race Horse Owners Association Trophy, the feature race for horses rated 40 to 66, held at Mumbai on Sunday. This well-bred daughter of Multidimensional displayed notable improvement from her previous performance, asserting her dominance over the recent winner, Liam, in the final stretch. The remaining contenders in the race failed to make a significant impact.

Despite Fontana`s strong credentials, her odds saw a significant rise, leading punters to question whether there were any concerns, despite her favourable position on the weight scale and her promising potential shown in her previous victory. Winter Agenda and Majestic Warrior expended their energy leading the race. Apprentice jockey Navneet Bhosale guided Fontana into contention from the outside, and after a brief tussle with Liam, Fontana surged ahead effortlessly to claim victory. Liam finished second, with Winter Agenda trailing behind. Julius, who remained towards the rear throughout, failed to make any impact. Phenom who could have been a potential challenger was withdrawn from the fray at the gates.

Giant King, hailing from trainer Malesh Narredu`s stables, made a triumphant return to form in the 2000 meters Trainers Trophy, a race catering to horses rated 40 to 66. In the previous outing, Giant King had succumbed easily to Angelo, who once again was heavily backed to replicate the performance. However, to the disappointment of Angelo`s supporters, the latter failed to jump out from the gates, clearing the path for Giant King`s resurgence. Under the guidance of Yash Narredu, Giant King kept pace with Chat throughout the race before unleashing a decisive burst of speed. With victory well within grasp, Giant King sealed the race long before reaching the finish line, leaving Murwara Princess to settle for third place.

Dream Alliance, whose loss exactly a year ago led to the rather unfair suspension of jockey Sandesh, has yet to break the maidens ranks. Although Dream Alliance was slow off the gates, the horse managed to position itself favorably. However, Akshay Kumar`s attempt to navigate through the rails posed significant risks, resulting in Dream Alliance losing any chance it might have had to feature on the leader board. Interestingly, Sandesh`s suspension is nearing its end, and spectators can expect to see the jockey back in action during the upcoming Bangalore Summer Season.

It`s a well-established trend in horse racing that when two horses from the same stable compete, it`s often the one with the longer odds that emerges victorious. This phenomenon has been observed repeatedly over time. Trainers often succumb to the temptation of entering two horses in a race, particularly when they have a strong favorite running at low odds. In the case of the Daddy Adenwalla Trophy`s lower division, Imtiaz Sait-trained Knight Crusader was heavily favored following a promising performance in the previous race for maiden three-year-olds. Knight Crusader led confidently from the start and appeared poised for victory, but as the finish line approached, the horse began to lose momentum. Treat, who had been trailing behind, capitalized on this opportunity and surged ahead in the final strides to clinch victory, leaving the favorite trailing behind. Ocean, who had maintained proximity to the leaders throughout the race, failed to accelerate when needed and settled for third place. In the absence of horse bracketing in India, such outcomes often unsettle punters, leaving them with little recourse but to accept the unpredictable nature of horse racing cursing their own luck.

In the 1600 meters Jockeys Trophy, Behram Cama-trained Ricochet lived up to expectations in a race meant for horses rated 20 to 46. Despite last race winner Mariana being the favorite, Ricochet, another recent victor, and Stunning Visual garnered considerable support from bettors. Jockey C S Jodha strategically positioned Ricochet in third place as Yuletide and Little Minister set the pace at the front. Mariana trailed in fourth position, while Stunning Visual lingered towards the rear.

As the race turned for home, Little Minister surged ahead, maintaining the lead well into the stretch as Yuletide dropped out of contention. Ricochet, under a determined ride from Jodha, gradually closed the gap and ultimately overtook the frontrunner. Jodha had to remain vigilant against the late challenge posed by Stunning Visual, who finished a close second by just half a length. Despite having opportunities, Mariana failed to accelerate sufficiently to influence the outcome and settled for third place.

Karthik Ganapathy traubed Azrinaz, who narrowly missed victory to Jetfire in her previous race, redeemed herself in the 1200 meters Racing Officials Trophy (Div I), a competition for horses rated 20 to 46. As the race approached its climax, Azrinaz faced the threat of being obstructed in the final furlong, but apprentice Haridas Gore adeptly maneuvered to secure a clear path just in time. Responding promptly, the favored Azrinaz surged ahead comfortably, successfully fending off the challenge posed by the heavily backed Mazal. Meanwhile, Attained surged from the rear to clinch third place, narrowly overtaking Mi Arion in a dramatic finish.

The highly anticipated performance of Imtiaz Sait-trained Stalin fell short in the 1200 meters Daddy Adenwala Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Despite being heavily backed as the standout favorite, Stalin failed to exhibit speed from the starting gates, remaining entrenched at the rear throughout the race. Despite efforts to make headway in the straight, Stalin`s performance proved lackluster, signaling defeat well before the climax of the race. In a surprising turn of events, the long shot Dulari, trained by Faisal Abbas, swiftly seized the lead from the outset and comfortably secured victory with ease. Fable trailed behind in pursuit of the leader, securing second place, while Cindrella`s Dream claimed third position. Disappointingly, Stalin finished in fourth place, failing to meet the lofty expectations placed upon him.

In a surprising turn of events, the Racing Journalists Trophy, a 1400-meter race featuring horses in the lowest category, saw an upset victory by Rhythm of Nature over the late surging Ghomah. Taking the lead from the start, Rhythm of Nature veered off course towards the rails in the final stretch but maintained enough of a lead to fend off Ghomah`s late charge. Spiritual Rock secured a respectable finish in third place.

The favored Tyrone Block faced significant setbacks due to jockey Trevor Patel`s indecision, particularly when opting for a challenging inside route behind Rhythm of Nature. This decision disrupted Tyrone Block`s rhythm, ultimately resulting in the favorite falling short of expectations and failing to contend for victory.

Constable, trained by Pesi Shroff, finally ended his streak of bad luck by securing a convincing victory in the 1200 meters Racing Officials Trophy (Div II), a competition for horses rated 20 to 46. Under the guidance of jockey J Chinoy, Constable maintained a strategic position behind the pace-setter, Madras Cheque. Demonstrating a burst of speed in the final furlong, Constable surged ahead to claim an effortless victory over Madras Cheque, with Indian Strong finishing in third place. However, Eloquent, who had previously enjoyed an easy win, failed to make an impact in this race, with jockey Trevor`s subdued performance contributing to the horse`s lackluster performance.

Trainer Narendra Lagad celebrated a successful touch as House of Lords, emerged victorious in the 1200 meters Beautiful Stranger Plate, a contest for horses rated in the lowest category. House of Lords secured a significant lead in the final furlong, allowing the favorite to narrowly withstand the late challenges from Between Friends and Nobility.

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