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Juliette steals the show in Mumbai racing finale

  April 7 , 2024

The magnificent mare, eight-year-old Juliette, once again asserted her dominance in long-distance races by effortlessly outclassing her rivals in the prestigious Gr 2 2400 meters C N Wadia Trophy. This event, reserved for four-year-olds and over, served as the highlight of the concluding day of Mumbai`s racing on Sunday. With Juliette in the lineup, the race was destined to be a one-sided affair, as her competitors, including Dyf and newcomer Jendayi, paled in comparison.

The procession to the finish line merely confirmed what many already knew: Juliette reigns supreme in the world of racing, and her victories seem inevitable as long as her connections choose to grace the track with her presence. The lack of competition only accentuates Juliette`s unparalleled talent and class, reducing her opponents to mere shadows of her brilliance.

Juliette`s remarkable achievements include surpassing Adjudicate`s record by securing victory in the Invitation Cup Trophy at Kolkata for the third time. Since her defeat to Adjudicate in the Invitation Cup race at Mysore, no competitor has come close to matching Juliette`s extraordinary prowess, unwavering spirit, and zest for the sport. Incidentally, both Adjudicate and Juliette were bred at the Sohna Stud Farm in Haryana.

Trainer Karthik Ganapathy`s exceptional efforts in maintaining the mare`s peak condition have truly paid off, ensuring she remains both content and in top physical shape. Juliette has consistently delivered stellar performances whenever called upon, with jockey C S Jodha forming a seamless partnership with her.

The race unfolded precisely as anticipated, with pacesetter Sentinel dictating the early tempo before bowing out of contention. While Jendayi and Dyf raced in second and third positions while Juliette was settled in the last position as is the norm. Juliette showcased her remarkable agility and speed when prompted by Jodha. With breathtaking swiftness, the favourite effortlessly surged ahead midway in the home stretch, leaving her rivals trailing behind as she crossed the finish line with an impressive six-length lead over Dyf. Jendayi followed in third place, a considerable distance behind, while Truly Epic rounded out the field in fourth.

The race unfolded like a meticulously rehearsed routine, with Juliette`s mere presence electrifying the atmosphere. Her commanding victory added an extra layer of excitement to the event, solidifying her status as a true racing icon.

Zavaray Poonawalla, the proud owner of the extraordinary Juliette, revealed uncertainty regarding the mare`s future endeavours. He expressed contemplation over whether to continue Juliette`s racing career, retire her to stud, or potentially race her abroad. Poonawalla emphasized that the decision regarding Juliette`s path forward will be carefully considered and announced in due time.

Supernatural, trained by Pesi Shroff, had taken a considerable amount of time to regain winning form since his victory in last year`s Ruia Trophy. However, during the season, he had showcased his dominance with a runaway win over a mile-and-a-half distance. Despite the distance reduction, there was quiet confidence in Supernatural`s camp ahead of the 1600 meters Gr 3 Maharaja Sir Harisinghji Trophy, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. The Bangalore contender, Knotty Charmer, was favoured to win, with Mojito also garnering attention.

In a race characterized by a swift pace, jockey Trevor Patel made a wise decision to position Supernatural towards the rear as Coeur De Lion dictated a fast tempo. Knotty Charmer, ridden by Vivek G, settled into second place with the others huddled behind in proximity. As they entered the homestretch, Knotty Charmer surged forward, driven by Vivek`s efforts. However, it became evident that maintaining the lead would be a challenge as competitors from behind closed in rapidly.

Supernatural, still travelling comfortably within himself, effortlessly maneuvered into contention and overtook the front-runner with ease. Despite a late challenge from Geographique, who benefited from favourable weights, Supernatural maintained his lead and crossed the finish line in a record time of one minute 34.10 seconds, winning by ¾th of a length. Chopin, also favoured by the weights, secured third place, narrowly edging out four-year-old Knotty Charmer who found the older horses hot to handle as he was also conceding weight to his older adversaries.

Jockey Sandesh, making his comeback to the saddle after a year-long suspension, clinched his first victory upon returning. He steered Ariyana Star to a commanding win in the 1200 meters Rapier Million, a race for horses in the lowest category. Ariyana Star, who had narrowly missed victory twice before, redeemed herself with a comfortable performance. Reciprocity set a swift pace, with Ariyana Star comfortably positioned in second place and Etoile not far behind in fifth. As the race progressed, Ariyana Star surged ahead in the homestretch, leaving Reciprocity behind and maintaining a significant lead as Etoile began to challenge. Prince Igor came from a long way back and outpaced a tiring Reciprocity to secure the runner-up position.

Sandesh secured a double for the day by skillfully guiding the favoured Thalassa to a narrow victory over the top pick, Mansa Musa, in the 1600 meters Bombay Club Multi-Million, a race catering to maiden three-year-olds. Mansa Musa was anticipated to triumph. However, he started sluggishly, trailing at the rear, and only surged forward in the straight. Unfortunately, his late push wasn`t quite enough to catch up with Thalassa, falling short by a narrow margin.

Divine Hope, another contender expected to perform well, faced challenges due to a wide outside draw. The horse expended much of its energy early on in seizing the lead and had little left in the tank by the final furlong. Thalassa, positioned well throughout the race, surged ahead of a tiring Divine Hope and successfully resisted Mansa Musa`s late charge, despite the latter covering significant ground in the stretch. Amadeo, sporting the same colours as Mansa Musa, also made a late surge from the rear to secure third place.

Trained by Pesi Shroff, Santissimo showcased a magnificent performance in the 1400 meters Poonawalla Stud Farms Auction Sales Stakes, a race for three-year-olds. Highly favoured to secure a hat-trick of wins, Santissimo faced a formidable challenge primarily from Field of Dreams, who had previously displayed good form in the Poonawalla Multi-Million.

As the race commenced, Fiorentini took the lead, closely pursued by Field of Dreams, Santissimo, and Applause. Approaching the final furlong, Field of Dreams seemed to have the advantage over the front-runner. But Santissimo demonstrated superior ability, effortlessly overtaking the leading pair and surging ahead with ease to claim a commanding victory. Field of Dreams secured second place, while Fiorentini finished third. The remaining contender, Applause, was way behind in the fourth position.

In the thrilling finish that one witnessed in the 1000 meters Act In Time Million, which featured horses rated 20 to 46, Christophany, heavily favoured from Imtiaz Sait`s stables, justified her favoritism by edging out the fast-finishing Rush in a heart-pounding finish. Dufy led the pack into the final furlong, fiercely challenged by Christophany on the outside and Flashing Famous on the wider stretch. Flashing Famous briefly posed a threat before faltering. Christophany surged ahead, appearing to secure a comfortable victory, only to face a formidable challenge from Rush, who mounted a powerful late surge, falling short by a mere whisker. Flashing Famous settled for third place, while the early pacesetter, Dufy, faded to finish fourth.

In the 1000 meters Native Knight Million, featuring horses rated 20 to 65, the Shazaan Shah-trained Esperanza, despite not securing a victory in over 600 days, showcased her class by dominating the race. She had come down a category. With overwhelming support from punters, Esperanza, known for her speed, surged to the front from the innermost draw. Under the guidance of apprentice Praveen Shinde, she delivered a flawless performance, leading from start to finish without encountering any serious challenges. House of Lords secured second place, with Arbitrage finishing third in the closely contested race.

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