Karthik Ganapathy trained Kamaria, the least fancied among the four horses in the fray pulled off a start-to-finish win in the 2800 metres Byculla Cup, a terms race for four-year-old and over, the feature event of Saturday`s Mumbai races. The ratings of the horses had no bearing on the result as the two lowly rated horses which had fresher legs fought it out in the end, with jockey Bhawani Singh doing a wonderful job of setting confidently setting his own pace in front which paid rich dividends in the end.
Pesi Shroff trained Chamonix who had shown immense potential was the firm favourite. The five-year-old mare had been raced sparingly but had performed well each time she was on the track. She had a total of five career starts in her career prior to this race. On the other hand, Kamaria whose forte is her staying ability had 12 starts going into this race. The best-performed eight-year-old Caprisca had run a whopping 44 times in his career as against his stablemate Truly Epic who had run 43 times. These two had made the best of the absence of horses with the ability to stay at this level. However, their recent performance had shown that they were on the decline.
Bhawani Singh took Kamaria to the front and dictated a slow pace, untroubled by the rest. Caprisca was in the second position ahead of Chamonix and Truly Epic. Approaching the final turn, the pace quickened. Kamaria quickly established what turned out to be a winning lead by the final furlong. Caprisca tired out giving way to Chamonix who came up with a menacing run while Truly Epic made a rally from the last position. Kamaria however lasted out to win by a length. Truly Epic ran on strongly and was another length and a half adrift.
Narendra Lagad trained Coeur De Lion who was at the bottom of the scales recorded an encore in the 1600 metres Jacqueline Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. Coeur De Lion was the betting rage with Successor who had recorded three wins in a row, the second favourite at long odds. Successor`s chances depended on the way she was ridden because all her wins had come by making her own running. Sandesh tried to settle the horse who fell behind and thereafter did not relish the way she was ridden. Apprentice jockey Mustakim Alam rode a measured race on Coeur De Lion by going on a start-to-finish mission. He was able to dictate the pace that suited his horse. Though Kamilah and In Contention made strong behinds from behind, Coeur De Lion had enough legs to reach the safety of the winning post. It turned out to be a race for the bottom weights. Notwithstanding the top weight that Successor carried, her run was too disappointing to say the least.
Favourite Golden Neil from the stables of trainer Narendra Lagad recorded an encore in the hands of jockey Sandesh, barely lasting out the final furlong and winning by the skin of his teeth over late rallying Zarak in the 2000 metres Pelican Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Last start winner Key To The Mint led the field from the start with Golden Neil in proximity, with the others spaced out behind. Golden Neil easily tackled the front-runner at the top of the straight and sailed ahead. However, Golden Neil began to show distress signals in the final 100 metres when Zarak made his bid from way off the pace. Golden Neil was desperately in need of the post and it did come to the rescue of the favourite as Zarak was a shade unlucky to have lost a winning opportunity as he did not quickly find spaces to make his bid early in the stretch run and had to wait for a while to be set alight by jockey Nazil. Last-start winners Regal Command and Easy Rider occupied the third and fourth slots respectively.
In what was an open type of betting, Faisal Abbas trained Dali Swirl who had come down a category obliged expectations in the hands of apprentice jockey Haridas Gore, winning the 1400 metres Macchupicchu Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46 with a measure of comfort. Dali Swirl chased Majorella Blue into the straight before taking charge by the final furlong. Dali Swirl spurted away from the rest even as those in the chase weakened. The first to send distress signals was the fancied Excellent Star who was the first one beat at the final turn. Balenciaga who was gracing the rear of the field made significant progress in the homestretch despite a difficult passage to finish a suggestive second ahead of Ataash who flattered to deceive. Majorella Blue faded out of contention in the final furlong but filled up the frame taking the fourth position. Favourite Sun Salvatore finished in the ruck along with Excellent Star, another one in serious betting.
Trainer Pesi Shroff`s stable is the most reliable stable for punters. Still, it can often be unreliable because most of the time, his horses run as favourites whether they have the requisite merit or not. When in doubt, back Pesi seems to be the guiding principle of the punters. Pesi Shroff`s well-backed horses oblige but not always. When there is more than one runner in the fray, with each of them having a good jockey, the problems of the punters are compounded further when the form of the horses has not yet settled. It proved so when the longest-priced horse among the three horses he had in the fray namely Generosity won the 1000 metres Noble Eagle Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Cordelia was the firm favourite with Miranda, also from the champion trainer`s stable being the second favourite. Generosity was at longer odds. Antia trained Maysara led from the start and held the lead well into the final furlong before Generosity unleashed a powerful run down the final furlong in the hands of jockey Trevor Patel. Generosity collared the front runner close to home and won by over two lengths. Miranda rallied late to edge out the long-time leader to snatch the runner-up berth. Cordelia appeared as the most backward horse among the lot.
Hoshidar Daji trained Brave Beauty who had the benefit of a good forward run was backed confidently to win the Mrs Patmore Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Brave Beauty did not disappoint the expectations as the favourite came from way off the pace with a powerful run on the wide outside and won with ease. Trevor Patel sat confidently at the rear before unleashing his horse in the stretch. Alpha Domino was hard-pressed to keep the second place by Attained but the former managed to keep the runner-up berth by a whisker.
There was one-sided betting on Dallas Todywalla trained Goldiva in the lower division of Mrs Patmore Trophy. Sandesh seemed to be in a spot of bother on favourite Goldiva inside the final 300 metres as he had a wall of horses in front. However, when the pace quickened, he got a smooth run on the outside of the horses which were in front. Sandesh pushed Goldiva to accelerate and got the desired response. Goldiva had no problem in overhauling Gimme and had the race sewn up a long way from home to record her maiden win from six outings. Stunning Visual with a late thrust managed to pinch the second spot from Gimme. Stunning Visual reportedly burst a blood vessel. The victory of both Brave Beauty and Goldiva surely enhances the value of Geographic`s win as both these horses had finished behind the runaway winner.
Lesser fancied Jet Typhoon from the stables of trainer Hoshidar Daji recorded an encore when claiming the 1200 metres Thumbelina Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46, restricted to six-year-olds and over. Superleggera who had come down a lot in scales was the best-backed horse though the odds drift close to race time and put a question mark about his prospects. Superleggera did not take a brisk start and was never seen with the busy pack which was racing in earnest and finished in the ruck. Jet Typhoon who hit the front within the first furlong was never troubled by any of the runners as he went on to win with ease. Twelfth Earl put in some good work towards the close to take second place ahead of Jetfire. Despite being a six-year-old, this was just the third start for Jet Typhoon.