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Sky Fall lands the spoils in Madras Race Club Trophy

  January 22 , 2023

Dallas Todywalla trained Sky Fall bounced back to winning form after a runner-up effort behind Mozelle with a comprehensive win in the 1000 metres Madras Race Club Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of Sunday`s evening races at the Mahalakshmi. Earlier in the day, the promising jockey Saqlain was also successful on Believe, thus ending the day on a double.

Sky Fall who was running in the highest category was well placed in the scales vis-à-vis favourite Endeavour who was set to concede nine kgs to his rival besides running for the first time in the season after a longish gap of 108 days. The betting was centred around these two horses, with Endeavour being marginally more preferred. Saqlain had no hesitation in taking Sky Fall to the front as the daughter of Leitir Mor has always relished winning from the front. Last start winner Mozelle was in the chase while Endeavour and Gazino raced together a few lengths adrift. Sky Fall kept going in front, showing no signs of weakening while Mozelle faded out. Endeavour made a strong bid covering up the leeway but found the weight a stopper as Sky Fall skipped away for a comfortable win. Augustus Caesar ran on from way behind to take the third position while Mozelle was out of depth in this class.

Narendra Lagad trained Son Of A Gun passed the test in an open handicap company against seasoned horses with a gutsy performance in the 1400 metres P D Bolton Trophy, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Jockey Mustakim Alam decided to change the tactics and contrary to the wonted style of running freely in front, Son of A Gun was restrained resulting in Count of Savoy heading the field till turning for home. After a brief tussle, Son of A Gun got the better of Count of Savoy but closer home had to survive the late onslaught of Raffaello who came up with a threatening run missing the berth narrowly as the winning post came to the rescue of the short-priced favourite. Count of Savoy who weakened nevertheless took the third spot finishing far ahead of Majestic Warrior who filled up the frame.

Young jockey Siddique Saqlain drove out first-timer Believe from the stables of trainer Waheed to a comfortable win in the 1400 metres Y M Choudhary Memorial Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Smiles of Fortune who had the benefit of two race runs was the short-priced favourite with the odds on The General and Believe who were the lesser fancied horses being quoted at lucrative odds. Sandesh had Smiles of Fortune in front and the favourite led well into the straight but it was clear that he would not be able to sustain the lead to the post as several horses were charging from behind with strong efforts. For a brief while, The General who showed greater flourish looked capable of landing the spoils but Believe who was handily placed behind the favourite all through the race, was pushed into top gear by Saqlain put paid to the hopes of The General. The progeny of Planetaire responded well to the urgings and skipped clear to win by more than two lengths over The General who flattered to deceive. Rush ran on to take the third position while the favourite Smiles of Fortune weakened completely to go out of the frame.

Vinesh-trained horses rarely disappoint when they come in for spirited betting. It was so with Charlie who was the strong favourite to win the 1600 metres V P Koregaonkar Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. After Souza led the field well into the straight, Charlie showed up on the wide outside with a flourishing run and easily overhauled the front-runner and won by a widening margin of six lengths. There was tense drama behind as Campaign who was making his move veered in causing severe interference to Souza and Toussaint. Following a Stewards enquiry, Campaign who had finished second was disqualified as the Stewards felt that the ride given by the C S Jodha was dangerous as it could have caused the fall of the two jockeys who were dangerously squeezed along the rails. While the Chief Stipendiary Steward`s views matched that of the Stewards, the other three Stipes felt that it was just a case of careless riding and said that the placings should be kept as announced by the Judge. Mysterious Girl took the second position ahead of Time following the disqualification of Campaign.

That Hunting Goddess was a cut above the rest in the field that was in the fray for the 1000 metres Jehangir P Dubash Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66, was the belief of everyone which was also shared by the bookmakers who made the horse almost money back. After Soup And Sandwich had his say in front till the final furlong, Pradeep Chouhan let Pesi Shroff trainee Hunting Goddess stretch out. The favourite cruised past the front runner with ease and won by a widening margin of four lengths over Soup And Sandwich who stayed put in the second position. Outlander was third ahead of Superlative. Hunting Goddess has tremendous potential and should be backed till beaten to use an old cliché.

Malesh Narredu trained Jerusalem was well backed to break the maiden`s rank in his 10th attempt in the 1600 metres V P Koregaonkar Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The strong favourite though was Waheed-trained Willy Wonka who was knocking on the doors of success with three runner-up efforts. After Ragnar and Amber Knight expended their energy by racing ahead of the pack, Willy Wonka came up with a smooth run to take charge inside the final 300 metres. Jerusalem went in the chase. The two fought for a furlong before Jerusalem asserted his supremacy in the hands of jockey Ajinkya to win with ease in the end. Willy Wonka who was running for the 12th time in his career ended up in the second position for the fourth time in a row. Amber Knight saved place money.

Despite running after a gap of 273 days and only for the second time in her career, Pesi Shroff trained Swift, assigned to raw apprentice Bhosale, nevertheless had solid backing in the ring to win the 1200 metres M M T Pandole Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Bhosale sat with the horse in the rear bunch till turning for home and brought Swift into contention on the wide outside. The filly so was superior to the field that she quickly established her supremacy. Despite running green and drifting out alarmingly, she still was good enough to spare more than eight lengths at the finish. In a close finish for the minor placings, Intense Belief held off M`saarat and Golden Lioness for the runner-up spot. Narendra Lagad trained Charming Star pulled off a thrilling win over long-shot Scottish Scholar in the lower division of the race. There was one-sided betting on A M Jadhav trained Prince O War who packed up and disappeared without a trace after being prominent till the final turn. It was left to Charming Star and Scottish Scholar to battle it out all the way in the final furlong, with the former in the hands of apprentice Mustakim Alam prevailing by a whisker. These two horses raced wide apart. Charming Star who took a ground-saving route got a run along the rails as the front-running Perfect Man came off the rails and this made a critical difference to the outcome of the race. Teispes was third.

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