Vishal Gaikwad trained Victorious Sermon who failed to live up to the promise as a three-year-old, seems to have struck sublime form as a five-year-old, recording his second win of the Mumbai racing season with a comprehensive win in the 1400 metres R N Kanga Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of Mumbai races held on Sunday. Racing returned to Mahalakshmi after much of the season had to be held at Pune due to COVID imposed limitations.
It was good to see action returning to the Mahalakshmi where racing is more reliable, with form inconsistencies reduced significantly as the flat track with a long straight affords opportunities for all type of horses which love to gallop. Victorious Sermon was backed to the exclusion of the rest. The favourite readily justified the expectations with a start to finish mission in the hands of jockey Zervan. Victorious Sermon was so superior that he stormed clear in the final furlong to win by a widening margin of four lengths. Flying Visit took the second spot with St Andrews another four lengths adrift in the fourth position. Last year`s Guineas winner Trouvaille seems to have lost his zest and he finished poorly in the penultimate position. Augustus Caesar too failed to find the foot and finished a poor fourth.
The opening race on the Mumbai track was dramatic if only because Adhiraj Jodha trained Sophistrocrat who came in for sustained support resulting in the odds on the ante-post favourite The Bawaji drifting significantly. Sophistrocrat was out of the fray the moment the gates opened for the 1400 metres Bejan Bharucha Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Sophistrocrat jumped out ok but soon drifted outwards and did not take any part in the rest of the race. The race was eventually won by favourite The Bawaji from the stables of trainer Pesi Shroff. Apprentice jockey Aniket Karande brought the favourite into contention from about the fourth position at the final bend. Though The Bawaji was hard-pressed to keep the lead, a strange sort of ride by jockey Sandesh on Touch of Faith enabled the former to prevail by a neck. The finish definitely was not the one we are accustomed to seeing and possibly Sandesh may have to answer a few uncomfortable questions. Hioctane was third.
Shiraz Sunderji trained Flying Scotsman was an eye-catching second behind Amare and that run was so impressive that his victory in the 1200 metres Y M Chaudhary Trophy, a race for three-year-olds was considered a strong possibility. The odds drift though sent a discordant note. Vishal Gaikwad trained Baby Bazooka shocked the field with a start to finish mission, kicking clear in the final 100 metres to record an emphatic win. Flying Scotsman who was in the chase failed to produce that bit extra and was even in danger of losing the runner-up berth but managed to stave off the strong bid of Moghul and The Awakening to retain that slot.
After failing to make an impression in the Bangalore Derby, Pesi Shroff trained Rambunctious was brought back to race in a handicap over seven furlongs in the Sion F Nessim Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. After Majestic Warrior set a scorching pace and slackened in the final 100 metres. Rambunctious who was in close proximity managed to overwhelm the front-runner sparing a shade less than a length at the finish. Mount Moriah got a good run along the rails but failed to make an impression though he finished a close third ahead of Princess Annabel.
Full brother to top-class sprinter Kildare, Fuhrer from the stables of trainer Altaf Hussain came in for sustained support to win the 1200 metres V P Koregaonkar Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Fuhrer, in the hands of jockey Trevor Patel, moved swiftly from the outside draw and led by lengths. Fuhrer showed no signs of weakening and went on to win by a widening margin of three lengths. Vincenzo was second ahead of Pense`e.
In the day`s other action, Dallas Todywalla trained Belenus who had finished poorly in her last outing showed vast improvement when easily collaring Ms Boss in the final 100 metres to record an easy win in the 1000 metres Manifold Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Ms Boss was hard-pressed to keep the runner-up berth from Wild Fire and Jetfire but managed to do so by the skin of her teeth.
The Bawaji (Aniket Karande up) winner of the Bejan Bharucha Plate
Victorious Sermon (S Zervan up) winner of the R N Kanga Trophy
Rambunctious (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Sion F Nessim Plate
Belenus (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Manifold Plate
Baby Bazooka (S Zervan up) winner of the Y M Chaudhry Trophy
Fuhrer (Trevor Patel up) winner of the V P Koregaonkar Plate