Karthik Ganapathy trained Juliette continued her winning run swamping the opposition in tremendous fashion in the Gr 1 Indian St Leger, the fourth classic of the season, one of the feature events of Sunday`s Mumbai races. Jockey Sandesh who guided the got abroad mare to victory thus booted home his fifth winner of this event, perhaps more than any other jockey in the history of this race. The top-notch performance by Juliette should make her as a strong fancy for next month`s Indian Turf Invitation Cup race.
Another horse to hog the limelight was Pesi Shroff trained Miracle who won the day`s other highlight, the Gr 1 Poonawalla Breeders` Multi-Million, in fine fashion, thus completing a hat-trick of wins and also announcing her arrival on the classic scene. The daughter of Multidimensional showed that she had the class and temperament to achieve greater glory. She will be the hot horse for the classics to be held during the Summer Season at Bangalore.
Coming back to the Leger, Juliette who had won two races at Pune, was the firm favourite to win the race as she had beaten the principal contenders giving weight and a thrashing. The Leger which is normally held at Pune and for four-year-olds, this year had to be shifted to Mumbai due to Pandemic disrupting the racing scheduled and for the first time, the race became for those which were five-year-olds. Parisian who had a bagful of wins barring the defeat against Juliette was the second favourite in the hope that over the extended trip she could prove to be a different customer.
Wizard of Stocks set a decent pace followed by Anjeze, Parisian, Juliette and Daddy`s Pride. Approaching the final bend, jockey Sandesh got busy on the favourite and Juliette steadily picked up momentum in the stretch and sailed past the pace-setter with ease to eventually win by a widening margin of seven lengths. Wizard of Stocks battled back to stay on in the same position, edging out stablemate Parisian for the runner-up berth. Anjeze was out of depth finishing a poor fourth with Daddy`s Pride who stuck to the rear from the start stayed there without progressing.
The Poonawalla Million had a number of emerging horses in the fray. Padmanabhan trained Ascoval who had recorded a smashing win at Bangalore was the favourite ahead of Miracle, with the others quoted at liberal odds. Jockey Trevor Patel who drew a blank on five favourites that he was astride on Sunday, took Ascoval to the front from the jump out. Ascoval went at a good clip so much so that this was to prove his undoing. Ascoval who was travelling well till approaching the final furlong, found nothing in reserves when the race came to a boil and weakened to finish a tame fourth. Miracle who kept in the mud bunch by veteran jockey Pradeep Chouhan, was produced with a blistering turn of foot and the filly ailed the favourite inside the final furlong. Allamanda ran on to take the second place with Spinoza coming from a long way back to neck out Ascoval to save place money. Miracle spared three lengths at the finish and clocked a record time of one minute 23.159 seconds.
The winning streak of Lightning Bolt was halted by Imtiaz Sait trained Truly Epic who produced a strong effort in the final furlong to nail the favourite in the closing strides of the race to win the 1600 metres Kumar Dalal Gold Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. Lightning Bolt was coming on the back of four consecutive wins at Hyderabad and considering the fact that the other horses in the fray had not been showing any spark in their efforts, the Vittal Deshmukh trainee was expected to maintain his winning run. Magistero set the pace followed by Bronx, Trouvaille, Lighting Bolt and Truly Epic. Lightning Bolt pushed his way ahead approaching the final furlong but couldn`t quicken enough which left him vulnerable. Truly Epic who had been out of sorts at Pune, showed the form of old when coming up with a sustained run to snatch the verdict close to home. Magistero fought back to retain the third position from Trouvaille who seems to have lost the form which had fetched him classics. Lightning Bolt reportedly burst his blood vessels.
Zervan drove out favourite Petronia from the stables of Hoshidar Daji to a resolute win over Alastair in the 1200 metres Intervalve Poonawalla Ltd Trophy, a terms race for three-year-olds. Debutant Alastair led all the way and put up a dogged fight to Petronia who managed to get the better of the front-runner in the waning yards of the race, the benefit of a race run aiding her cause. Multiencrypted was third.
Malesh Narredu trained Noble King who was making his debut in the 1000 metres Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 4 to 30, was made the on-money favourite based on expectations. Desert Fire who had the benefit of a good race run was next in demand. Desert Fire who raced up front, quickened well in the final furlong to win by a comfortable margin of over three lengths. Waverunner was second with Thea`s Pet a long way third. North King which had the services of Trevor was not sighted. The lower division of the race was claimed by S S Shah trained Super Girl who proved good, winning the race by a distance. Little More nosed out Dowsabel to snatch the second position.
The well-bred Mandeville who had whipped around and dropped his jockey at the start, was better behaved as he broke off level in the 2000 metres Isn`t She Special Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. After being kept in the mid-bunch, Pradeep Chouhan improved places on Mandeville and the progeny of Multidimensional was hailed a winner a long way from home. Brazos ran on to take the second position ahead of Memorable Moments.
Shiraz Sunderji trained Menilly who had figured in a blanket finish in her last run, finishing fifth, made amends, with a powerful run down the final furlong in the hands of jockey Sandesh to collar Ms Boss in the closing moments of the race. Favourite Aegon who was coming on the back of two successive wins failed to show that spark and was the fourth favourite ridden by Trevor to bite the dust
Trevor could not redeem himself even in the last race of the day where he was astride the fifth favourite of the day, Dreams in the 1400 metres Dr Goolam E Vahanvati Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Divine Hunt shot into what turned out to be a winning lead in the final furlong and he just about nosed out the late-rallying White River. Dreams had to settle for the third slot ahead of Black Cherry.
Super Girl (T S Jodha up) winner of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (Div-II)
Truly Epic (C S Jodha up) winner of the Kumar R Dalal Gold Trophy
Desert Fire (J Chinoy up) winner of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (Div-I)
Mandeville (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Isn`T She Special Plate
Menilly (A Sandesh up) winner of the Florrie & Freddy Sopher Gold Trophy
Petronia (S Zervan up) winner of the Intervalve Poonawalla Ltd Trophy
Miracle (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Poonawalla Breeders` Multi-Million (Gr.1)
Juliette (A Sandesh up) winner of the Darashaw Indian St. Leger (Gr.1)
Divine Hunt (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Dr Goolam E Vahanvati Trophy