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Sensational record-breaking performance by Juliette
Review: By: Sharan Kumar
April 2 , 2023

The Sohna Stud Farm bred seven-year-old wonder mare Juliette produced a sensational performance in the Gr 2 C N Wadia Gold Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the feature event of Sunday’s races held as part of the two-day Racing Carnival which offered a rich prize of about Rs 3 crores for a well thought out package of 14 events for the two-day inaugural affair.

Juliette’s performance no doubt boosted the career profile of trainer Karthik Ganapathy. Juliette had enthralled the race goers with her performances having won the Indian Turf Invitation Cup back to back. The current performance saw the mare set a national record for this distance by stopping the clock at two minutes 26.7 seconds which was better than that set by Be Safe many years ago. For the Sohna Stud Farm, the week end turned out to be a profitable week, with many of the horses bred at the stud farm like Believe and Charlie winning, besides a host of others ending up second best, highlighting the eminent status of the Sohna Stud Farm. The kind of response that Juliette got from the crowd was phenomenal. The race goers seemed to have adopted the mare as their own!


What is more, the famed Poonawalla Stud Farm bought the coveted race mare for an undisclosed but whopping price, concluding the deal the previous night. Juliette who was owned by the Dr M A M Ramaswamy Charitable Trust is now the pride possession of Zavaray Poonawalla. ''I am intending to race Juliette in the President of India Gold Cup at Hyderabad and thereafter explore the possibility of racing her in the next year’s Dubai Racing Carnival,’’ said Zavaray Poonawalla. Incidentally, another wonder horse Adjudicate who also won the Invitation Cup back to back was also was bred at the Haryana based, Sultan Singh owned Sohna Stud Farm.

Coming back to the race, Juliette was backed down as a strong favorite by the punters who simply adored her notwithstanding the fact that King’s Ransom had run behind her less than a length at the last month’s Indian Turf Invitation Cup. Not many imagined what was to unfold on the racing track. Settled in about the mid group as stablemate set the pace, jockey C S Jodha brought her into contention by steadily improving position as the horses approached to take the final turn. In a trice, Juliette covered the leeway on those in front and by the final furlong, had left the field stranded with a breath-taking burst of speed and won sparing more than seven lengths at the finish without having to be ridden vigorously. King’s Ransom was completely annihilated as she could only be a tame second perhaps admiring her superior adversary when Juliette zoomed past her. Veteran galloper Truly Epic ran on to take the third position ahead of Fire Power. La Reina finished fifth, with the connections trying different tactics of racing her from way off the pace which the filly may not have relished as she was stranded way behind. When the pace of the race took a dramatic transformation at the top of the straight, she had no answer.

Destroyer from the stables of trainer Patrick Quinn who had made his debut in the Poonawalla Multi-Millon, lived up to his name when he decimated the opposition with a start to finish mission in the 1400 metres Bombay Multi-Million, giving no chance to his opponents. Destroyer was one of the expensive buys of the Poonawalla Stud Farm auction sales two years ago. Favourite Dream Alliance, who was backed to the exclusion of the rest, was kept far too behind to make an impact on the result. The favourite, despite being poorly positioned, was less than a length behind the winner. The winner cut a timing of one minute 22.183 seconds. The track was so firm that it made for timings which were considered difficult to achieve. The General who gave a chase to Destroyer weakened to finish third. Destroyer is by the successful stallion of Europe Exceed And Excel.

The 1200 metres Poonawalla Stud Farms Auction Sale Stake, a race for maiden three-year-olds, threw a confusing scenario for the punters as four of the six horses in the fray belonged to the same connections. Misty who had won impressively last time out under Trevor was assigned to Pradeep Chouhan with Trevor sitting on Generosity. This also confused the punters wondering why Trevor chose to ride a different horse this time out. To compound the problems, the same connections also owned Serrano who came in for one-sided betting to end up as even money favourite. In the event, Misty held off Generosity to land the spoils at nourishing odds in a close finish with Senorita D who set the pace weakening to finish third. Serrano was not spotted making one wonder how the debutant attracted the huge volumes of betting which had the punters running for cover.

Shiraz Sunderji trained Buckley brought off a big upset in the 1200 metres Star Fortune Million, a race for horses rated 40 to 66, sealing the race in the final furlong by building the lead which held the long shot in good stead.. Inishmore was second while favourite Swift failed to complete a hat-trick falling short narrowly. The other horse in serious betting, Snowfall who was bidding for a hat-trick was poorly positioned by jockey Sandesh. Though Snowfall finished with a rattle, the filly could only finish a close fourth.

Pesi Shroff trained Northern Lights won the Gr 2 Maharaja Sir Harisingji Trophy, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, with a record to boot. The got-abroad son of Lethal Force won the race in a new timing of one minute 34.67 seconds. Ahead of My Time who had conceded ground when Northern Lights skipped clear in the final furlong had too much leeway to cover and had to settle for the second spot ahead of Successor. Jockey Pradeep Chouhan rode the winner with his usual confidence.

Altaf Hussain trained Queen’s Pride who had gone down by a whisker last time out under a rookie rider duly made amends in the hands of jockey Sandesh, having the race 1000 metres Royal Arion Club Million, a race for horses rated 20 to 46, sewn up in the final furlong. Jet Typhoon and Zukor occupied the next two slots on the frame.

The concluding race of the day, the Rapier Million, a race for horses in the lowest category, produced a thriller. Two horses namely Malakhi and Doc Martin cornered all the betting. Doc Martin led all the way only to be nailed on the post in the concluding stride of the race by the late rallying Malakhi who was driven out with all the resources his command by jockey Sandesh. Sussing was a well beaten third.

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