FROM THE HORSES MOUTH - RACE FORM ANALYSIS GUIDE FOR SUNDAY, 17TH DECEMBER 2017.
- By Cyrus Naterwalla
Race No. 1 :- The Nawabzada Rashiduzzafar Khan Trophy – Class II – Distance :- 2000M
FROSTY :- 4 year old filly who is now in the care of Vishal Gaikwad, Frosty was at one time a Classic hopeful and actually finished 2nd to Veronese in a sub standard renewal of the Golconda Oaks although the odds on favourite Aster Rose was way below par that day. After returning from a long break to run 3rd in Pune over 2000M, she scored a shock upset win over 1800M on her reappearance here, making all and just holding off a late burst from Unforgettable You with In My Dream a close 4th that day. She may struggle to concede weight all around out here and in spite of having the added advantage of David Probert in the saddle, this is a tough ask. She may be able to claim a place and is unlikely to be taken on for the lead but winning looks tough.
FRIVOLOUS :- Very highly regarded 4 year old colt trained by Malesh Narredu, he has had problems throughout his career and is raced very sparingly, only having had 6 starts till date of which he has managed to win 3 so he clearly has plenty of ability. He ran just twice during the recent Pune season, both runs well spaced and after finishing 2nd to Nelsons Blood over a mile early in the season, he scored a comfortable victory over 2400M comfortably beating Othello. He has been working very well since the run and still appears to have plenty of potential so he looks good to carry on his good form and looks a serious contender in this field with P.S. Chouhan in the saddle.
IN MY DREAM :- Another very highly regarded 4 year old, this one trained by C.D. Katrak who has been plagued with little niggles throughout her short career and has not been able to fulfil her full potential. Overall she has won 2 of her 10 starts, her last win coming recently in Pune over 2000M where she effortlessly beat Frosty, Vulcan and Highland Breeze. She needed the lung opener over 1800M when she was finishing on fastest to be a close 4th and is now weighted to reverse the places with Frosty. P. Trevor takes over from Suraj Narredu in the saddle and she must be respected and looks a big danger to all.
BOLD MARCH :-Comes from the same crop of most of this field and is trained by Karthik G sporting the legendary colours of Dr. M. A. M. Ramaswamy and is a winner of 3 of his 21 starts till date. His last win came over this trip on Invitation Cup weekend back in March in Bangalore and he looked to be coming back to form last time out when finishing a good 2nd to Selfie Star over a mile. He has been struggling with his current handicap mark for some time now and although he is likely to be involved in the finish, he looks more of a place prospect with C.S. Jodha booked to ride today. In his current form it is hard to see him troubling the principals.
BIG SUR :- The only 3 year old in the field and one of the frontline 3 year old colts at the centre, this is probably one of his prep races on the way to hopefully a date with the Indian Derby and so he needs to win this in good style if he is to be given a realistic chance of running into the first four in the Blue Riband. Trained by Sanjay Kolse, Big Sur was won three of his 8 races so far and has scored impressive victories on either side of a lacklustre run in the Pune Derby. He readily beat Drogo and Daughterofthesun last time out but is now facing stiffer opposition and will need to show some more improvement. Dashrath Singh has been booked to ride and he is likely to be sent off favourite.
CONCLUSION :-The 3 year old Big Sur needs to win this impressively if he is to have any chance of having a say in the Indian Derby but he is taken on with the lightly raced Frivolous. He has been nursed along by MaleshNarredu and was an impressive winner over 2400M when last seen. We are probably yet to see the best of him and he has an admirable 50% strike rate in his 6 starts to date. In My Dream also rates as a danger and completes the short list
Race No. 2 :- The Cole Gold Trophy – Div. II – Class V – Distance :- 1200M
AQUARIUS :- Formerly known as Wild Jack this 4 year old colt trained by M.K. Jadhav is winless after 12 starts but has come down to a very reasonable handicap mark as a result and now drops further in grade into the lowest class. He had a string of good 2nd placed finishes over similar trips last season and looked to be finding some form last time out when finishing on to be just outside the frame with the same rider up. The trip looks suitable, he is taking on relatively weak opposition, and although S. Joseph does not ride prolific number of winners, he claims a useful 5 kilos. Aquarius does not appear to be the most consistent sort but can strike if he has his galloping shoes on.
MAGIC DUST :-3 year old maiden from the Narendra Lagad stable, he has run 9 times till date and only showed some spark in one run where he finished on over this trip to be 2nd to lesser fancied stable mate Orion’s Belt. That run came in April this year and he has had 6 unplaced efforts since then so a lot needs to be taken on trust. On the plus side, he has been working quite well and he is racing in the lowest grade. Dashrath Singh is back in the saddle and he looks to have each way claims if showing some improvement.
ROYAL ACE :-4 year old gelding from the yard of Faisal Abbas who has a lovely sprinting pedigree but like many from the yard, has taken his time to come to hand. He has run 10 times so far and after some indifferent efforts, he showed some zest for racing last time out when finishing 2nd to Untitled who is also an unexposed improver. He has a good rider up for the first time, in the form of A. Imran Khan, is expected to progress from that last run and looks a strong contender now to shed his maiden tag.
GALTERO :-4 year old gelding trained by C. Rajendra he has gone 11 races without a win but last time out was seen finishing on late and although he ended up 8th, he was only 4 lengths behind the winner. He has no current form to go by but has slipped to a very lenient mark in the scale and the yard has been going through a good patch of late and is currently firing. Galtero has been working quite well, will be ridden by S.A. Amit and rates as an interesting outsider.
MILWALKEE :-4 year old half sister to XoXo she is trained by S.S. Shah and is yet to taste success having raced 14 times till date. However, she put in a good effort last time out over course and distance when finishing a close 2nd to Moonshine on the opening day and the winner’s subsequent victory on Thursday adds credence to the form. H. Zeeshan takes over in the saddle from S. Mosin and running off a low weight, she must be respected
CONCLUSION :-The well bred 4 year old Royal Ace is expected to build on his promising last run and is the selection here but he is by no means a certainty and is likely to face stiff opposition from Aquarius and Milwalkee, both of whom will be ridden by 5 kilo claimers
Race No. 3 :- The Satinenello Trophy – Maiden 2 Year Olds – Distance :- 1200M
MASAR :- Progeny of Dean’s Kitten trained by S.A. Waheed, he is the only one of these to have enjoyed a prior run, being given an educative run over 1000M in Pune where he finished 3rd to Desert Pride over 1000M. He looked well within himself that day and has no doubt improved so he clearly has the benefit of experience over the rest of these which is a huge advantage in 2 year olds. He appears to have been pushed in most of his prep work so may not be fully ready just yet but the booking of Y. S. Srinath is eye catching and he must be given a good each way chance. He is a full brother to Khartoum who recently made an impressive debut for Pesi Shroff in Pune so he looks interesting.
STORMY ATLANTIC :-Debutant from the Pesi Shroff stable, he catches the eye on pedigree with Strong Suit having already sired the only other 2 year old winner in Western India in the form of Desert Pride and the dam Meadowlark having already produced the exciting Pacquiao who has won 3 of his 5 starts in Mysore. Stormy Atlantic has only been given a few workouts so he is entitled to need this first run but he looks an exciting individual and could possibly be quite special so he must be respected particularly if he is looking well in the preliminaries. P. Trevor takes the ride and he looks one to consider very seriously.
COURCHEVAL :-Another fashionably bred debutant from a leading yard, this one if trained by MaleshNarredu and is owned by ZavarayPoonawalla and family. The progeny of Excellent Art have been endowed with plenty of speed and Ashwa Queen and Smart Choice, both half sisters have won 2 races apiece over sprint trips so the pedigree appears a speedy one. Courcheval too appears to be a touch short on fitness and may need this educative run but she looks an exciting prospect as well and should make a good first impression with SurajNarredu on board.
FIREBIRD :-Comes from the stable of Dallas Todywalla who usually have their youngsters in forward condition and she appears to be working the best of this lot, judging from the track reports which are available. She has been showing good speed in the morning gallops and has the benefit of having David Allan in the saddle. This line has been tried in India for some time now with her full brother Grand Vitesse having won once in 23 starts and the other siblings Peony and You Can I Can both winless as yet so there is not much strength from the pedigree side. However, she could be fitter than the others today and looks the most likely winner for now.
SILVER LOCKET :-One of two runners for the Karthik G yard and apparently the more fancied judging from jockey bookings with A. Imran Khan booked to ride. She has been working quite well in the morning gallops and should run a good race on the debut. On the pedigree side, the family have been around in India for quite a while with Isle of Avalon, a half sister the most promising have won 2 of her 8 starts in Kolkotta and Blue Zone probably the best performed, winning 7 of his 36 career starts also in Kolkotta. However, the more recent siblings First Selection and AshwaJoogni are less experienced, the latter having won 1 of his 7 starts in Delhi so there are mixed messages from the pedigree.
CONCLUSION :-Firebird appears to be the most forward of these and is the selection today with David Allan still yet to lose a race in India this season but she may not be the best long term prospect. Stormy Atlantic and Courcheval both represent powerful connections and although possibly not fully wound up today, appear to have potential and are feared as is Masar who has had the benefit of experience.
Race No. 4 :- The Gulamhusein Essaji Trophy – Class IV – Distance :- 1600M
GENTILLESSE :-Full sister to the brilliant mare Confiance, she too is trained by Sanjay Kolse and has run well in all her 4 starts till date. After winning her maiden over 1200M back in March, she raced twice during the last Pune season and finished a distant 2nd on both occasions, the first time to Gran Paradiso over 1200M and on her last run upped to 1400M she finished 3 ½ lengths shy of Costa Brava. She now steps up further to a mile which may suit her better and will be ridden by A. Imran Khan. She is taking on a bunch of potentially smart 3 year olds though and could be a touch vulnerable from the top of the scale. She merits consideration but looks more likely to place again today.
GLORIOSUS :- Modestly performed 3 year old colt trained by ImtiazSait, he has run 5 times till date with a win and couple of placed efforts to his name. His win came over course and distance back in March in maiden company where he convincingly beat My Precious before finishing runner up to Texas Gold next time out, again over a mile. He had just one run early in the Pune season where he finished way down the field and has been rested and given time to improve since then. He looks likely to need this run back from a longish break and in spite of S. John being booked to ride, is probably best watched today.
ALBARETO :-Very highly regarded 3 year old trained by S.S. Shah, he went off a hot favourite on his debut over 1200M in Pune but was no match for the in formGazino and ended up a poor 4th. He was given time to come to hand and improve and was much better on his seasonal debut here where he held off a strong challenge from Gloriana to prevail again over 6 furlongs. This step up to a mile is expected to suit him considerably, he has been working very well suggesting that he has improved and Y.S. Srinath has been booked to ride. He appears to be coming into his own and is strongly fancied to repeat.
CISTICOLA :- Once raced daughter of Midnight Interlude trained by AdhirajsinghJodha she made her debut in a strong maiden back in Pune and ran respectably to finish 5th to Collegium and is sure to have improved for that run and stripped much fitter. She comes from the superbly performed family line of Highland Ghillie and is expected to leave her debut running well behind and do much better today. Dashrath Singh has been booked to ride and she looks to be a dark horse who could spring a surprise.
MERVEILLEUSE :-Debutant who is one of four runners from the Pesi Shroff yard and is very highly regarded by her connections. She is a daughter of Mastercraftsman and impressed in a recent Mock Race although she did appear to be more stretched than Shangri La who raced alongside her that day. She has a stamina laden pedigree hence makes her debut over a mile and is sure to improve significantly on whatever she does today. NeerajRawal takes the ride and she is one to definitely keep an eye on.
SHANGRI LA :- Another Mastercraftsman sired debutant from the Pesi Shroff yard, she too ran impressively in the same Mock Race as Merveilleuse and appeared to be travelling the better of the two and was almost on the bridle all the way through. She is also very highly rated by her connections and looks set to make a smart debut. She will be ridden by A. Sandesh and is greatly respected.
CONCLUSION :-This looks like a race which will throw up several future winners with Pesi Shroff rarely seen to field 4 youngsters in the same contest. A chance is taken on the promising Shangri La who is expected to be above average and may have the class to take this first time out. The improving Albareto rates as the main danger along with her stable companion Merveilleuse.
Race No. 5 :- The RWITC Ltd. Sprint Challenge – 3 Years Old & Over – Distance :- 1200M
ADAM :-Last year’s Sprinters Cup winner who seems to have gone off the boil in 3 starts since then but is very capable of bouncing back and could have been sharpened up over this short break. His recent track work suggests that he is rapidly coming back to form and although he has top weight to defy in this field, he is the choice of P. Trevor and must be respected and feared as he has tremendous potential.
DANCING PRANCES :-Grand old galloper who has locked horns with Adam on several occasions and has proved himself time and again to be a phenomenal sprinter but has just given signs in his last few starts that age may be beginning to catch up. He has won 15 of his 35 starts, multiple Group races and his only shortcoming has been his inability to win the Sprinters Cup. He finished 3rd to Dancing Phoenix and Holy Smoke on his last outing but will be suited by the long Mumbai straight. David Allan is a fantastic jockey booking and receiving weight from Adam, he looks a very strong contender and should run a big race again.
HOLY SMOKE :-Is a 5 year old as compared to some of the 7 year olds in this field and has just about started to make his mark as a sprinter in this grade, scoring a gutsy win over Dancing Prances in the AkkasahebMaharaj before running a creditable 2nd to Dancing Phoenix in the Dhunjibhoy Sprint Championship. He has been kept fresh since his last run, appears to be progressing nicely as a sprinter and with S. Zervan booked to ride him, he looks to have an excellent chance to score in this field.
CAPTAIN COURAGE :- Looked a very exciting up and coming sprinter with a brilliant record early in his career but sadly suffered a setback which kept him off the track for the better part of a year and he has to prove that he is still the force of old. He has had 2 runs since returning from his injury and last time out, showed some spark when finishing on well to be 4th just behind Siobhan suggesting that he was finding his groove. He will be ridden by NeerajRawal and if returning to his best form, looks likely to cause a stunning upset and could be good value at a long price.
HARVEY :- Another upcoming and improving sprinter, this one a 5 year old from the yard of S.K. Sunderji, he too was kept out of action for almost a year and quickly worked himself back into form during the current Pune season. He has an excellent record of 6 wins and 6 seconds in 18 starts till date but he has yet to prove himself in this company. He did not run badly though when 4th to Dancing Phoenix finishing up close to Dancing Prances and Holy Smoke and he has had a run this season when finishing on to be 2nd to Champagne conceding 7 kilos. S.A. Amit is not that experienced in races of this calibre and he has caught a wide draw in Stall 10 but he is likely to win one of these contests before too long and must come into calculations.
ST. ANDREWS :-Another quality 4 year old who has yet to fulfil his true potential but has been struggling to make his mark in this company. He finished 5th behind several of these last time out and needs to find some improvement to reverse that form. He has been working well however and will have the services of Prashant Dhebe in the saddle.
CONCLUSION :-A potentially exciting contest with half a dozen of these being able to win this particular race on their day and a nice mix of experienced veterans and up and coming sprinters. In an open looking race, it may be tempting to take a chance on Captain Courage here at forecast long odds. He looked a sprinter with a future last season before a setback kept him off the track until September and last time out, he was finishing on strongly suggesting that he was regaining form. He could have been let in lightly at 51 kilos and if looking well in the paddock, may be rewarding to support him. Holy Smoke, Dancing Prances, Adam and Harvey are the others to consider in a tough contest.
Race No. 6 :- The P. M. Rungta Golden Sprint Stakes – Class III – Distance :- 1200M
MAKINO :- 4 year old Colt trained by Adhirajsingh Jodha, he has won 3 of his 16 starts till date but just seems to be struggling with the handicapper since his last win early in the Pune season. He beat Flamboyant Flame that day who has not really boosted the form and since then has run 4 times with only one good effort over 1400M when 2nd to Mygrator. He finished 5th to Lady Sergeant on the opening day and although he will improve for that run and D.S. Daman takes over, he may still be a shade high in the weights and looks more of a place prospect here.
EXCELLENT GOLD :- Swiftly improving 3 year old trained by Narendra Lagad and ridden by Dashrath Singh, he comes into this race bidding for a hattrick after 2 smart wins in the Pune season although he had to pull out all the stops to hold off the 8 year old The Civilian last time out and will need to unlock some more improvement. He is having just his 5th career start so has plenty of scope on that score and should make a bold bid to complete his hattrick.
SLAM DUNK :-Wonderfully consistent 4 year old colt from the Hormuz Antia yard, he seldom runs a bad race and has been very consistent over the past 12 months. He has overall won twice from his 15 starts but has finished in the first two in his last 5 starts and last time out, showed good determination to hold off Knight’s Quest and score a deserving victory after a string of close seconds. He comes into this race looking to have maintained his form and fitness and with T.S. Jodha taking over from Hanumant Singh, he looks a strong each way contender and is dangerous to ignore.
AN JOLIE :- Veteran 6 year old mare who has run 24 races till date and has now dropped back down to a mark which is not too high above her last winning one. She has been out of form for some time now so she needs to prove that she is back to her best but she has had a couple of lung openers to get her fit and is looking quite well handicapped at present. P.S. Chouhan takes the ride and she looks an interesting outsider.
MISS MONEYPENNY :-Progressive 3 year old filly who is developing into a decent sprinter and has put in an honest performance in each of her 6 runs till date, winning twice over sprints. She ran just twice during the last Pune season, fighting hard to hold off Godsent and win first time out and then going down fighting to Juggernaut next time around when ridden by a claimer. She has the services of David Allan in the saddle today which is a huge plus and although she has been drawn very wide in Stall 14, she cannot be ignored and should be in the firing line.
BESHIKTASH :-3 year old gelding from the S.K. Sunderji yard who probably has the maximum scope to improve among this lot and has raced just thrice till date so just seems to be coming into his own. He impressed on debut when finishing up 2nd to Ruffinabut then ran a shocker when a hot favourite but ending up a miserable 4th to Glyndebourne and Perfect Star next time out and he was put away for the rest of the season. He looked a different animal when making his reappearance in Pune in October where he travelled strongly throughout and was a facile winner of his maiden. He has been handed a tough handicap mark on his opening run in open company but he looks to have improved even further now and with A. Imran Khan retaining the ride, he looks to have an excellent chance to continue his progression.
BUNTING :- Tough and consistent 3 year old filly trained by M.K. Jadhav, she is also very much on the upgrade and won her last 2 starts in Pune narrowly before being denied a hattrick here when finishing on late to be an excellent close 3rd to Bottega Louie and Cambridge. That form looks very strong, she should come on for the run and with A. Sandesh to partner her, she looks a very strong candidate to resume her upward curve.
CONCLUSION :-The two to focus on here appear to be Bunting and Beshiktash and the race should be between them. The filly appears to be the one with more proven form while Beshiktash looks to have tremendous potential to improve.
Race No. 7 :- The Jacqueline Indian 2000 Guineas (Grade 1) – 3 Year Old Horses Only – Distance :- 1600M
BATELEUR :-Began his racing only in the middle of the Pune season but quickly developed into a potentially Classic type although his run in the Morvi was a bit flat and he needs to improve on that to reverse the form with Pure Zinc. He could very well come on for that run and show further improvement on just his 5th start and he appears to be happiest when bowling along in front although he will find that hard to do against Castlebridge. Bateleur is the main hope of the Dhunjibhoy camp who have enjoyed plenty of success in this race and he looks a strong contender for the minor places.
CASTLEBRIDGE :-Giant striding gelding trained by Bharath Singh who looks head and shoulders above the local bunch of colts and is expected to start a very short priced favourite. He is overall a winner from 7 of his 10 starts but has won 7 of his last 8 with his only defeat being a short head 2nd to Manifold in the Bangalore Summer Derby which might have stretched his stamina at the time. He made several of today’s rivals look pedestrian in the Morvi and looks very hard to defeat here barring some sort of mishap. P. Trevor is up and he looks as close to a certainty as one could hope for in an Indian Classic.
COSTA BRAVA :-Potential dark horse from the powerful Shroff yard, he is obviously held in very high regard judging from the fact that Colm O Donoghue has been flown down especially to ride him. He has had just 2 runs till date so it is difficult to judge the level of his form, finishing an impressive 2nd on debut and then scoring a stylish maiden victory over Gentillesse next time out. This is just his 3rd start so there is no telling how good he might be and in the hands of his shrewd trainer, he could possibly be good enough to figure in the placings.
MYGRATOR :- This MaleshNarredu trainee owned by JaydevMody has already established himself as a quality performer in his own right, winning 4 of his 8 races and finishing 2nd on 3 occasions to be the one closest to Castlebridge on official ratings. He won 4 races on the trot before being put in his place by Ruffina last time out over 1400M and he may find the mile stretching his stamina. The in form P.S. Chouhan takes the ride and he looks to have a fair each way chance.
PERFECT STAR :-Trained by Karthik G and carrying the famous gold and brown silks of Dr. M.A.M. Ramaswamy, Perfect Star has run 7 times till date and probably has the closest tie in on Classic form having competed against Castlebridge and Prevalent Force in the regional Classics. He returned to Western India to finish a respectable 4th in the Pune Derby and may be slightly better off over the mile journey. He has gone a Mock Race with Rochester a couple of weeks ago where he seemed to travel better than Rochester but comes into this Classic without a run but appears to be well within himself and is another strong contender for a frame finish with David Allan an eye catching booking. He most likely will be the main threat to Castlebridge.
PURE ZINC :-This lightly raced colt trained by AdhirajsinghJodha has performed admirably in his short career so far although he has been found wanting in his last couple of starts. He was sent off favourite for the Pune Derby but disappointed when only able to finish 6th although he did redeem himself somewhat in the Morvi when finishing runner up to Castlebridge. On the basis of that run, it looks practically impossible to beat Castlebridge but he stands a good chance against the other runners and with Y.S. Srinath up, is another of several possibilities of making the frame.
ROCHESTER :- Tough and consistent colt trained by S.K. Sunderji he is yet to finish out of the first three after 6 races, only having won one but performed with credit in all. He was runner up to Lady In Lace in the Pune Derby where he finished 2 lengths ahead of Perfect Star and a little over 4 lengths ahead of Pure Zinc and has since gone a Mock Race where he had to be stretched to beat Perfect Star who seemed to travel better on the day. Rochester has been working very well, seems to have improved considerably and with C.S. Jodha booked to ride, is a strong contender to challenge for the runner up berth.
CONCLUSION :-Castlebridge is the confident selection and should win this easily but it looks very competitive between the rest of them. Perfect Star with David Allan in the saddle has gotten closest to him and looks the next best along with Rochester and Pure Zinc. Costa Brava is the dark horse here being an unknown quantity who could improve significantly after just 2 starts.
Race No. 8 :- The Cole Gold Trophy – Div. I – Class V – Distance :- 1200M
SAIL PAST :- 6 year old gelding trained by Narendra Lagad, he is a veteran of 35 races but has managed to win just twice although he has dropped down to a very attractive handicap mark now after a string of poor efforts but looked like getting back to form during the Pune season where he went close on a couple of occasions. He has had a lung opener already this season and after some weak claimers riding him on the last few occasions, Dashrath Singh takes over in the saddle which is a big positive. He is a bit long of tooth but merits each way consideration in this field.
SIA :- Lightly raced 3 year old from the NiradKaranjawala stable, she has raced just 3 times till date so has plenty of scope to improve and last time out when competing in this grade for the first time, she finished 3rd over 1000M to Make It Shine about 2 ¼ lengths adrift of the 2nd placed Royal Blood. She is expected to build on that run on just her 4th career start, she may find some improvement over this additional furlong and with A. Imran Khan up again, she could progress further and reverse the form with Royal Blood. She looks one of the leading fancies here and should run well.
STAR ANISE :- 3 year old filly trained by Faisal Abbas, she has run thrice till date and has finished just outside the frame on all 3 occasions so she makes her handicap debut in the lowest grade. She started to work quite well towards the end of the Pune season and finished a close 5th to Stunner on her last run in October so she is expected to progress again as she has maintained her good track work. Raghuveer Singh claims a valuable 3 ½ kilos and over this extra furlong, she looks to have a good each way chance.
ALLEGRIA :- 4 year old filly trained by Zadmal Singh, she is still a maiden after 7 starts and has been quite out of form in her last few runs but she did run some promising races over similar trips in the higher class and has now been eased in grade and has been working quite well of late. She has already had a lung opener in Mumbai and T.S. Jodha takes over from Raghuveer Singh so she looks an interesting candidate who could shape as a good outsider.
ROYAL BLOOD :- 4 year old gelding trained by Rehanullah Khan who has been gradually brought down to a workable mark and nearly pulled off a quiet coup on his last start when he started galloping very late to finish a flying late 2nd to Make It Shine, ending 2 ¼ lengths clear of Sia that day. He has to prove that run was no fluke but is relatively unexposed and should be suited by the additional furlong. Bhawani Singh who was up that day keeps the ride and he looks a strong contender in this field.
YUTAKA :- Has a similar profile to Royal Blood, having run 8 times previously without being seriously tried and showed some spark of ability on his last run in Pune when he was seen finishing on. He had a good rider up for the first time on his last run a couple of weeks ago on this track and ran respectably to finish 3rd to Moonshine who has gone on to frank the form. P. Trevor now takes over from C.S. Jodha in the saddle, he continues to work well and with further progression could very well shed his maiden tag in this set.
CONCLUSION :-Very competitive as is the case in these large field handicaps. The ones which could be shortlisted are Sia, Yutaka and Royal Blood with Yutaka a tentative selection
Race No. 9 :- The Director General of Police Trophy – Class IV – Distance :- 1000M
ROCK N RIO :- 4 year old handicapper trained by Narendra Lagad, he has run 21 times till date and has managed just a solitary win which came in a maiden back in August of last year. He has been running quite consistently in sprint handicaps since then without winning and on his last run in September over this trip he finished a good close 3rd to My Blessings. He may have been freshened up over the break and with D.S. Daman booked to ride, he looks one to seriously consider each way in spite of conceding weight all around.
ASCENSION :- Speedy 3 year old filly trained by S.K. Sunderji she has run 9 times till date and after a string of placed efforts in maidens, she finally gained an overdue success a couple of starts ago in Pune, comfortably beating Stunner and Malavika. She ran an excellent race on the opening day when finishing a close 2nd to the hard ridden Renato and if she runs up to that same level of form then she looks to have an outstanding chance of earning another bracket. It is interesting that stable apprentice R. Ajinkya has been booked to ride instead of a full jockey and she should be right there although draw no. 12 is a slight deterrent.
RISHAB’S PET :- Improving 3 year old from the Faisal Abbas yard she has run 6 times till date but her trackwork improved markedly in the latter half of the Pune season and she duly obliged to record a bloodless maiden success, also getting the better of Malavika and Stunner so she ties in in form with Ascension. She was well fancied in open company over 6 furlongs next time out and ran respectably, finishing 6th but only 1 ¾ length behind the winner. She has been working better than the yard’s Class I horses in Mumbai so looks to have improved again and with A. Imran Khan in the saddle and a decent draw, she looks the one that they all have to beat and should be a strong fancy.
NEXTSTAR :- Enigmatic 3 year old trained by ImtiazSait, she has also had 6 starts till date, winning one race during the last Mumbai season but then running disappointingly in 3 starts in Pune. She may not have been comfortable on that track and is still quite unexposed. She has been working well in the last couple of weeks and with P.S. Chouhan in the saddle she looks a dark horse who could spring a surprise so is worth keeping in mind.
GOOD THING :-Highly regarded 4 year old trained by AdhirajsinghJodha, her career was affected by a setback and she is slowly being nursed back into optimum condition. She has dropped to a pretty useful mark and was sent off favourite over 1200M on the opening weekend but could not sustain her effort and ended up a well held 5th. She should strip fitter and may have needed that first serious run in a while so it is conceivable that she can improve. Dashrath Singh has been booked to ride today but the draw has not been kind and she is berthed on the outside in Stall 15. She merits each way consideration and could add some excitement to the finish
CONCLUSION :-Rishab’s Pet has been working better than the yard’s top sprinters Holy Smoke and Abbey and accordingly is selected to resume her progression after a minor blip. Ascension and the unexposed Nextstar appear to be the main dangers.
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)