From the Horses Mouth - Race form Analysis Guide for Saturday, 13th October 2018
- By Cyrus Naterwalla
Race No. 1 :- The Hills & Stars Plate – Class IV & V – Distance :- 1600M
ZANZIBAAR :- 5 year old gelding trained by Nirad Karanjawala and to be ridden by P.S. Chouhan. He has developed into a useful handicapper, winning 2of his 27 races and has also managed to place on 9 occasions. He is usually quite effective over middle distances and his last win came the last time that he ran in Class IV a little over a year ago on this very track over 1400M and he returns to Class IV for the first time since then so looks well handicapped at present. He also gave signs that he was getting ready to strike on his last run when finishing up a good 3rd behind Till End Of Time with the runner up Valegro a winner since then giving substance to the form. He has to carry top weight here and take on some potentially improving 3 year olds but is capable of carrying the weight and is given a strong each way chance here.
HOPE AND GLORY :- Half brother to Bangalore Derby winner Tororrosso who is trained by Vishal Gaikwad and has run 6 times so far with 1 success to his name. He campaigned in most of the top races in Mumbai after winning his maiden over 1400M on his 2nd start and ran respectably when 4th in the Breeders Produce Stakes behind Pioneer and later 4th in the Shapoorji Pallonji Colts Championship when 4th to Star Superior. He has had 2 runs this term, well fancied when making his reappearance under top weight in the August Handicap but ridden a little poorly that day and got going far too late, ending up a close 3rd behind Frieze and Jetfire. He was an odds on favourite over this trip last time out when making his handicap debut in Class III but could never quite land a serious blow, although he ended up 5th but only 1 ¼ lengths behind the winner Gold Bond. That run was 5 weeks ago so he has been given some time to improve and his recent trackwork has been very encouraging. He has been eased slightly in grade down to Class IV now, A. Sandesh takes over in the saddle from P. Trevor and in this company, he looks set to get back to winning ways and is a leading contender to emerge victorious.
EIGER’S TIGER :- Veteran 5 year old handicapper trained by Narendra Lagad, he is fully exposed having had as many as 39 starts so far but has managed to win only twice before although he has managed to place on several occasions. He looked to have come back down to a workable mark at the beginning of this season and has run 5 times so far but has not managed to secure a win, the closest being when dropped into Class V in an older horses contest and finishing 3rd, beaten a head and a short neck by Aberlour. His last couple of starts have seen a slight dip in his consistency though, last time out only managing 5th behind Questionable in a 4 year old and over contest and he has to take on the 3 year olds today so looks up against it from a win perspective. Raghuveer Singh who rode him last time out keeps the ride again today and although he looks capable of running into a place, winning in this company looks tough.
LAMBRETTA :- 3 year old Dean’s Kitten gelding trained by Karthik G, who has had 5 runs till date and is still looking a shade unexposed. After being given a few unextended runs to get him fit, he showed some promise when attempting to make all over 1800M on his penultimate run, looking to have the field stretched turning for home but being swamped close to the line by Cavarozzi and Savage Kingdom and ending up a close 3rd. He was well held next time out over 2000M finishing a faraway 5th but that distance might have been too long for him and the drop back to a mile should suit. The switch from A. Imran Khan to Bhawani Singh is a slight negative but he looks likely to be able to make the running again today and could prove dangerous if kicking on in front. Worth keeping an eye on.
GOLD MAGIC :- Another son of Dean’s Kitten, this one trained by Imtiaz Sait, he has also had 6 runs so far but has looked to be coming to hand the last twice with his last run being the most promising albeit in Class V company. His first 4 runs were nothing to write home about but he did show a little improvement when stepping up to a mile on his penultimate run, finishing 3rd behind Fleur De Lys and Golden Hind although 10 lengths behind the 2nd horse. However, on his handicap debut last time out he finished on strongly to be in a 3 way photo with Grand Chieftain and Shivalik Skies, ending up a very close 3rd and is likely to improve again from that run. He has been upped into Class IV company now but gets a drop in the weights as a result and has been working well since the last run. Akshay gets replaced by Arshad Alam in the saddle which is a positive and further progression should see him be involved in the finish although he still needs to improve on the bare form.
RED INDIAN :- Another well bred and imposing looking 3 year old from the Pesi Shroff yard, he is a half brother to Tiger Tops who has had 4 runs so far but still does not quite seem to have come into his own just yet. He has run twice apiece in Mumbai and Pune, both times showing a little improvement on his earlier run and he finished 4th, 4 lengths behind Gold Magic over course and distance last time out. He too has been upped in Class but gets a drop in weight and Akshay Kumar takes over in the saddle from S. Zervan. There is no obvious reason why he should reverse the form with Gold Magic on almost identical terms today but he must be respected as a potential improver from a powerful yard and could be involved if showing further improvement.
CONCLUSION :- Hope and Glory is expected to be fully fit after 2 runs already this term and looks set to return to winning ways with his form looking the strongest in this company. The other 3 year old Gold Magic is also a potential improver and looks a danger with Zanzibaar the best of the older horses and looking an almost certain place contender.
Race No. 2 :- The Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy – Div. II – Class IV & V – Distance :- 1400M
ROMANTIC WARRIOR :- Well bred 5 year old gelding formerly trained by Imtiaz Sait who had been off the track since September last year when being sold to H.J. Antia but returned with quite a bang this term. He is relatively lightly raced having had just 8 starts so far and showed that he had improved when finishing runner up to Adele over 5 furlongs on his first start back after a long absence. He duly built on that over 1200M next time out although he was helped by several horses behind him receiving interference including the favourite Highland Lass but galloped all the way to the line to score his maiden win by ¾ length. He has been penalized 4 ½ kilos for the win and has a stronger rider in the saddle today with Vishal Bunde taking over from N. Nadeem in the saddle. He also has an extra furlong to tackle today but is an unknown quantity who could have more improvement in him and should make a bold bid to repeat.
GODSWORD :- 3 year old filly trained by Narendra Lagad who has raced exclusively over sprint trips till date and steps up to a middle distance for the first time in 7 starts. Her maiden win and only one till date did come over 1000M in Mumbai but she has run 3rd twice over 1200M this term, finishing a close 3rd behind Wabi Sabi on her penultimate run. It will be interesting to see if hold up tactics are employed over this longer trip with C. Umesh taking over in the saddle from A.Sandesh. She looks fit and well and could spring a surprise if taking to the longer trip so looks an interesting outsider.
IMPERIAL HERITAGE :- 5 year old gelding who began his career with Dallas Todywalla but moved midway through to S.A. Waheed and has shown improved form for his new connections. He has managed to win thrice from 25 starts so far, all 3 wins coming with his current trainer and one of them being over this 1400M trip although he is usually more effective over further. He looks to have come back down to a useful handicap mark and showed signs that he was regaining some form last time out when finishing on late to be 4th to Star Aligned over 1600M. That run was almost 2 months ago but he has been given plenty of work since then and S.A. Amit is a positive jockey booking. He looks to be well placed on the scales and merits each way consideration and could make the finish interesting.
QUEEN’S BEST :- Consistent 4 year old half sister to Dandified who has been placing consistently with her races but still keeps finding one or two too good, having finished runner up on 4of her 9 starts but still not been able to secure a win. She has been consistent in her 3 runs this season, twice beaten by Sassy Lass over 6 and 7 furlongs and last time out, making late headway over 6 furlongs to be a close 3rd to Kilkarry Bridge. The switch back to A.Imran Khan from Bhawani Singh is a positive and she seems to have maintained herself well since the run. She steps back up to 7 furlongs again today, looks likely to be involved in the proceedings again and has strong each way claims.
LORRAINE :- Nicely bred and relatively unexposed 4 year old filly trained by Mansoor Shah, this half sister to The Unicorn seems to want more galloping ground on her pedigree but has been confined to 6 and 7 furlongs in her 7 runs so far. She was well fancied last time out over this trip and responded late to strong pressure from her rider to get on top of True Grit close home and secure her maiden victory but tested positive for a banned substance after the win and had her victory duly stripped. She appears to have maintained herself in good condition since that run and P.S. Chouhan is up again today. She effectively comes into this as a winner without a penalty and stands an excellent chance to make amends now.
NATALMA :- The most lightly raced an potentially exciting 3 year old in this field, she is a full sister to Whomakestherules who catches the eye on pedigree and is trained by Pesi Shroff. She has not quite come to hand just yet, having run twice so far, making her debut towards the end of the Mumbai season in a good 7 furlong contest where she was given an educative run and finished an unextended 4th behind the likes of Excellent and Awesome One. She was taken to Bangalore and thought good enough to contest the Fillies Trial Stakes on just her 2nd start but understandably came up short and finished well beaten. That run was back in June so she returns from almost a 4 month break but she has been judiciously prepared by her trainer and this looks a much more realistic task. A paddock check is advised to see her condition but she appears to have been given enough work and with P. Trevor in the saddle today, she looks a leading fancy to get off the mark at the 3rd time of asking.
CONCLUSION :- The well bred Natalma seems to have found a good opportunity to get off the mark and her trainer obviously has a high opinion of her as he threw her into the deep end on just her 2nd start. If she has improved and is ready, she should be hard to beat. Lorraine, herself well bred and still not fully exposed rates as the main danger along with the consistent Queen’s Best.
Race No. 3 :- The N.K. Pudumjee Trophy – Maiden 3 Year Olds – Distance :- 1600M
GRAND CHIEFTAIN :- Improving 3 year old gelding from the yard of Karthik G, he has run 7 times till date but stepped up markedly on his previous efforts when contesting a mile in Class V last time out on his 3rd start of the season and just being pipped on the post by Shivalik Skies after a very close photo finish. That was a considerable improvement on his previous efforts and it is hoped that he will build on that and improve again. He has been kept fresh since that last run, A. Imran Khan who rode him last time out is up again today and if managing to unlock some more improvement, looks to have a good chance in this field.
MYSTIC FLAME :- Another 3 year old gelding who looks a potentially smart sort he has raced twice so far as well, getting an educative run over 1400M early in April where he finished unplaced but strongly fancied when reappearing last month after a break of nearly 5 months and looked a shade rusty, getting going late to be runner up to Aurora Australis who has gone on to frank the form, winning again. He probably needed that lung opener after such a long break so is likely to improve and the additional furlong should be right up his alley. His trackwork since the run suggests that he has progressed and with P. Trevor replacing Y.S. Srinath in the saddle, he looks a leading contender to go one better now and seems the most likely winner, also enjoying the highest rating in the field.
SCRATCHMYBACK :- Interestingly named and nicely bred gelding trained by Rehanullah Khan, he has had 3 runs so far and all have been over sprints so it is interesting that he is now stepped up appreciably in trip for the first time. His first two runs came in Mumbai but he did show a little improvement on his debut run on the Pune track over 1200M when finishing on late to be 5th to Kilkarry Bridge suggesting that this longer trip would be more suitable. He seems to be working quite well since the run and moved well in a Mock Race with stable mate Eternal Sunshine as well. Bhawani Singh, who has ridden him the last twice is up again today and if taking to the longer trip, he could be an interesting outsider and is worth considering at a long price.
TASAWWUR :- Fashionably bred debutant from the yard of Adhirajsingh Jodha, this son of Multidimensional is a half brother to Star Styled who performed moderately winning 2 races in Mysore over 6 and 7 furlongs. He appears to have been well prepared to be fit and ready to go on debut and went a Mock Race with Class II stable mate Pure Zinc so should be ready to make a good impression on debut. The booking of A. Sandesh suggests that connections fancy their chances and he is one to keep an eye on although may just need this debut run.
ETERNAL MEMORIES :- Nicely bred filly trained by Imtiaz Sait who was quietly fancied on her debut 3 weeks ago but looked a little green and inexperienced but made up ground late in the day to finish an easy 4th behind Bushtops and should improve for the run. She is likely to have learnt plenty from the experience, should be fitter and sharper today and has been working well since the run. Neeraj Rawal, who rode her that day keeps the ride and she looks likely to give a much better account of herself today and seems to be one of the chief contenders.
CONCLUSION :- Mystic Flame looks another typical Pesi Shroff improver and is expected to come on from his 2nd to Aurora Australis and score with the benefit of the run. Eternal Memories appears to be the main threat along with the improving Grand Chieftain.
Race No. 4 :- The Animal Welfare Board of India Trophy – Div. II – Class V (No Whip) – Distance :- 1200M
CHOO MANTAR :- Lightly raced and unexposed 4 year old filly trained by Faisal Abbas, she has run 3 times so far and has not been seriously tried on any of the 3 occasions so is an unknown quantity. She was given an educative run over 1200M in February and has had 2 runs so far this term, both over 1000M. Both the runs were relatively early in the season, the last of them coming 2 months ago where she made late headway to finish 5th to Abraxas but only 1 ¼ lengths behind the winner. She has been given time to improve and strengthen since then and the additional furlong is likely to suit her better. He workouts since the last run have been eye catching and she spurted alongside Class I filly Abbey which looks excellent work. G. Amit who rode her last time out is up again today and although she is drawn wide, she looks a potential improver and must be respected in spite of conceding weight all around.
OUTSTANDING :- Nicely bred 4 year old filly trained by S.K. Sunderji who has been making steady improvement this season and seems to have come to hand in her last couple of starts. She was fancied on a couple of occasions previously but showed no form in her first 13 starts before finally seeming to have got the hang of things the last twice. She looked like she was improving on her penultimate run when running on to be a faraway 2nd to Lesrel over 1200M and duly built on that last time out when favourite over 1000M and beating Rising Concert by 1 ¼ lengths and surviving an objection in the process. She has not been harshly penalized for the win and Parbat Singh who takes over from S. Zervan claims a valuable 5 kilos in the saddle so her penalty is practically negated. However, she has drawn a wide draw in Stall 12 which is a disadvantage. She looks to be progressing nicely at present however and is likely to try hard for a quick encore with the additional furlong probably suiting her.
SHAKIN STEVENS :- 4 year old gelding from the Imtiaz Sait yard who is still a maiden after 10 starts and seems to work brilliantly but does not seem to be totally straightforward on the race track. He has been fancied on a couple of occasions in the past but failed to deliver the goods and was given 2 early season runs over this trip and returns from a short break. He ran very promisingly on his reappearance over this trip when having a long lead in the straight and only collared late on, finishing a close 3rd to Eternal Dancer with a feeble rider up. However, next time out when strongly fancied with a rail draw and with Neeraj Rawal in the saddle, he faded away tamely to finish a poor 6th to Xoxo which was perplexing. He has been working extremely well since that run and could spring a surprise if putting his best foot forward so definitely merits consideration with promising apprentice A.S. Peter in the saddle today.
FIRE FLAME :- 3 year old filly who appears the most fancied of the runners from the Narendra Lagad stable and has a smart pedigree which she has not quite lived upto just yet. Winless in 10 starts so far over varying trips, she has been running forward races this season before weakening in the straight, last time out finishing up 8th to Lethal Steps over this trip with the same rider up. She has bagged the plum rail draw today so should try and make it a start to finish affair and can spring a surprise if her stamina holds out.
ROYSTON ROCK :- Unexposed 5 year old mare from the yard of Mansoor Shah, she has been making steady progress this season and looks sure to win one of these contests before too long. A maiden still after 11 runs, she did not show any form in her first 8 runs and tumbled down in the weights as a result but has been making steady progress in her last 3 starts, showing improvement with every subsequent run. She was in the betting for the first time on her penultimate run in a 5 years old and over race and ran well to finish 3rd to Diwali Lights and Bay of Love before improving again last time out to be runner up to the youngster Flammeus. The switch from Amyn Merchant to H. Zeeshan and the change of plates from steel to aluminium both suggest that she is strongly fancied today and must be respected from a good draw in Stall 2.
BAY OF LOVE :- Fully exposed 8 year old gelding trained by H.J. Antia who is another who seems to have come down to a feasible mark in the scales and has been running well and in good form this season. He has placed in his last 3 starts in similar contests, coming from further behind to finish 3rd to Flammeus last time out with a short head separating him and Royston Rock. However, that filly has more scope to improve while he appears to be quite exposed at present and while she gets a better rider, G. Amit is replaced by 5 kilo claimer N. Nadeem. He is likely to run well again and be involved in proceedings but may find one or two too strong and looks more of a minor berth contender.
CONCLUSION :- A messy race and one that is probably better avoided from a betting standpoint but Royston Rock has been making good progress with her racing and looks set to shed her maiden tag with H. Zeeshan in the saddle. Last outing winner Outstanding looks a threat in spite of the poor draw while top weight Choo Mantar is also unexposed and scopey.
Race No. 5 :- The Ashwamedha Plate – Class II & III – Distance :- 1400M
CARBONARA :- Smartly bred and well performed 5 year old from the Imtiaz Sait yard, he has won 5 of his 23 starts so far, and although he has been woefully out of form for the better part of a year, he looks to have come down to a feasible mark and is capable of being involved if returning to his best. He won back to back races on this track last season and although he has been running poor races since then, he looked like coming back to some sort of form last time out when finishing a close 4th to Forest Fairy not too far behind Texas Gold. He has had 2 runs this season so fitness should not be an issue and with Neeraj Rawal taking over in the saddle from A. Sandesh, he could be a good outsider.
STAR COUNCILLOR :- Sparingly raced 5 year who seems to have been plagued by injury for most of his career and has never quite returned to the form which saw him bag the Shapoorji Pallonji Colts Championship in his juvenile season which has been his only win till date in 12 starts. He has run some decent races in defeat since then but has been a bit inconsistent and is coming back from a long break having last run in mid March so has fitness to prove as well. He has had a Mock Race to sharpen him up but has been pushed in most of his preparatory work and looks likely to need this lung opener after the long break. The booking of A. Imran Khan suggests that connections are fancying him and he may well go fresh so he could be dangerous if allowed an easy lead up front but the percentage call is to oppose.
TEXAS GOLD :- Well performed Chinese Whisper 4 year old who is trained by Hosidar Daji and has a smart turn of foot, as evidenced in his winning 4 of his 14 starts so far. He likes to be held up and then delivered with his telling turn of foot and although most of his wins have been at a mile or beyond, he should not have a problem with the 7 furlong trip. He has run twice so far this season, getting a lung opener on reappearance and showing the benefit of that run when finishing runner up to Forest Fairy last time out over a mile. The drop back to 7 furlongs is not ideal but is unlikely to trouble him and he looks to have maintained his condition since the run. The yard has been in very good form this season and J. Chinoy who rode him for most of his 3 year old career returns to ride him after very long, replacing K. Nazil. He looks a good each way prospect here and must come into calculations.
BESHIKTASH :- Another lightly raced and improving sort who has his quirks but also has plenty of ability and comes from the yard of S.K. Sunderji. He has won 3of his 10 races so far and is coming into this contest fresh off a win over 1200M last time out where he came with a strong late run to steal the race from Gallant Knight close home. He has only been penalized 4 kilos for that narrow win which seems fair and the additional furlong seems likely to suit with C.S. Jodha keeping the ride. He has been working well since that run about a month ago so has been well rested but he is yet to win 2 races in a row so far and needs to turn up in a galloping mood again. He looks open to further improvement though and will be a potent force if at his best so looks one of the frontline contenders here and must be respected.
QUEEN CREDIBLE :- Well bred 5 year old mare with a good overall record and versatility with regards to trip although most of her best form has been over sprint distances so this 7 furlong trip may not be ideal. Trained by Rehanullah Khan, she has won 3 of her 23 starts and has also placed on 8 occasions, finishing runner up in 2 of her 3 starts this term so far. Finishing on strongly to be runner up to Wild Fire over 1000M early in the season, she went on to finish 4th to Perfect Star in a strong Class II field and last time out eased in grade and with Sandesh up, made late headway again over 1200M to beat all bar the impressive La Magnifique. She has been working very well since the run and Sandesh retains the ride so she looks a big each way player but has not done as well over 7 furlongs in the past which is something to treat cautiously.
MASTEROFBALANTRAE :- Another sparingly raced and potentially top class 5 year old who’s career has been plagued by injury but he has still performed commendably with his limited racing, coming into this season unbeaten in 3 starts and seems to finally be holding fitness having his 3rd start this term. Pipped right on the post by Domination over 1200M on his return, he went on to finish a close 4th to La Magnifique last time out and now gets a 10 kilo drop in the weights as he moved up in grade with P. Trevor taking over in the saddle today replacing S. Zervan. He comes out better than Queen Credible on a line through La Magnifique, has been working very well of late and looks set to resume his winning ways today and is strongly fancied.
CONCLUSION :- Masterofbalantrae returning from a short break looks set to return to the winner’s circle and is selected to get the better of the moody but in form Beshiktash who rates as a live danger. Texas Gold is also respected.
Race No. 6 :- The Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy – Div. I – Class IV & V – Distance :- 1400M
CELESTIAL LIGHT :- 5 year old mare trained by Imtiaz Sait who has been very consistent with her form this season and is a winner of 3 of her 24 starts overall having also placed on 9 occasions. Her last win came off a similar sort of mark over this trip in Mumbai back in February and she has been consistently placing since that time without looking like being ready to score again. She has run thrice this season, placing on 2 occasions but performing only modestly but drops back into Class IV for the first time since her win. She is taking on some promising younger horses today so winning looks tough but Raghuveer Singh takes over in the saddle from Neeraj Rawal, claiming a valuable 3 ½ kilos and she could fight it out for minor honours and be involved in the places.
INTENSE STYLIST :- Lightly raced and very promising 3 year old from the S.K. Sunderji yard, he has had 2 starts so far – one apiece in Mumbai and Pune and has run well on both occasions. Making his debut over 1200M towards the end of March, he made late headway to finish up a good 3rd to Dazzling Star and did not race again until early September. He looked vastly improved in The Southern Command Trophy over this trip when he smashed Jetfire by 8 lengths with a further 8 lengths back to the 3rd horse and looks certain to improve again with the benefit of the run. He has been working extremely well since that run, clearly looks an above average type and in spite of the heavy weight of 62 kilos, looks likely to win again in this grade before going on to better things. Hard to oppose with C.S. Jodha retaining the ride.
TIMELESS DEEDS :- Wonderfully consistent 4 year old filly trained by Narendra Lagad who began the season on what looked a useful mark and has been running extremely well on almost every start but has failed to get her head in front just yet. Overall a winner of 2 runs from 22 starts, she has run 4 times this season and finished runner up on 3 occasions, last time out dropped to 1200M when not getting adequate assistance from the saddle and just failing to reel in Kilkarry Bridge while her previous efforts were all over 7 furlongs and she returns to it today. Raghuveer Singh is replaced by another good apprentice in the form of H. Zeeshan, she is likely to get a good lead from her stable companion Orion’s Belt and looks to have a good each way shot here although facing tough resistance from the 3 year olds.
ORION’S BELT :- Front running stable companion of Timeless Deeds who will be ridden by stable jockey Dashrath Singh and has also been quite consistent this season except for her last run where she ran very poorly finishing up 8th. She had been running quite consistently before that although looking better suited to 6 furlongs although her opening effort of the season over 7 furlongs was quite promising. She too, is likely to make the running and set up a good gallop and could run into a place but may set up the race for Timeless Deeds.
IMPROVISSO :- Another promising looking and progressive 3 year old, this one from the yard of M.K. Jadhav, he too is coming into this race off the back of an impressive maiden win and has looked vastly improved this season. He has run thrice so far, making his debut towards the end of the Mumbai season over 1000M and finishing a modest 5th but looked vastly improved on his seasonal debut when finishing on strongly to be runner up to Enchanted with a feeble rider up. He duly built on that when well fancied next time out to score a smooth front running success over 1200M, easily beating Notting Hill and Flaming Martini and value for more than the official margin. The extra furlong looks unlikely to trouble him, he has been working well since the run and A. Sandesh keeps the ride. He receives 3 ½ kilos from Intense Stylist and looks the one most likely to trouble him although he does need to improve on the bare form.
ANGEL’S HARMONY :- 4 year old filly trained by Altaf Hussain who has run 15 times already but had to wait till the beginning of this season to gain her maiden success, scoring an upset pillar to post win over Cristo Boss on the opening day. She was then given a couple of easy runs but looked like she had progressed last time out when again running a forward race and only finding the improving Questionable to be too strong, finishing a good 2nd. That was a 4 years and over race so she may find it tougher against the younger horses but Vishal Bunde takes over in the saddle from Santosh G today and she looks in good heart and should be involved.
CONCLUSION :-Intense Stylist was a wide margin winner over course and distance on his return and with further improvement anticipated is confidently selected to maintain the winning thread. Improvisso, who also won nicely last time out looks to be the main danger while Timeless Deeds and Angels Harmony appeal among the older horses.
Race No. 7 :-The Animal Welfare Board of India Trophy – Div. I – Class V (No Whip) – Distance :- 1200M
BUDDYHOLLY :- Unexposed 3 year old gelding from the stable of Malesh Narredu he is winless in 4 starts till date although his last run is best taken with a pinch of salt as he dropped the rider midway through the race. He was sent off a hot favourite on his debut in Mumbai but failed to run upto expectations and finished down the field. He ran a little better with the experience when reappearing a month later and finishing a fair 3rd to Godsword although his lesser fancied stable mate Clark Kent finished ahead of him. He was rested and given time to improve over the summer and had a lung opener in July to blow away the cobwebs. He has been working quite well of late, promising 5 kilo claimer A.S. Peter has been booked to ride and in this lowest grade, he has the scope to find some more improvement and looks to have a decent chance with a good draw in Stall 3.
LA MOTTE :- Unexposed and potentially smart 4 year old filly who is returning from a year off the track, having made her racing debut last September and showing promise to finish an unextended 3rd over 1000M. She presumably had a major setback as she has not been on the track since and reappears with totally new connections in the care of trainer B. Prakash. She is entitled to need this run after such a long absence but makes her reappearance in a weak set and is expected to give a good account of herself nonetheless. A paddock check is advised to determine her current condition but with J. Chinoy up, she could strike if fit and well and looks very dangerous to ignore.
FABIO :- Inconsistent and enigmatic 5 year old gelding trained by Sanjay Kolse who was a winner over 1000M on debut but has tumbled down in the scales since with a string of inconsistent efforts and has now gone 22 starts without adding to his tally. He has run with some promise on a couple of occasions but disappointed on a subsequent start and looks very hard to support with confidence. He has had 3 runs this season so should be fit enough and did show he still had zest for racing when finishing 3rd over 1400M on his penultimate run. The booking of A. Sandesh today catches the eye, he looks to be on a handy mark at present and if he has his galloping shoes on today, he looks well placed to try and add another success and should be considered.
SANDRA :- Improving 3 year old filly trained by S.K. Sunderji she too has run thrice so far so looks to have the scope to improve but she has to bounce back from a poor effort last time out where she was well fancied over 7 furlongs but faded away to finish 7th to Anatevka. Her previous run over this trip was promising when finishing 3rd to Eden Rock with the runner up Scion a winner since and she has been working very well of late. Stable apprentice Parbat Singh replacing C.S. Jodha is a negative but in this no whip race, he claims a valuable 5 kilos and should run well from Stall No 7.
ZEEMO :- Another unexposed filly who looks to have a smart pedigree this 4 year old in the care of S.A. Waheed began racing late and has had only 3 runs so far after making a belated debut this season. She was well held on her first 2 starts over 6 furlong but showed a little improvement over 1000M last time out when front rank right from the start and kicking on to finish 4th to Outstanding and she looks capable of progressing again. She has been working well since the run and good 3 ½ kilo claimer Vishal Bunde keeps the ride but she has been hurt by the draw being drawn very wide in Stall 15 which may hamper chances. She looks to have each way claims in any event and can be involved if making further progress.
GOLDEN HORDE :- 5 year old gelding trained by Bezan Chenoy who has had 13 runs till date and scored his one and only victory back in February over this trip, holding on grimly to beat the late finishing Gandalf off a mark of 19. He has had 3 runs this term and looked to be on the way back to form when 3rd over 1400M to Lorraine last time out and was subsequently upgraded to 2nd after the winner’s disqualification. Yard’s apprentice Santosh G is up today, he looks to be in good form at present and is another who warrants each way thought in this very open looking race.
DANCE OF FIRE :- 4 year old who is one of 4 runners in the field for Trainer Narendra Lagad but is the only one with a full jockey up in the form of C. Umesh and has also bagged the best draw in Stall No. 1. She is winless in 18 starts so far in spite of having a nice pedigree and has generally run disappointingly but she did catch the eye on her last start over this trip when making good late headway from the rear to finish just outside the frame to Flammeus. That run was quite suggestive and C. Umesh now takes over from Bhawani Singh in the saddle. There is no other form to commend her chances but she cannot drop much lower in the weights and looks a good outsider who could score a stunning upset at a long price.
CONCLUSION :-Very competitive with very little form to go by and best left alone from a betting perspective. Sandra appears to have potential as does Buddyholly and the lightly raced La Motte but it is tempting to go for value in this field and at a long price, Dance Of Fire could spring a surprise. She caught the eye with her finishing effort last time out, has bagged a good draw and has a strong rider up.
Race No. 8 :- The F.A. & K.A. Irani Trophy – Class III & IV – Distance :- 1000M
GOD’S OWN :- Speedy 4 year old filly trained by Narendra Lagad who has been largely out of form this season although she excels over this trip when on song and rattled off a hattrick of 5 furlong wins last season. She began the season well when runner up to House of Commons on the opening day but has run poorly on her 3 subsequent starts, last time out finishing 6th to Wise Child. After being ridden by T.S. Jodha all season, she has Dashrath Singh in the saddle for the first time today which is a positive and she has been working quite well. She does have top weight to defy in this large field and one would like to see some more spark from her before being a confident supporter but she merits each way consideration and could be involved in the frame.
GOLD FIELD :- Another potentially very speedy type, this 4 year old filly trained by Adhirajsingh Jodha is effective over this trip and has won 3 of her 13 starts although she does seem to prefer 6 furlongs nowadays. She scored a shock win over the reopposing Nembe Greek over 1200M towards the end of the Mumbai season and began the season well when 3rd just behind God’s Own on the opening day but has then run poorly in her last 2 efforts. She may have needed those runs to regain fully fitness and Neeraj Rawal taking over in the saddle today is a big positive. She has bagged a good draw in Stall No 2 and if returning to her best form, looks to have a strong chance to earn another bracket today.
POKERFACE :- Sparingly raced 4 year old gelding trained by Nosher Cama who has won 2 of his 10 starts till date, both wins coming over the minimum trip and has been slowly working his way back to form and fitness this term. He has had 2 runs this season, reappearing only in August when he was in need of the run badly but looking like coming back to form last time out when finishing on to make the frame and be 4th behind impressive Iron Age. That run looked to be a good warm up for this race and his last couple of workouts have been very speedy. P.S. Chouhan replacing B. Nikhil in the saddle is a big positive and he looks one of the chief contenders here and is expected to run a very big race.
ENCHANTED :- Speedy 3 year old filly from the stable of Malesh Narredu who has relished the short Pune straight and is a winner of 2 of her 3 starts this season after having made a promising debut in Mumbai. Scoring a bloodless maiden win on the opening day, she found Class III company too stiff next time out when only 6th behind Princess P but bounced back quickly when upped to 6 furlongs last time out, well ridden by promising claimer A.S. Peter who is up again today and holding off Xoxo determinedly to score by a little over a length with the pair well clear of the rest. She has only been penalized 5 kilos for that win which will be offset by her rider’s claim, she seems to have maintained her form and fitness and although back up in grade now, should make a determined bid to score another win.
RIQUEWIHR :- Up and coming 3 year old sprinter from the powerful Pesi Shroff yard, she had a busy Mumbai campaign after scoring an effortless wide margin win on debut but struggled in the face of some tough assignments after that, runner up twice over 6 furlongs and then 3rd in The Bahrain Trophy behind Columbianaprincess. The summer break seemed to freshen her up and she returned in good form to get the better of Kilkarry Bridge over this trip and is likely to improve again. P. Trevor who rode her last time out keeps the ride, she has the scope to progress further and in spite of catching a wide berth in Stall 13, she looks a big danger to all and is greatly respected.
CONCLUSION :- Another large field but Riquewihr made a very promising return and seemed to relish the short Pune straight and is selected to continue her progression and win this. Pokerface has been working very well and shapes as a danger as do the speedy Enchanted and Gold Field with Neeraj Rawal up today
Race No. 9 :- The Suresh Mahindra Trophy – Class I & II – Distance :- 3200M
VULCAN :- 5 year old stayer trained by Adhirajsingh Jodha who was a one time Classic candidate for the yard but came up well short in the Classics although he did develop into a Class I handicapper. He has a good record of 5 wins and 7 placed efforts from his 23 starts but he has yet to traverse this gruelling trip although he has proved to be effective upto 2400M. He ran a cracker of a race in The Idar Gold Cup last time out, making all the running and being nabbed right on the post by Sana so he looks to be in good form at present. He has top weight to defy in this small field but is likely to be able to control the gallop again from the front and the booking of A. Sandesh is a big positive. He looks a strong stayer so is expected to be able to get the trip and is given an excellent chance to score.
RAEES :- 5 year old gelding trained by Imtiaz Sait who was a brilliant winner of this race last year and returns to defend his title but has been surrounded by controversy of late and does not look in as good form as he was last season. Winner of 5 of his 19 starts so far, he seems to have lost form since his brilliant win in this race last year, running poorly in 2 prestigious staying races in Kolkotta and after making a promising reappearance over 2000M behind Caprisca, was injudiciously ridden last time out over 2400M and was trounced by Winter Renaissance. C.S. Jodha picked up a 6 month suspension for that ride so it may be prudent to overlook that run and if he is able to return to his form of last season, he could very well make it 2 wins in a row in this race. Respected.
FRIVOLOUS :- Sparingly raced 5 year old colt trained by Malesh Narredu who steps up to this trip for the very first time but looks less exposed than his rivals and has had an interesting preparation for this event. Conqueror of subsequent 1000 Guineas winner Mrs. Patmore on his racing debut, he was highly regarded as a potentially Classic horse but could only finish 6th to Serjeant At Arms in the Indian 2000 Guineas and was subsequently stepped up in trip. He has won over 2400M in the past albeit in Class III but seemed quite out of form in Mumbai where finishing well behind Vulcan on a couple of occasions. However, he was brought along steadily this season and after having a lung opener over 1400M, finished on strongly last time out to be runner up to Gold Bond over 2000M which should put him spot on for this. He comes into this off a low weight, has been working very well of late and if he manages to get the trip, then he looks to have a very good chance to return to the winners circle with Yash Narredu on board.
CONCLUSION :- Although Raees has impeccable credentials and is the only one proven over the trip, he has been under a cloud since his last run and horses that are surrounded by controversy rarely win next time out so it may be better to take a chance on the sparingly raced Frivolous who has probably had this race targeted from the beginning of the season and finished on smartly last time out. In receipt of 7 kilos and 9 kilos from the other 5 year olds, he could prove to be too strong today.
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)