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Analysis of Mumbai races (Sunday, March 10, 2013) by Prakash Gosavi

Posted on - 10 Mar 2013

(Note: This column is meant as an aid for casual race goers, not for serious bettors.)


 
First race @ 1.30 pm
The Flareon Plate
(Class V, 1-26; 1200m)
Note: This race is reserved for horses owned by owner/s having an interest (in any share) in five or less horses (excluding syndicates and 2-year olds) on the day the entries for the race close.)
 
The extremely consistent Arabian Lord (formerly Itsmyway) was rather unlucky in last two starts: he couldn't get an opening in time when stuck on the inner rails (race # 157, won by Absolute Star), and in the last run when it looked like he had pulled it off, Tropical Zone moved up fluently to spoil his party near home. He is clearly the horse they all will need to beat.
 
Laurus Pride, after his victory in open class V over this same trip, has once again returned to the bottom class rather quickly by running two races in class IV, and the fact that he has now chosen to enter into this age-restricted contest, makes him a strong contender too, especially if he can hit the front from the word go.
 
Money Strike, who attracted a lot of money when Zervan was declared to ride her in last start, flopped as a favourite then, but today, with a furlong less to travel, she might run a big race at the bottom handicap.
 
Selections: Arabian Lord 1, Laurus Pride 2, Money Strike 3.
Recommended as bet: None

 
Second race @ 2 pm
The Indian Navy Trophy
(Class II, 60-86; 1400m)
 
Just now I checked out the late night odds, and actually, I am a bit surprised that it is Manyatta (10 to 9 on)—and not Storm Tracker (11/10)—who has opened as the favourite for this race. I agree Manyatta is no mean horse—and he finished ahead of Storm Tracker the only time they raced together (Hyd Derby)—but that was a mile-and-a-half race, and today's contest is over seven furlongs.
 
Maybe, that's because I am looking at this race from a different perspective. Here is a horse (Storm Tracker) who has won all his races except one (the debut loss to Maple Star was in the Stewards' room, not on the track, note), while his main adversary (Manyatta) has lost six of his eight career starts so far. Storm Tracker has won both his starts (again, on the racetrack) over this trip so far, while Manyatta's best trip is perhaps six furlongs (4 starts, 1 win, 1 second, 1 third, 1 unplaced)—the only time he went over this trip earlier, he finished off the board.
 
However, I must admit that Manyatta's preparation has been exceptional—especially, the last two trials with Emerging Star (Feb 18) & Okavango (March 5).
 
Still, I strongly feel that only an exceptionally telented horse can hope to beat Storm Tracker over this trip, and that too, only if he shows his old temperamental side once again. But since he hasn't shown it in the last two runs, one can safely presume he is a mature galloper now, and should be able to run his best race today.
 
Selections: Storm Tracker 1, Manyatta 2.
Recommended as bet: Storm Tracker for WIN

 
Third race @ 2.30 pm
The Jasdanwalla Trophy - Division II
(For 5y & over, Class III, 40-66; 1200m)
 
This Ones For You caught the eye when finishing on from the rear in a five-furlong race last time, so the Rehanullah Khan-trained five-year-old will obviously have many supporters. However, as favourite (night odds 18/10)—and especially with a five-kg claimer rookie in saddle—I don't think he represents value.
 
Foxtrot, who had a good rehearsal in last start, is now going out with an apprentice who, of late, is showing some promise, and may run a big race. Gloria, who shocked an open class III field at the odds of 20/1 and later finished less than 4 lengths behind in a similar set up, may just relish to race now this race reserved for 5y & older horses. And Unknown Rebel, whose last run was much, much better than it looked to the naked eye, may be able to post a big effort in the hands of Kavraj Singh who seems to be in good nick nowadays.
 
But the horse I wish to draw your attention to is In The Limelight (formerly Tolstoy). He is coming out after more than four months—last showed up at Pune as favourite, lost narrowly to Step Up—and although only one work is listed for him in the name of preparation, he definitely towers over this field on the strength of the class factor. If fit, he can win this race in an effortless manner. 
 
Selections: In The Limelight 1, Unknown Rebel 2, This Ones For You 3.
Recommended as bet: None

 
Fourth race @ 3 pm
The Mulraj Goculdas Trophy
(Class I, 80 & upwards; 1200m)
 
Like the other day I did in the case of Hurrican Wind, I am yet again putting aside all handicapping considerations and nominating Neona as the first choice only because in last start, when losing to Deja Vu, she took what I call FINOO strides all along the long Mahalaxmi stretch, suggesting that she would be hard to toss in her next start.
 
Therefore, though somewhere deep in my heart I feel her best trip is actually seven furlongs, I am nominating her as a bettable proposition in this field which has a couple of excellent sprinters like Ishpingo & Scarlet Pimpernel
 
Selections: Neona 1, Scalet Pimpernel 2, Ishpingo 3.
Recommended as bet: Neona for WIN

 
Fifth race @ 3.45 pm
The Y M Chaudhry Memorial Trophy
(For 3y, maidens; 1400m)
 
I don't understand much about bloodlines (and I care even less!), so it doesn't bother me one bit to think of Amistad as a very strong contender for this race, though I am told by experts that his dam, Dynasty, excelled over sprints, and especially, the five-furlong trip.
 
The way Amistad raced on debut over six furlongs, despite losing one of the shoe plates (perhaps during the race), earned him a very good figure on the scale of my Dynamic Ratings. So today when he goes out with change of equiment (tongue strap ON) and some very good preparation prescribed by the master trainer, he is the strongest contender for the top spot despite this being his first run after being gelded, I feel.
 
Though the connections of Grand Duke, Aravali & Desert Wings will have their own reasons to fancy their horses too, I think they may be left fighting for the minor places, and the Shroff ward should be able to post a rather easy victory in the hands of Zervan.
 
Selections: Amistad 1, Grand Duke 2, Desert Wings 3.
Recommended as bet: Amistad for WIN

Sixth race @ 4.15 pm

The C.N. Wadia Gold Cup (Grade 2)
(For 4y & over;  2400m)
 
This race, for horses four years old & oder, is the stellar attraction of today's card. Seven runners are in the fray, and if you look at their current official ratings and compare the same with the weights they are asked to carry thanks to the terms of the race, this becomes quite an interesting exercise.

Caesars Star & Monet, the only two four-year-olds in the fray, are rated well below 100. They, along with five-year-old Invictus (rated 88), are ambitiously taking on the quartet of Capriole, Spearhead, Bling & Nadia, all of whom are on the more respectable side of the century mark.
 
I feel, in all probability, it may be the last twoNadia & Bling, who will be engaged in a close finish at the end of the mile-and-a-half trip. With little luck Nadia (P Trevor up) may finally be able to realize the long-cherished dream of her young trainer, the Bangalore-based Neil Darashah, of winning a graded race on the western India circuit.

Selections: Nadia 1, Bling 2, Spearhead 3.
Recommended as bet: None

 
Seventh race @ 5 pm
The Jayaramdas Patel Gold Trophy
(Class IV, 20-46; 2000m)
 
It has now become almost habitual—like an automated thought pattern beyond my own controlfor me. Whenever Act Of War chooses to race, I find myself forced to treat him as a contender. Be it change of jockey or equipment, or like todaychange of trip—my mind tries to be at its creative best and tries to invent new excuses to fall for this horse.
 
My today's piece of logic (?) is this:
Act of War went over six furlongs thrice, never even placed once;
was tried twice over seven furlongs, placed third on both occasions;
ran twice over the mile trip, placed second in both runs.
Doesn't that perhaps hint the horse is doing better over progressively longer trips? Don't be surprised if he actually wins this race—finally.
 
Starring (another consistent failure, the always-there-but-not-quite type horse) & Chicharito (very good last run over mile, can do better over this trip) are the ones who appeal as the other prime contenders.
 
Selections: Act Of War 1, Chicarito 2, Starring 3.
Recommended as bet: None

 

Eighth race @ 5.30 pm
The Ranjit V. Bhat Memorial Gold Cup
(For 3y, maidens; 1000m)

The well-bred and well-prepared Amelia from leading trainer Pesi Shroff's yard will be the rage in the betting, though this will be her debut run. She is listed at 11/10 in the night odds, mainly, because from the horses that have had the benefit of a run, the market seems to be considering Remember Me (night odds 5/2) & Tahrir (4/1) as better horses.

While those two are fairly decent animals, I think the best among the horses that have raced is actually the Dallas Todywalla-trained Colourful Prince. Despite a sluggish start, he finished on well during his debut run at Pune, managing to cross the wire less than one second after the highly rated Decathlon did.

Now with ample rest and significant preparation, he seems to be the one who will give a good account of himself, and if, for any reason, Amelia doesn't turn out to be as great as implied by her place in the betting, Colourful Prince will stake a legitimate claim to the winner's enclosure.

Selections: Colourful Prince 1, Amelia 2, Remember Me 3.
Recommended as bet: None

 
Ninth race @ 6 pm
The Jasdanwalla Trophy - Division II
(For 5y & over, Class III, 40-66; 1200m)
 
At first glance, this seems like a very contentious race with too many horses running with a realistic chance.
 
Arctic Minstrel (finished uninterested fourth to Grande Dame in last run, can definitely do better), King Julien (can have a big say in this age-restricted affair), Augustus (failed fav last time over seven furlongs, now going over six, has been a winner over this trip in open class IV two runs ago) and Apocalypse (a dark horse who can upset) all seem to be running with some chance, but my choice for the race is Theology who, despite being badly positioned, flew like a winged horse (but out of the camera view) when finishing 2-1/4 lengths behind winner Zakynthos (race #160), and later had a good rehearsal behind Storm Tracker in open class III.
 
At lucrative odds [night odds: 5/1] that she is bound to go out, Theology is a bettable proposition over this trip and in this set, I feel.
 
Selections: Theology 1, Arctic Minstrel 2, King Julien 3.
Recommended as bet: Theology for WIN

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