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PAST THE POST - A Review of the Jacqueline Indian 2000 Guineas (Grade 1 ) - By Cyrus Naterwalla

Posted on - 18 Dec 2017

PAST THE POST – A Review of the Jacqueline Indian 2000 Guineas (Grade 1 )
 - By Cyrus Naterwalla
Just like Serjeant At Arms last year, this year appeared to have an outstanding contender in the form of the giant striding Castlebridge (Burden of Proof x Castle Queen ) who had won 7 of his last 8 starts in emphatic fashion and has outclassed several of these when cantering to an effortless victory in the Maharaja of Morvi Trophy earlier in the season. He was sent off one of the shortest priced 2000 Guineas favourites ever at meagrely odds of 10/3 on. With Castlebridge’s win considered more or less a foregone conclusion, the interest was focussed on who would occupy the minor places and this looked very competitive. Perfect Star, who was to be ridden by David Allan appeared to be the most obvious choice as he had finished 2 lengths behind Castlebridge in the Bangalore Colts Trial in the summer but was beaten into 4th in the Pune Derby and was coming into this without a prep race. The form choice appeared to be the improving Rochester who had finished runner up to Lady in Lace in the Pune Derby and ahead of several of these but he too was running without a preparatory race. Bateleur and Pure Zinc, both of whom had finished behind Castlebridge last time out also fancied their chances. In the paddock, Castlebridge stood out as well, a bundle of muscle and looking extremely well within himself while with the exception of Timeless, most of the others looked pretty fit as well. Castlebridge darted out of the gates in his customary fashion and set up a strong pace to Costa Brava who was moved up into 2nd by Colm O’ Donoghue who had flown down all the way from Ireland to take the ride. Gallant Knight was being brushed up to make a forward move and try and hassle Castlebridge up front with Pure Zinc racing in 4th but not quite settling and throwing his head about. A length or so away came Mygrator and Perfect Star racing together being tracked a couple of lengths away by Rochester. Caprisca was ridden well off the pace with Bateleur 2nd last and Timeless sporting the first time blinkers last of all. Castlebridge continued to bowl along up front and seemed to have the field stretched turning for home with Costa Brava hard at work to hold on to his 2nd spot, Gallant Knight going backwards and Rochester who had made significant headway going in chase but also under pressure as Perfect Star moved up to make his challenge. Castlebridge had to be shaken up and given a couple of cracks by Trevor in the final furlong as both Rochester and Perfect Star appeared to be closing the gap gradually but he had enough left in the tank to maintain his lead and he spared just under 2 lengths at the wire. Rochester stayed on nicely to end up a good 2nd while Perfect Star kept on to take the 3rd spot. Bateleur who had been held up in the rear made some good late progress past tiring horses to come and fill the 4th spot.
Castlebridge did not win as easily as was anticipated and he did have to work hard to keep the challengers at bay in the end but he still managed to get the job done. It will be interesting to see what route connections choose to follow with him now and whether he will be trained for longer trips. Rochester was the one who ran a very promising race considering it was his seasonal debut and he looks the type who will do better over further. Perfect Star ran as well as can be expected but he appears to be just short of the top level and is also not certain to stay much further. Bateleur on the other hand made promising late headway and as he is lightly raced, he also has scope for future improvement. The race probably came too early for the inexperienced Costa Brava but he also looks to have potential and should win more races dropped back into handicaps. 
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)

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