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Posted on - 10 Jan 2018

- By Cyrus Naterwalla
Race No. 1 :- The General Obaidullah Khan Trophy – Class II – Distance :- 2400M
UNCLE SCROOGE :-Is a quirky 6 year old gelding trained by M.K. Jadhav who is versatile with regards to trip but seems a moody customer although he clearly has ability when running upto his best. He has won 4 of his 22 starts so far, 3of those wins coming over middle distances but he does have a mile and a half win to his name and has run well over this trip before. He scored a shock victory over a mile just last week when coming with a strong run to wear down Daffodil and Bold March and is turned out again quickly under a 4 ½ kilo penalty but is upped significantly in trip. The small field may turn the race into a tactical one but he has established that he is currently in good form and could very well be capable of scoring a quick encore if in a galloping mood again. Neeraj Rawal keeps the ride.
FRIVOLOUS :- Potentially smart and sparingly raced 5 year old from the MaleshNarredu stable, he has always been held in high regard but seems to have multiple problems and often appears to run below his best. He has raced just 7 times till date and has won 3 of those so has a good overall record but was disappointing over 2000M last time out when finishing 3rd beaten 3 lengths by Big Sur who opposes again today. He comes off 2 lengths better than Big Sur on that last run and has won over this trip on his penultimate run in Pune so looks to have the credentials to reverse the form but he does not seem to be reliable or consistent so there is a good chance that the younger horse could improve past him. He does have a handicap chance on paper, Yash Narredu replaces P.S. Chouhan in the saddle and he would look to be a frontline contender but cannot be relied on.
BIG SUR :-Trained by Sanjay Kolse, this 4 year old son of Win Legend is a Derby hopeful for his small yard and seems to be improving with every run. He has won 3 of his last 4 starts barring a poor effort in the Pune Derby and is unbeaten this season having won both his races over 1800M and 2000M respectively, easily beating Frivolous last time out in receipt of 6.5 kilos. Overall he has won 4 of his 9 starts and has the maximum scope to improve from this lot although he is tackling the 2400M trip for the first time. He is 2 lengths worse off with Frivolous on the last run but his manner of racing suggests that he will stay the trip and with P. Trevor booked to ride, he needs to win this well to have a realistic chance of making the frame in the Derby.
VULCAN :- 5 year old colt trained by Adhirajsingh Jodha, his overall record is satisfactory with 4 wins from 15 starts but he finished tailed off in the Indian St. Leger in September and has been struggling to come to form since then. He finished well behind Frivolous and Big Sur over 2000M last time out and looks tough for him to reverse that form in spite of the longer trip being in his favour. A. Imran Khan takes over in the saddle today and the only positive for him is that he may be able to control the pace from the front in this small field. He looks to have it all to do and appears to be the outsider of the quartet.
CONCLUSION :-In spite of the small field this looks tricky and it may just make sense to side with the improving 4 year old Big Sur in spite of him tackling this trip for the first time and being out handicapped with Frivolous who did not look at his best last time out and should be the main danger
Race No. 2 :- The Tiger Tops Plate – Class III – Distance :-- 1600M
ELEGANT BEAUTY :- Inconsistent 5 year old mare trained by Malesh Narredu she has won 3 of her 13 starts overall but her last win came in March on this track when beating Glorious Eyes by a length. She ran poorly on her 2 starts in Pune and had a lung opener on this track earlier in the season when finishing 6th of 7 to Selfie Star over this trip. She is likely to have improved for the run and strip fitter and her track work has been quite satisfactory but she needs to show a little more spark on the race track before she can be seriously fancied. Yash Narredu takes the ride and she looks up against it off top weight in this field and is given a small upset chance only.
ETERNALINSPIRATION :-5 year old mare trained by Nirad Karanjawala she is a winner of 2 of her 17 starts and has been working her way into form and running quite consistently over this trip of late. Her last run was very promising when she finished on well to be a close 3rd to Nicholas and Turning Point over 1400M and is likely to be suited by the additional furlong. She has been working well since the last run and although she appears to be holding her form well without improving much, she could have a say in the finish with A. Imran Khan taking over from Yash Narredu, and she is given a fair each way chance.
GRAND VITESSE :-6 year old gelding trained by Hosidar Daji, he is a veteran of 25 races with 2 wins to his name but seems to have hit good form this season. After chasing home Zanara over a mile on reappearance he gained an overdue success over 7 furlongs in older company when scoring with authority over Marvel and Master of Trinity. He ran well last time out as well when promoted into this grade, ending up a flying late 4th behind Beshiktash in a strong field. The step up to a mile should be in his favour and S. Zervan now takes over from K. Nazil in the saddle. He appears to be in good form at present and is likely to make the finish interesting.
AUBURN :-Scopey 3 year old filly from the yard of Vishal Gaikwad, she looks a very interesting contender having had just 3 starts till date. After being given an educative run over an inadequate 5 furlongs in February, she impressed one and all on her 2nd career start when appearing after a long break to decimate the opposition over a mile, winning impressively from Ice Dancer and looking value for more than the official margin. She impressed connections so much that she was entered in the Pune Derby but found the step up in grade too much at such an early stage and after travelling nicely until the bend dropped away to finish well beaten. She has been rested and judiciously prepared since then and although her work has been quite easy, she looks a potentially smart sort and if fit enough after the break, should be very hard to beat with Neeraj Rawal in the saddle.
GLORIOSUS :-Improving 4 year old colt trained by ImtiazSait, he looks to be developing into a decent handicapper and has run well both starts this term. He has run 7 times overall with a win and two seconds to his name and after finishing a close 2nd to Albareto on his reappearance over a mile, was a shade disappointing as a favourite last time out when finishing 3rd to Lord of the Sea, although only beaten a length in a muddling affair. He is having his 3rd run in a short space of time but looks well within himself at present and could trouble Auburn.
CONCLUSION :- The well bred and potentially smart filly Auburn looks a reasonably good bet provided she is fit enough after the break and should be able to tackle this lot. Gloriosus appears to be the main danger while Grand Vitesse looks the best of the older horses
Race No. 3 :- The Assert The Right Plate – Maiden 3 Year Olds – Distance :- 1200M
CHOSEN ONE :-Surfrider gelding from the S.K. Sunderji yard who comes from a good Indian family with the mare Leit Motif having already thrown some decent progeny, he looks a promising sort who has been working quite well in the lead up to this race. He has moved quite well in his limited track work and is to be ridden by A.Imran Khan. As with most of these, a paddock check is advised but he is likely to run well and give a good account of himself.
PERPETUAL WINNING :-Appears to be working the best of the debutants and this colt from the M.K. Jadhav yard also appears to be a promising sort on paper. Has had a decent amount of work so is likely to be fit and ready to go and with Neeraj Rawal booked to ride, he is another who should be in the firing line and must be considered.
PIONEER :-Looks the part on paper, this 3 year old colt from the MaleshNarredu yard is by Phoenix Tower out of Oaks winner Riyasat and is the sister of Majestic who performed well for the same connections. He is entitled to need this run as he looks a little short on preparatory work but has moved well in his limited amount of trackwork and definitely appears a promising sort for the future. Suraj Narredu takes the ride and he is one that must be considered seriously especially if looking well in the preliminaries.
SPITFIRE :- Another promising looking Phoenix Tower gelding who comes from the powerful Pesi Shroff yard and has moved well in a couple of easy workouts. The yard has been bang in form with their 2 year olds this season and hence even though not fully wound up, Spitfire must be respected and looks an exciting sort. David Probert who takes the ride already had a winner for the same connections with Riquewihr and could very well have another first time out winner so keep an eye on him.
KORA JADE :-Comes from the yard of Dallas Todywalla and being by Excellent Art, should be a speedy sort. Her last couple of workouts have been quite impressive, working alongside the stable’s Class I filly Goldie’s Pet last time out and with C.S. Jodha booked to ride, she looks yet another who is worthy of consideration.
OOMPH :-One of 2 runners in the field with previous experience, this Vishal Gaikwad ward was strongly fancied on debut and travelled well for a long way but was shocked right on the line by the potentially smart Mozart, ending up a creditable 2nd. She is sure to have learnt plenty from that experience and with a run under her belt and the man of the moment P. Trevor in the saddle, she should take advantage of her experience and looks the one to beat .
CONCLUSION :-With benefit of experience a huge advantage in 3 year old contests, Oomph is a confident selection having just been pipped over course and distance on debut and she looks likely to make amends although she is taking on some potentially smart types from leading yards. Both Pioneer and Spitfire looks useful sorts and may be worth chancing at a price and this race looks likely to throw up several future winners.
Race No. 4 :- The Perceived Value Plate – Class IV – Distance :- 1600M
SUMAAQ :-Consistent 6 year old mare from the Faisal Abbas yard, she is a winner of 2 of her 22 starts but has placed on 10 other occasions so her record is good. She has consistently been placing over this sort of trip and shorter in similar contests in her last several starts and was unlucky not to earn a bracket last time out when not getting the clearest of runs in the straight and finishing on strongly to be 2nd to Carnival. She seems to have maintained her form and fitness, C.S. Jodha retains the ride and although she is taking on some promising 4 year olds, she looks in good form and should be given a decent each way chance.
GRAND ACCORD :-Lightly raced and well regarded 4 year old from the yard of Karthik G. he has raced 3 times till date and clearly has plenty of scope to improve. He made his debut only in September this year, finishing 3rd over 1400M to Admo and Sagittarius and then went on to run a good 2nd to Lady Almeda upped to this trip on his 2nd start. He made his first appearance on this track over an inadequate 6 furlongs and looked rusty when finishing 5th to Aurelia but is sure to improve and strip fitter and will relish the step back up to a mile. A. Imran Khan retains the ride and with the run under his belt, he is sure to be a factor and must be seriously considered.
KHARTOUM :-Once raced 4 year old gelding from the Pesi Shroff yard, he made an impressive debut in Pune back in October when covering a lot of ground from the middle of the pack to end up runner up to Collegium over 1400 in a decent maiden. He is sure to have learnt plenty from that experience and stripped fitter today and he has been given a fair amount of preparatory work to get him fit. David Probert is an eye catching Jockey booking and he is expected to have made enough improvement to tackle this field and looks a strong fancy.
ARRECIFE :- Another potentially smart 4 year old filly, this one is trained by Zadmal Singh and is a half sister to the speedy Class I mare Elena. She was given a quiet educative run over 5 furlongs back in October but showed how much she had benefitted from that last time out on this track when running a cracker in a 7 furlong maiden and finishing a half length 2nd to Rincon with Bhawani Singh up. She seems to have improved for that run judging from her track work since and P. Trevor now takes over in the saddle suggesting that connections are very strong. She too is likely to have progressed and looks to have an excellent chance to gain a winner for her small yard .
BISHOP OF DERRY :-Another potential improver from the Vishal Gaikwad yard he too has raced twice till date and has scope to improve. He made no show on his debut back in October over 6 furlongs but hinted at some ability on his first appearance on this track over this trip when running a very forward race and leading for a long way before retiring. He has been working well since the run but the booking of Kishore Kadam tempers enthusiasm somewhat and the owners appear to have a stronger contender in Khartoum .
WABI SABI :- 4 year old filly from the AdhirajsinghJodha yard, she has run 4 times till date and looked like her turn was not far away on her penultimate run in Pune when finishing on strongly to end up a good 2nd to Aurelia over 1200M. She was strongly fancied on her first run this term over 1200 but ran dismally to end up a faraway 5th behind Tanjo. She may have been a shade rusty and needed the run that day and on her pedigree the step up to this trip looks likely to suit. S.A. Amit has been booked to ride today and she looks an interesting outsider who could go well at a price if taking to this longer trip.
CONCLUSION :-The Pesi Shroff trained Khartoum should progress sufficiently from his promising debut to take this and is the selection in what could be a competitive affair. Arrecife and Grand Accord are also capable of further progress and are feared while Wabi Sabiis an interesting runner at a longer price with the step up in trip expected to suit
Race No. 5 :- The Raosaheb D.K. Parkar Trophy – Div. II – Class IV – Distance :- 1200M
CRYSTAL BALL :- 5 year old marewho is trained by Altaf Hussain but seems to have gone off the boil after scoring her last win in Pune a couple of starts ago and needs to bounce back. She is overall a winner of 2 of her 15 starts her last win coming off a mark of 31, beating Slam Dunk in a close finish. She has run poorly on her 2 starts since, one being a lung opener on this track and T.S. Jodha has been booked to ride today. She seems to have found a relatively weak field to take on here and if returning to her best, she could very well be involved and is worth taking into consideration.
GOLD FIELD:- Lightly raced and improving 4 year old trained by AdhirajsinghJodha, she gained her maiden victory on this track as a juvenile back in April  but seemed to go off the boil since then and has been slowly finding her feet since then. She ran poorly in her 2 runs in Pune but showed some improvement this term, first when finishing 3rd to Stallone over 1000M and last time out when upped to this trip for the first time, when running an excellent close 2nd to Democrat with a 5 kilo claimer in the saddle. She has been working well since that run suggesting that she has progressed further and D.S. Daman now takes over in the saddle so she looks the form choice in this field and in spite of a wide draw in Stall 10, is a leading contender to get back to winning form .
CHECKMATE :-Very interesting and well bred got abroad debutant from the Pesi Shroff stable, he is by Canford Cliffs who was a top quality miler in the UK and looks an interesting prospect on paper. He has just had a solitary piece of track work this season and looks likely to need this educative run but he could just be classy enough to tackle this lot and if looking relatively fit in the paddock, could be one to be on at a price with Neeraj Rawal taking the ride.
LORRAINE :- Another promising 4 year old debutant, this one from the stable of Mansoor Shah, she is a half sister to The Unicorn so is likely to come into her own eventually over further but has been given plenty of preparatory work and should be fit enough to go first time out. 5 kilo claimer H. Zeeshan has been riding well this season and takes the ride and she is another interesting sort who could be good enough to win first time out .
MANZANITA :- Sparingly raced and progressive filly from the Sanjay Kolse yard, she has run thrice till date and made a promising debut back in March last year when finishing runner up to Lord Commander over course and distance but did not quite build on that 2 weeks later when only managing 4th to Lady Sergeant next time out. She was off the track for almost 8 months then and clearly needed the lung opener when reappearing almost 2 months ago and finishing well down the field on handicap debut. She is sure to come on considerably for that run and her recent track work suggests that she has improved. S. Zervan takes over in the saddle from S.A. Amit and off a low weight, she is respected and looks to have a good chance to return to form .
CONCLUSION :-The form horse here appears to be Gold Field while Manzanita is also respected but at a possible long price, it is tempting to take a chance on the fashionably bred Checkmate. The son of Canford Cliffs looks an exciting prospect on paper and even though he looks a touch short on fitness and preparatory work, he could have the class to tackle this lot.
Race No. 6:- The Indian Air Force Trophy – Class III – Distance :- 1000M
DOUBLE NINE :- Speedy 5 year old colt who has been running well of late and scored a fluent success over course and distance last time out in a 4 years old and over contest so comes into this at the top of his game. He has not been too harshly penalized for that win but did not face anything too speedy that day and this looks considerably tougher. A. Imran Khan takes over from P.S. Chouhan in the saddle and he has to concede weight all around so even though he is likely to make a bold bid to repeat, he looks to have a tough task .
GRAN PARADISO :- 5 year old mare trained by M.K. Jadhav who was in excellent form during the recent Pune season, notching up two seconds and a win in her last 3 starts, the win coming last time out over 1200M when she decimated the opposition in the lower class. She is having her first start since September so is likely to need this run but K. Nazil claims a useful 5 kilos in the saddle, she has been in sparkling form and is dangerous to ignore.
JUGGERNAUT :-Speedy 4 year old gelding trained by Narendra Lagad who has 3 wins to his name from 11 starts and although his best form has been over 5 furlongs, his last win was over this trip in October beating Miss Moneypenny. He has had 2 runs this term so is likely to be fit enough and he finished 4th last time out. T.S. Jodha has been booked to ride today and he looks to have an each way chance here .
ORACLE :- Speedy 4 year old gelding trained by NazakChenoy who has done well in his limited career of 5 runs, winning on 2 occasions. He won each of this first 2 starts in his juvenile season, narrowly beating Wise Child on the 2nd occasion on similar terms but he ran poorly on 2 starts in Pune, before looking to be coming back to form back on this track last time out when no match for Lincoln but finishing on to be 2nd ahead of Juggernaut who was 4th that day. He does not seem to be the same speedy type but can build on that last effort and looks to have a good chance to bounce back with P. Trevor in the saddle.
WISE CHILD :-Another speedy character who has only won once in 5 starts but has performed well on each and every outing till date and appears best over this 5 furlongs. He finished ahead of Double Nine when chasing home owner mate Shamwari last time out and is likely to improve for that run and strip fitter. His track work has been good, S.A. Amit claims a useful 1.5 kilos in the saddle and with the benefit of the run, he now looks a strong contender to get back to winning ways .
GLORIOUS LAND :-5 year old mare who began her career with Dallas Todywalla but moved recently to AdilDajee’s yard and has been working her way into fitness for her new connections. She ran a forward race on her reappearance when finishing 5th behind Double Nine last time out and can gain revenge with the added fitness. The booking of Neeraj Rawal suggests that connections fancy their chances and although she has drawn a wide berth in Stall 14, she is one to consider .
INVICTUS MANEO :- Improving 4 year old who is unbeaten in 2 starts till date and has impressed in both his wins, showing a neat turn of foot on both occasions last time out when ridden wide throughout but still good enough to score. 5 kilo penalty does not seem to be too harsh, he looks to have maintained his form and fitness and with Dashrath Singh retaining the ride, he could still be ahead of the handicapper and should make a bold bid to complete the hattrick.
CONCLUSION :-This looks to be a straight fight between Wise Child and Invictus Maneo although Oracle is also respected and can be involved
Race No. 7 :- The April Blossom Plate – Class V – Distance :- 1200M
EPIPHANY :- Well bred 4 year old filly trained by NazakChenoy who ran promisingly on debut back in Pune when finishing 4th to InvictusManeo although was not so good next time out over 1200M when finishing a poor 5th to Sereno. She is sure to improve appreciably on just her 3rd start and has been working very well of late. P. Trevor takes over in the saddle, she should have improved over the break and in this lowest grade, she looks a very strong fancy to gain a maiden success.
SKYSURFER :- Improving 4 year old filly who has run 4 times till date and showed some significant improvement on her last start over this trip when making eye catching late headway from the rear to finish 4thto Royal Classic over course and distance. That was her first run of some note so she could just be coming to hand and with Raghuveer Singh taking over from N.B. Kuldeep in the saddle and the rail draw, she looks a strong contender to succeed if she can build on that last effort .
STAR ANISE :- Another unexposed 4 year old filly, from the yard of Faisal Abbas she has also run 4 times till date, finishing just outside the frame in her first 3 starts and apparently showing some improvement towards the end of the Pune season where she showed a marked improvement in her track work. She had a lung opener on her handicap debut when attempting this trip for the first time and if showing further improvement she can be involved .
POLYNEICES :- 4 year old from the Shazaan Shah yard who has run 8 times till date without much success, his best effort being when finishing 3rd to Cambridge and Sereno on his 2nd start. He has come down substantially in the weights with a string of poor efforts and is now competing in the lowest grade with H. Zeeshan claiming a valuable 5 kilos. He looks attractively weighted at present, is working well and could bounce back if in a galloping mood .
CONCLUSION :-Skysurfermade eye catching late headway from the rear to finish 4th last time out and if the Narendra Lagad filly can build on that performance then she looks to have an excellent chance to open her account. The lightly raced and well bredEpiphany has Trevor up for the first time and is also strongly fancied.
Race No. 8 :- The Raosaheb D.K. Parkar Trophy – Div. I – Class IV – Distance :- 1200M
BACKSTREET BAY :- 8 year old veteran who is now trained by Faisal Abbas and took advantage of her extremely lenient mark to gain a 3rd career success in 25 starts over an inadequate 1000M trip last time out and has only been lightly penalized for the win. She still looks to be on quite a reasonable mark, will relish the additional furlong and with Raghuveer Singh claiming 3.5 kilos, practically negates her penalty. She looks in good touch at present and stands a good chance of pulling off a quick encore .
GLORIOUS ANGEL :- Well bred 5 year old mare from the stables of Altaf Hussain, she has run 8 times till date with 2 wins to her name so far, both those wins coming over a sprint trip. She was very well backed last time out on her reappearance run over 7 furlongs but was running after a long break and may have been a touch short on fitness, managing to finish only 6th to Priceless Art. That run should have helped her to regain some fitness, this drop in trip should suit and with C.S. Jodha taking over in the saddle from R. Ajinkya, she merits serious thought and could leave that last running well behind .
ROOSEVELT :-4 year old got abroad gelding from the Vishal Gaikwad yard, he is still relatively unexposed at this early stage in his career and might have been a shade short on fitness when finishing runner up to In The Stars last time out. There does not appear to be anything of that quality to take him on in this field today plus he is likely to strip fitter from that run. The booking of David Probert is also a positive and he looks to stand a very strong chance to gain his 2nd career win today
PHILADELPHIA :- Fully exposed and modest 5 year old mare trained by Dallas Todywalla, she has had 12 starts till date and although making the frame on almost every occasion has only managed a solitary last gasp win which came on the opening day of this season in a weak class IV field. She finished a faraway 3rd next time out and while she appears to be holding her form at the same level, she does not seem to be finding any improvement so although she is likely to challenge for a place in the frame again with Neeraj Rawal keeping the ride, she is hard to fancy from a win perspective .
ADAM’S BEGINNING :-5 year old mare from the yard of M.P. Jodha, she too looks quite exposed and has run poorly since gaining her maiden success early in the Pune season. However, she did hint at signs of a revival last time out when finishing a close 5th to Untitled with the same rider up and if she is able to make some further improvement, then she is likely to figure in the placings. Another who could battle for minor honours but may find it tough to win here.
CHERRY BLOSSOM :-Phoenix Tower 4 year old from the powerful Pesi Shroff yard, she has had an educative run at the end of the Pune season, finishing unplaced over 1000M and should improve for the experience and be sharper today. She is an unexposed type who does not look like she belongs in this grade but may just need a lung opener on this track. S. Zervan takes the ride and she must be respected as an unexposed improver but is likely to do better in due course .
CONCLUSION :-Roosevelt is the confident selection to shrug off the lethargy of his last run and return to the winner’s circle. The unexposed Cherry Blossom appears to be the main danger with Glorious Angel looking the best among the older horses .
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)

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