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UNRAVELLING THE CLASSIC CONUNDRUM - A Preview of the C.N. Wadia Gold Cup (Grade 2) - By Cyrus Naterwalla

Posted on - 10 Mar 2018

UNRAVELLING THE CLASSIC CONUNDRUM – A Preview of the C.N. Wadia Gold Cup (Grade 2)
By Cyrus Naterwalla
The C.N. Wadia Gold Cup is one of the most prestigious Group Races run over a mile and a half and has been supported by the Wadia family from time immemorial. Always associated with glitz and glamour, the day is filled with fashion and flair along with quality racing. Along with the race, the day is synonomous with fashion shows from the aspiring Glad Rags Man Hunt and Mega Model contestants as well as memorable performances from the Junior Glad Rags boys and girls which often invoke large cheers from the crowd. The race also has a tradition of throwing up an upset result and last year it was the aged Jack Frost who produced a stupendous gallop in the run in to score a thrilling victory in the hands of A. Sandesh.
Unlike the previous few years where the fields have been quite small in number, this years renewal has attracted a decent size field of 10 runners.
The horses who appear to the main contenders this year are :-
B FIFTY TWO (Phoenix Tower x Baileys Online)
TRAINER :-Pesi Shroff                                            
JOCKEY :-  P. Trevor
RATING :-111                                                          
DRAW :-  5
STARTS :-   30                                                          
WINS :-    8
Now a 6 year old Veteran he proved to be a bit of a late developer, finding his best form after his classic year and winning multiple Group Races every season, showing versatility in trip between 1600-2000M. He appears to be at his best when controlling the gallop from the front in 3 and 4 horse fields and he has scored many an upset win over such names as Alaindair, Mrs. Patmore and last time out, out witted Temerity to score a thrilling win in the Deltin Casinos Eclipse Stakes of India. He appears to be the Class horse in this field and also enjoys the highest rating of 111 but the detracting factor in his favour is that each time he has tackled a mile and a half he has looked a non stayer and has run poorly. He finished 5th of 6 in this race last year and although he is now 6 of years of age and could have developed some more stamina for longer trips, he has to prove conclusively that he stays this longer trip. He is likely to give it a good go in spite of conceding weight all around and it is possible that his class will carry him through
ESCALA (Lord Admiral x Silver Satire)
TRAINER :-Neil Darashah                                       
JOCKEY :- SurajNarredu
RATING :-96                                                
DRAW :-  8
STARTS :-   12                                                          
WINS :-    5
This year’s out station challenger and she appears to be a strong one, having been relatively lightly raced for her age and enjoying an excellent strike rate of 5 wins from her 12 starts. She was brought to Western India during the Pune season and ran a promising 2nd to Aster Rose in the Fillies and Mares. After having a lung opener on this course over an inadequate mile, she travelled to Chennai where she decisively won the Stayers Trial Stakes over this trip, proving that she gets the distance well. She has been kept fresh by her young trainer and taking on mainly handicappers and 4 year olds, she looks to have a strong chance to earn a deserving Group Races success and seems to have an excellent chance
BIG SUR (Win Legend x Validate)
TRAINER :-Sanjay Kolse                                         
JOCKEY :- Dashrath Singh
RATING :-75                                                            
DRAW :-  1
STARTS :-   11                                                          
WINS :-    4
Always highly regarded from his early days, this colt first served notice of his potential when running a close 4th in the ShapoorjiPallonji Breeders Juvenile Colts Championship as a juvenile. He summered in Bangalore where he ran 2 modest races in defeat before returning to Pune to score over a mile in Class III. He went on to run unplaced in the Pune Derby but won back to back races early this season before going down fighting to Vulcan over this trip on his penultimate run. His 6th in the Indian Derby was not a bad effort and he deserves a crack at something like this. He has plenty to find on official ratings so looks out on the scale but seems to still be improving and hence needs to be seriously considered
THEMIS (Lord Shanakill x Soul Society)
TRAINER :-M.K. Jadhav                                         
JOCKEY :-  A. Sandesh
RATING :-76                                                
DRAW :-  10
STARTS :-   11                                                          
WINS :-    2
Another filly who sprung to prominence late in her juvenile season when beating Manifold in the Forbes Breeders Juvenile Fillies Championship and travelled to Bangalore to contest the summer classics where she ran 4th in the Fillies Trial Stakes before winning a Class II contest over 2000M. Returning to Pune, she finished 2nd in a mile before a poor run in the Pune Derby. This season she ran 2nd over 1400M before contesting the Indian Classics where she was not disgraced, finishing 5th in both the 1000 Guineas and the Indian Derby and runner up to Manifold in the Indian Oaks. She is very closely matched with Big Sur on their Derby running and appears to stay the trip well so looks to have a strong chance although she too has a bit to find on official ratings
SUPREME GENERAL (Old Forester  x Fiery Pegasus)
TRAINER :-Karthik G                                             
JOCKEY :-  Bhawani Singh
RATING :-107                                                          
DRAW :-  6
STARTS :-   16                                                          
WINS :-    3
Appears to be the dark horse in this contest and for those who fancy a touch at long odds, this is the horse to take a chance on. Always considered the Classic hope for his powerful yard, he was runner up to SerjeantAt Arms in the Bangalore Colts Trial Stakes before running unplaced in the Derby. Returning to Mumbai for the Indian Classics he again filled 4th spot behind Serjeant At Arms in the Indian 2000 Guineas and was not disgraced when a late finishing 5th in the Indian Derby when attempting this trip for the first time. He then went on to run a creditable runner up to Temerity in the Invitation Cup last year and if running upto that level in this company, he looks hard to beat. Since then however, he has been campaigned over mainly middle distances and has been in decent form this season, last time out finishing 2nd to Cambridge in a 2 horse race over a mile. He returns to this trip for the first time since the Invitation Cup but his form over this trip is excellent and if Bhawani Singh can deliver him at the right time, he is quite capable of causing a big upset. On ratings, he look the best placed as he is rated only 2 kilos less than B Fifty Two but is in receipt of 6 kilos.
This years renewal appears to be quite a competitive one and it will be interesting to see whether B Fifty Two can have his class carry him through over a trip he has failed to perform over till date, whether Supreme General can reproduce his run in the Invitation Cup or whether the 4 year olds prove to be too strong and claim this contest
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)

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