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Posted on - 28 Feb 2017

- By Cyrus Naterwalla
This year’s renewal of the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi Million looked to be a competitive event beforehand with several well performed and unbeaten juveniles from different centres competing for the rich prize of Rs.92,87,250 but it was turned into a procession by the brilliant Ruffina (Excellent Art x Miss Danehill) who annihilated the opposition with a performance that oozed speed, class and sheer talent. After her brilliant performance in the Gool S. Poonawalla Million, Ruffina clearly emerged as a front runner for this event but with plenty of speed in her pedigree and most of her siblings not getting beyond 6 furlongs, there were skeptics who felt that the 1400 trip may be beyond her. However, she came into the paddock looking relaxed and calm and behaving herself extremely professionally in the preliminaries. She was one of the few who caught the eye in the pre parade ring, the others being Awesome Hooves, Perfect Star and Summer Rays.
The speedy Phoenix Falcon set out on a start to finish mission as the 14 juveniles were dispatched from the 7 furlong chute being tracked on the outside by Princess P sporting the white cap and in the race to ensure a good pace for the Shapoor Mistry owned runners. Angel’s Touch on the inside and Lincoln in the middle were also prominently placed in the early stages along with Awesome Hooves who was also right there behind the leaders. Tutankhamun and Perfect Star were both trapped a little wide in the early stages as they jostled for position with Summer Rays settled into midfield. Right in behind Summer Rays came Ruffina who was being tracked by Dragonmoss and Sandalphon racing together with Timeless towards the rear along with Excellent Gold and Autocratic. Lincoln moved up to take the lead passing the 800 with Phoenix Falcon chasing him in 2nd, Angel’s Touch still holding 3rd on the fence followed by Awesome Hooves and Princess P with Perfect Star still travelling very wide but making ground around the outside. Tutankhamun and Summer Rays came next with Ruffina at this stage looking for room in the middle of the pack. At this stage, David Allan realized that he did not want to get trapped on the inside and pulled Ruffina to the outside where she gradually began to make ground on the leaders. Lincoln brought them into view hotly chased by Phoenix Falcon, Angel’s Touch in 3rd on the inside being followed through by Timeless who had come through the shortest way, Summer Rays and Tutankhamun both beginning to gallop in the centre, Perfect Star wider still and Ruffina poised to make her challenge widest of all. David Allan asked for an effort from Ruffina and the response was electrifying as she showed a fabulous burst of speed to surge past Phoenix Falcon and quickly establish an insurmountable lead in breath taking fashion. She kept galloping all the way to the line and David Allan could afford a couple of peeps over his shoulder as she had plenty to spare over the late finishing Tutankhamun, eventually scoring easing down by 2 lengths. The time was a cracking 1.22.02 seconds which was marginally quicker than the Class I timing clocked by Celtic Prince which vindicated what a classy performance this was. Tutankhamun also put in a strong run to go clear of the rest but was no match for the winner, ending up an honourable 2nd, well clear of the rest. Timeless stayed on along the inside and ended up a gallant 3rd while Perfect Star kept on to fill the frame.
With this showing Ruffina clearly established herself as the best juvenile currently in Western India and possibly overall and proved without a doubt that she stays the 7 furlong trip well. She looks a very exciting prospect and could develop into a high class miler as she matures and improves. She maintains her unbeaten record and her progress will be followed with great interest henceforth. Tutankhamun gave a good account of himself by finishing well clear of the rest and was not disgraced in 2nd. He lives to fight another day and could also develop into a quality miler. Timeless, who finished 2nd to Tutankhamun in the Breeders Produce Stakes confirmed that form and ended up a creditable 3rd. Perfect Star did not get the best of runs, being forced to travel wide practically throughout which may have affected his chances somewhat. However, he is a long striding sort who already seems to want at least a mile and he is one to keep an eye on over longer distances in the future. In all probability, he will go for the ShapoorjiPallonji Colts Championship now.  Phoenix Falcon did not help his cause by playing up all the way to the start and fighting to go into the gates. He possibly is all speed and may do better dropped back to sprint trips. Awesome Hooves who was well fancied and sent off 2nd favourite found this opposition too hot to handle at this stage, dropping away after being prominent till the bend. 
 (Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)

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