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PAST THE POST - A Review of the Poonawalla Breeders Multi Million (Grade 1) - By Cyrus Naterwalla

Posted on - 26 Feb 2019

PAST THE POST – A Review of the Poonawalla Breeders Multi Million (Grade 1)
- By Cyrus Naterwalla
The 30th running of the Poonwalla Breeders Multi Million was conducted against the gorgeous back drop of the sun setting over the Arabian Sea as the usual pomp and glamour associated with the “Juvenile Derby” was clearly visible for all to see. Conducted under the floodlights of the Mahalaxmi Race Course on a crisp, cool February evening, there was a large crowd in attendance to witness the event. 13 horses lined up to face the starter for the rich prize of 86,79,600 and the honour of being crowned the Juvenile Champion of the season. The Poonwalla family – who had won the last 2 runnings of the event, were again responsible for the first two horses in the betting with the Pesi Shroff trained Hunt for Gold the firm 16/10 favourite having won both her previous starts over this trip in great style and Missing You – representing the same connections as the previous year’s winner Ruffina – trained by Dallas Todywalla and ridden by David Allan the next best but at lucrative odds of 6 to 1. The other unbeaten runners in the field also had their supporters – Free Gold from the Imtiaz Sait stable who was the winner of the GoolS. Poonawalla Million but was extremely fractious today and reluctant to move into the gates and the Hyderabad challenger Marinetti, who had won both his runs at his home centre impressively.
The field of 13 got off to a lovely even dispatch from the gates from amongst the roar of the large crowd and it was Dragon Mountain who was the first to show out from Makhtoob on the outside with Marinetti also showing early speed to race between this pair. Headway was well placed in 4th spot holding the fence with Missing You improving on the outside to also be handily positioned. In between this pair came Storm Breaker being tracked along the inside by Southern Ruler with Enid Blyton also holding the fence in mid field. Hunt for Gold was also in mid division at this stage after being jostled a bit at the start with old adversary Trouvaille tracking on the outside. Free Gold was well back in the field at this stage with Seventh Mile 2nd last and Juliette a close last but improving on the outside. Makhtoob settled down to lead from Marinetti racing a close 2nd with Missing You improving into 3rd on the outside. Dragon Mountain was dropping back towards the inside with Storm Breaker trying to improve and Hunt for Gold and Headway also thereabouts as they swung around the bend to straighten up for the final run in.
Missing You put in a strong run to take charge at the top of the bend from Dragon Mountain trying to rally along the inside, Headway now coming through with a good run to challenge in the centre, Hunt for Gold now being called upon for an effort by Y.S. Srinath followed by Enid Blyton and Free Gold trying to improve in the centre and Trouvaille and Juliette challenging widest of all. Missing You kicked for home as they hit the furlong pole and stretched 2 lengths clear of Headway who could find no more with Hunt for Gold making hard work of bridging the gap, Trouvaille beginning to stay on down the outside and Juliette also galloping strongly on the stands side. But Missing You and David Allan had all the answers and held off all her pursuers to score a 2nd win in 3 years of the colours of Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla and family and the 3rd win in a row for the Sponsors – a truly remarkable occurrence. Trouvaille finished on strongly down the outside to play bridesmaid for this 3rd consecutive run although this time turning the tables on Hunt for Gold who ended up a disappointing 3rd. Juliette showed further improvement from her last run to stay on in good fashion and come and fill the frame in 4th.
Missing You thus made it 3rd time lucky in glorious fashion after having finished runner up on both her previous starts and she clearly relished the step up to 7 furlongs. Trouvaille was gallant in defeat and looks certain not to linger in the maiden ranks for long. Hunt for Gold failed to display the strong gallop that she had shown in her previous 2 victories and was a shade disappointing but Juliette showed good improvement to finish 4th and seems to be a decent type. Headway who briefly looked a danger but could not sustain his effort, ended up 5th and may possibly be best restricted to 6 furlongs for the time being while Enid Blyton, who was expected to relish this longer trip, proved to have her limitations, ending up 6th. The out station challengers could not make much of an impression with Marinetti weakening at the bend and Dragon Mountain dropping right away after being prominent till turning for home. Free Gold too was a disappointment, could never get into the reckoning and ended up a dismal 9th.
Missing You may now step up to a mile for the Forbes Breeders’ Juvenile Fillies Championship where she will most likely lock horns again with Hunt for Gold while Trouvaille looks an early maiden winner if opting for that route.
Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla was visibly overcome with emotion while accepting the Glittering Trophy as this filly had been named after his late wife – a truly fitting outcome to a glorious evening of racing with Missing You being crowned the Queen of the Turf !
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)  

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