FROM THE HORSES MOUTH - Article for Sunday, 16th February, 2020 - By Cyrus Naterwalla
Posted on - 15 Feb 2020
FROM THE HORSES MOUTH - Article for Sunday, 16th February, 2020
- By Cyrus Naterwalla
Race No. 1 :- The Bombay Presidency Radio Club Trophy – Class IV & V – Distance :- 1600M
NEKHBET :-Improving 4 year old filly trained by Pesi Shroff who has won 2 of her 5 starts till date and returns to handicaps after finishing a faraway 3rd in the Golconda Oaks last time out, beaten 9 lengths by Paso Robles. It is likely that she did not stay that day and her overall record aside from that run is quite good. Her other defeat came in the Rajendrasinhji Million so she clearly is not upto the Classic level but she does have scope to make further progress in handicaps. She did have to work hard though to score her most recent win at the beginning of the season when holding on by ¾ length from Shae and Medici and might be a bit vulnerable under top weight. The booking of P.S. Kaviraj makes sense as he claims a useful 3 ½ kilos, she will relish the return to a mile trip and definitely seems to be one of the frontline contenders in this small field. Has a strong chance to score.
FANFARE :- Relatively exposed 5 year old mare trained by S.K. Sunderji who has 3 wins to her name from 18 starts till date and she seems to be trying to regain the form which saw her win thrice from 4 starts with a close 2nd in between around this time last year. All her wins have come over further but she did go very close over this trip on her penultimate run, just failing to catch Power of Thor by a short head with subsequent winner Mount Moriah back in 3rd. She ended up 5th last time out again over a mile behind stable companion Bait and Switch and C.S. Jodha who has ridden the last twice keeps the ride. She may be found wanting in this small field and a couple of the younger horses appeal more but she is capable of being involved and cannot be completely discounted. Outside chance.
MISHKA’S PRIDE :- 4 year old filly from the Imtiaz Sait yard who has been something of an enigma until now with just 1 win to her name from 9 starts and she has been largely out of form in her last 5 starts, although 2 of those runs were in the Indian Classics for which she can be excused. She looked progressive as a juvenile, finishing runner up to Kariega in the Juvenile Fillies before beating Square The Circle to shed her maiden tag, both times over a mile. However, her Pune form was quite poor, her best effort being when 3rd over 2000M to Gdansk and she should have the measure of Fanfare on that running. Her overall form though does seem to be patchy and she does have something to prove but this is clearly her easiest task this season and the booking of P. Trevor catches the eye. It is probably prudent to see how she runs today but she is likely to be fancied and if finding some improvement, is capable of making an impression.
TASMAN :- Progressive 4 year old gelding trained by Sanjay Kolse who seems to just be coming into his own and was a very impressive wide margin winner over 1800M last time out, albeit in the lower class. He has run a total of 6 times till date, running leisurely in his first few starts in maidens and showing zest for racing for the first time on his opening run of the season over this trip when running a forward race and ending up a close 4th to Dumas over this trip. He was fancied over 2000M next time out when he had a decent rider up for the first time but weakened after leading into the straight and faded away. However, he looked a different horse last time out when ridden for the first time by Sandesh, running right away from his rivals to score by 6 lengths from Sweeping Move. He has incurred a stiff 6 ½ kilo penalty for that win but unlike some of the other 4 year old fillies, his graph has been moving constantly upward and he looks to have an excellent chance to go in again.
BEEMER :- 4 year old colt from the stable of Dallas Todywalla who was quite highly regarded and highly campaigned in his early days but failed to live upto his billing and was sold to new owners within the same stable after his juvenile season. He did manage to shed his maiden tag over 1400M on his first run in Pune but that race has not worked out particularly well and he has struggled since being given a handicap mark. His mark has come down steadily with his racing and he has looked to have improved this season, finishing a distant 2nd to Revelator over 1400M last time out. He has been working well since that run, David Egan is a positive jockey booking and if he can continue to progress and take to the additional furlong then he has the potential to score an upset.
CONCLUSION :-Tasman was a very impressive winner last time out over 1800M and in spite of the harsh penalty is selected to continue his improvement and win this. Top weight Nekhbet appears to be the main danger returning from an unsuccessful stint in Hyderabad while Beemer can cause an upset if reproducing his excellent recent track work.
Race No. 2 :- The National Sports Club of India Trophy – Class III & IV – Distance :-2000M
GALLOPING GOLDMINE :-Comes from a good family being a half brother to Isabella as also impressive recent maiden winner Golden Oaks and has a smart overall record of 3 wins from his 6 starts. Problematic at the gates early on in his career, he seems to have overcome that now and is unbeaten this season with back to back wins over 1600 and 2000M although last time out he won the race in the Stewards Room after being nosed out by Rainbow Trout. He is a strong galloping sort who takes his time to hit full stride but has a smart overall level of form and looks quite progressive at present. He is up a further 4 kilos now but looks to have found a good field to contest and with P. Trevor retaining the ride, looks a very strong contender to complete his hat-trick.
EAGLEINTHESKY :- Lightly raced 5 year old from the Pesi Shroff stable who is making a comeback after having had a long break since finishing a promising 4th in the Bangalore Derby last January and returning this season after a year off. He ran a decent race over a mile on his comeback, running out of gas in the closing stages and finishing a fair 4th to Golden Era but the younger horse improved past him last time out when upped to 2400M and he finished 2 lengths behind him again. Winner of 1 of his 7 runs till date, this drop back to a mile and a quarter is likely to suit him and Neeraj Rawal takes the ride today replacing Chris Hayes. He is expected to run a good race again but might be vulnerable to the younger improving horse once more and may have to settle for 2nd best.
LUCKY LUCIANO :-Exposed and established 6 year old handicapper from the stable of Adhirajsingh Jodha who has run 29 times till date with 3 wins and 3 runner up finishes. His last win came in the Independence Million in Pune over this trip where he convincingly beat Benevolence by 2 ¾ length and he is just ¼ length better off with that rival for that run. He has mainly struggled since then including when eased into the lower grade last time out and being well backed but unable to make an impression and may need some more help from the handicapper. He is turned out again quickly in the space of 1 week with C.S. Jodha taking the place of Sandesh but is more likely running to pick up some stake money and looks an outsider here.
BENEVOLENCE :- 5 year old mare trained by Imtiaz Sait who is also quite exposed having run 16 times so far and although she has managed to place on 7 occasions, she has only a solitary success to her name which came over this trip last season in the lower class. She had a string of 2nd placed finishes after the win but then seemed to go off the boil and has been running poorly in her last few starts. She finished 9 lengths behind Galloping Goldmine last time out receiving 6 kilos so it looks hard for her to turn the tables on him today and she is another who looks to be running to pick up some stake money and is the rank outsider among the four with Dashrath Singh in the saddle .
CONCLUSION:-Faced with 3 relatively exposed handicappers with limited scope for improvement, Galloping Goldmine looks a good bet and is confidently selected to win this and complete a hattrick of wins although the odds are likely to be prohibitive. Eagleinthesky looks the only danger
Race No. 3 :- The Bombay Gymkhana Trophy – Class IV & V, 4 Years Old Only – Distance :- 1200M
PALOMAR :-Highly regarded and sparingly raced Surfrider gelding from the stable of Altamash Ahmed who has run thrice until now and lacked consistency in each of the 3 runs. He was completely tailed off on his racing debut over 6 furlongs in the Bangalore Summer and was given time to come to hand after that, off the track for 7 months after that and reappearing this season over the same trip on the 15th of December where he showed remarkable improvement to come with a powerful run from the rear and win by half a length from Oui Savage. 3rd placed Anatevka and 4th placed Odessa have both won races since so the form looks quite strong and he was well fancied on Derby Day in a 1000M race but failed to make an impression, beating just 1 horse home that day so his 3 runs have all been quite extreme. The return to 6 furlongs is likely to suit him today and he is having just his 4th start so improvement looks possible. N.S. Parmar takes the place of Y.S. Srinath today, the connections may revert to the successful tactics of dropping him out and making his challenge late and if he can find the same spark as he did on that prior occasion then definitely stands a very good chance to bounce back. Interesting but not reliable .
DREAMS :-Modestly performed 4 year old filly trained by Nazzak B Chenoy who has managed to win 1 of her 7 starts till date and is returning after a short break having last raced on the 1st of December. 5th in her first two runs as a juvenile, she went very close on the 3rd occasion when going down by a short head to Mirabilis over this trip with Cipher back in 4th that day. She was well fancied on her opening run in Pune but caught a tartar in Elusive Star that day and ended up a tame 3rd. She got off the mark next time out though although she had to be hard ridden to catch C’estL’Amour and only got on top close home. Her next 2 runs have been over 1400M, finishing a distant 5th to My Precious on her final run in Pune before ending a faraway 4th in the Morvi behind Juliette. She has been freshened up since then and the return to 6 furlongs should suit as her best runs have been over this trip. Her last couple of workouts have been encouraging and with C.S. Jodha in the saddle today, she looks to have an each way chance if looking well in the paddock.
GUARNERIUS :-Win Legend gelding trained by Adhirajsingh Jodha who the yard still seems to be experimenting with to determine his correct distance with all his 4 runs coming over different distances. He was a surprise winner over 1000M on debut in Pune showing a good attitude to fight off World Is One and prevail narrowly by a head but ran a shocker over 1200M next time out, finishing 10th to Pleiades. He was tried over 1400M on his seasonal reappearance here finishing a distant 5th to Kildare and was further upped to a mile on Derby weekend but ended down the field behind Bait and Switch. He is now dropped back to 6 furlongs once again and Neeraj Rawal who rode him to victory returns to take the ride. He clearly seems to be finding his feet at present and is best left alone for the time being until he shows a return to form. Bolt from the blue.
CIPHER :-Full sister to Sassy Lass trained by Faisal Abbas who has a similar profile to Dreams with 1 win from her 7 starts but she has been relatively consistent in contrast and has been running well on the last few occasions. An unfancied runner up to Turmeric Tower over 1000M on her first run in Pune, she went on to finish a respectable 3rd over this trip to Majestic Warrior and Rainbow Trout before dropping to 1000M to shed her maiden tag, beating En Sabah Nur and Chephirah. Making her handicap debut in this grade over 1200M on her final run in Pune, she again ran fairly well to finish 4th to Auspicious, jumping awkwardly from the gates and trapped wide throughout but making up good late ground from the rear. She is having her first run of the season so does have fitness to prove but she does seem to have a strong level of form and looks set to run a very big race with A. Sandesh in the saddle.
MIKAYLA’S PRIDE :- Half sister to Run Forrest Run from the stable of Asad Siddiqui who usually does quite well with his small string, she is still a maiden having run thrice till date but has finished a good 2nd on both her starts this season and appears to be in good form. Given an educative run on debut on the final day of the Pune season, she showed good improvement on her opening run this season which was also her handicap debut, finishing on well to be runner up to Ron. She was eased in grade last time out and sent off favourite over course and distance but was outbattled by Golden Steal ending a neck 2nd but has gone up in grade again today. A.S. Peter has been booked to ride today taking over from A. Imran Khan but she looks to be up against tougher rivals today so although she is expected to run well again and could be involved in the frame, she may find it hard to win in this company. Place prospect.
MONK :- Sparingly raced 4 year old trained by Sanjay Kolse who made a very eye catching debut at the end of the last Mumbai season when completely unfancied but showing a smart turn of foot to nearly cause a huge shock to the short priced favourite Rhapsody before going down by a neck but he has failed to reproduce that effort in 3 runs since and remains a maiden after 4 starts. An odds on favourite over this trip on his opening run in Pune he was no match for Properly Posh ending a faraway 3rd and was tried over a mile next time out but was again well beaten. Making his seasonal reappearance at the end of December, he was again quite well supported but possibly was in need of the run ending up 3rd behind Memorable Memories who has gone on to win again. Nicky Mackay who rode him last time out keeps the ride, he is likely to come on for that run and strip fitter and with good recent work, he looks to have a strong each way chance here and should run a big race.
MEMORABLE EYES :-Another 4 year old gelding who has until now failed to live up to the promise of his debut run and is trained by Imtiaz Sait. Making his debut over 1400M in Pune he ran a forward race before ending runner up to Sultan Suleiman with Revelator back in 3rd. He was a short priced favourite on his opening run of the current campaign but ran poorly to finish 4th to Tudor Hall again over 1400M possibly fading out in the final furlong after looking to have a chance. Upped to a mile next time out he again did not make an impression finishing 9th to Bait and Switch. Since that last run, he has gone a couple of very speedy workouts so it makes sense to drop him down to a sprint trip as he made the running on his debut as well. P. Trevor returns to ride him, replacing Imran Chisty he has bagged the rail draw today and is expected to try and make all the running today and can strike if he reproduces his excellent trackwork.
CONCLUSION :- A competitive event here and the trio to focus on appear to be Memorable Eyes who has an inside draw and looks very interesting dropped to sprinting now, Monk who is expected to build on his opening run of the season and Cipher who seems to have the strongest form. The first named is the selection with the other two looking likely dangers. Palomar, although unreliable has the potential to upset if he can reproduce his winning effort and is also feared
Race No. 4 :- The Cricket Club of India Trophy – Class I & II – Distance :- 2400M
VULCAN :- 7 year old veteran trained by Adhirajsingh Jodha who has a fine record of 7 wins and 6 seconds from his 34 runs having also finished 3rd on 10 occasions and he usually acquits himself well in staying races. He has been running mainly Terms races since he is very high in the handicap and gets an opportunity in a handicap race after some time. He has had 2 runs this season so should have managed to gain enough fitness and he was a winner over this trip the last time that he contested a handicap. He is conceding plenty of weight to the other 3 here but does stay the trip well and cannot be ignored with A. Sandesh taking the ride.
SAGITTARIUS :-Front running 6 year old from the stable of Sanjay Kolse who also has a creditable record of 4 wins and 8 seconds from his 18 starts and looks to be in good form at present. He has won over this trip in the past, although both his previous mile and a half wins have come in relatively slow times and he also slowed down the pace on his most recent win which came just last week over a mile and a quarter. He is likely to be able to control the gallop again in this small field which is to his advantage and is running practically bareback with A. Prakash claiming 5 kilos and bringing his weight to 45 kilos. He seems to be in good nick at present and could prove very dangerous if allowed his own way up front.
MOMENTUM :- Very lightly raced 6 year old gelding from the Pesi Shroff stable who relishes galloping ground, being a half brother to the brilliant Tiger Tops and he was virtually unstoppable once he caught form last season, rattling off 3 wins in a row over this trip. He was again rested after his 3rd straight win, reappearing in Pune after a 5 month break and has been slowly working his way back into form. He gave signs that he was returning to it last time out when finishing on to be 3rd to Lorraine over 2000M and appears to have the edge on Sagittarius on that running. The return to his pet trip will suit him, N.S. Parmar takes the ride and he looks a leading contender to resume his progress and should be the one to beat here.
CONCLUSION :-The strong galloping Momentum excelled over this trip last season and looked like he was coming back to form last time out when ending up 3rd. He is selected to return to the winner’s circle from Sagittarius who could prove dangerous if he is allowed to make it a very slow run race.
Race No. 5 :- The Willingdon Sports Club Trophy – Maiden 3 Year Olds – Distance :- 1200M
INTENSE APPROACH :-Looks to have a decent pedigree being a full brother to Fashion High who won 6 races over sprints in Bangalore as also a half brother to the well performed Scarlet Emperor. He ran promisingly on his debut over course and distance 2 months ago, finishing on to be a good 3rd to Royalty and Lady Lanette. He was travelled to Hyderabad to contest a rich million race but finished in the ruck that day and now returns to his home centre. He still appears to have by far and away the strongest form in this field on his opening run, he has been working well since his return and Nicky Mackay takes the ride. He looks a leading contender to get off the mark in this company and should be able to shed his maiden tag today. The one to beat.
ACCENTURE :- Win Legend filly from the Imtiaz Sait yard who is making her debut and looks likely to need the run as she has had limited workouts until now and seems to be going in for an educative run. However, she looks to have a nice pedigree being a full sister to Pearl Necklace who won 5 races from 23 starts and placed 3rd in the Gr. 1 Nilgiris Derby. The booking of P. Trevor does suggest that connections fancy their chances in spite of the unflattering prep work and with the yard in good form and the field not looking particularly strong, she could be good enough to make her mark in this sphere first time out. Paddock check advised and likely to figure in the frame if looking well.
CURFEW :- Full sister to Flying Spaghetti who won 3 races over 1100M in Hyderabad and coming from the in form stable of Adhirajsingh Jodha, she seemed to be working quite well before her debut run about a month ago over 1000M but she seemed to need the experience and ended up 6th behind Soaring High. El Capitan who finished runner up that day went on to run 2nd in the Breeders’ Produce Stakes next time out so that could have been a good race and she is likely to improve. Stable jockey Santosh G. takes the ride, taking over from NirmalJodha and she is likely to figure in the frame and should be involved in the finish.
FAIRMONT :-Home bred filly trained by Nosher Cama out of Indian champion Quasar and a mare owned by the same connections. She made her racing debut over course and distance about 5 weeks ago finishing 8th of 9 behind Benghazi and she has been given time to improve since then. She has been fitted with blinkers today so must have shown some positive signs with them on in her morning work and with P.S. Chouhan in the saddle and the benefit of prior experience, she too is likely to give a much better account of herself today.
CONCLUSION :- The only runner with both experience and form is Intense Approach who finished an excellent 3rd in a good race on debut and even though he was well beaten in Hyderabad he may not have been suited by the travel or the track and back in home conditions, he is the obvious choice and is selected to open his account. With the runs of Curfew and Fairmont being average at best, the danger may emerge from the well bred Accenture with P. Trevor up.
Race No.6 :- The Malabar Hill Club Trophy – Class III & IV, 5 Years Old & Over – Distance :- 1200M
EBONY :-6 year old mare trained by Altamaash Ahmed who is currently in the form of her life and seems to have made dramatic improvement in the last 6 months and seems to be enjoying her racing. A perennial bridesmaid early in her career with as many as 8 runner up finishes in her 22 starts, she had to wait till her 17th run to get off the mark but then rattled off 3 wins in her next 4 starts and has risen rapidly up the handicap ranks albeit mainly in her own age group. She seems to be effective over both 5 and 6 furlongs and began this season with a ¾ length win over Wild Fire over 1000M in a similar contest, then went on to finish a good 2nd to Barack over this trip and last time out finished on strongly from the rear over 1000M to be a flying late 3rd behind Mystic Bay. She appears to be in great heart at present and Neeraj Rawal as usual takes the ride. She merits strong each way consideration in this competitive event and looks certain to make the frame again.
ANATEVKA :-Lightly raced and improving 5 year old mare from the powerful Pesi Shroff yard who has won 3 of her 11 starts till date and has returned in good form this season. A half sister to Questionable, she returned from a 4 month break to finish an eye catching 3rd behind Palomar on her seasonal debut and duly built on that effort to score a convincing 3 length win over Istanbul last time out in Class IV. She has incurred a 5 kilo penalty for that win but seems to have maintained her form and fitness since that run and P.S. Kaviraj claims 3 ½ kilos in the saddle which will greatly offset her penalty. She looks to have the scope to progress again and in spite of the tougher opposition today, is strongly fancied to repeat.
SLAM DUNK :-Experienced 7 year old gelding trained by H.J. Antia who has been a loyal servant to connections, winning 3 times from his 39 starts and also placing on 12 occasions. He usually likes to blaze a trail up front and took advantage of his handy mark last time out to score his 3rd success, winning from end to end over 1000M with D.R. Shubham in the saddle. He is versatile between 5 and 7 furlongs and has run some good races in defeat in this grade before so he is dangerous to ignore under a 4 ½ kilo penalty and seems to be the better fancied of the yard’s 2 runners with Hanumant Singh taking the ride. He is likely to make a bold bid to repeat from his middle draw and looks to have a good each way chance today.
UNTITLED :- Stablemate as well as owner mate of Slam Dunk who is also a last outing winner, showing a smart turn of foot to come from a near impossible position and get the better of Brave over 1000M and he has a slightly better record having won 5 times in his 36 starts. He has been penalized 5 kilos for his win but has managed to bag the plum rail draw and will be ridden today by 5 kilo claimer D.R. Shubham so the riders have effectively switched. He can be effective over 6 furlongs as well and having been drawn in Stall 1, he would be expected to try and win from end to end. In good form and should try hard to repeat.
EPIPHANY :-Relatively sparingly raced 6 year old mare trained by Nazzak B Chenoy she has run just 12 times so far, winning twice and also placing on 6 occasions and overall seems to have quite a decent level of form. She was withdrawn on both her intended starts in Pune, both times refusing to go into the gates and she has to prove that she has not gone sour. She finished a close 3rd to El Commandante and Kilkarry Bridge when she last raced which looks very respectable form and she looks to have been solidly prepared for her belated comeback and did go into a gates in a Mock Race at the end of January. The booking of P. Trevor suggests that connections fancy their chances and if she behaves herself and goes into the gates then she looks very capable of striking.
FINE TUNE :-6 year old mare from the stable of Nosher Cama who has won 3 of her 19 starts till date. She has been largely out of form for the better part of the last year but her mark has come down as a result and she is beginning to look quite well handicapped. She finished 4th to Ebony on her opening run this season and is weighted to reverse that form today and again finished on from the rear to be 5th to Mystic Bay where she was more or less alongside Ebony. P.S. Chouhan is back in the saddle today, taking over from C.S. Jodha, the additional furlong is likely to suit and she is another who seems to be quite well handicapped and looks to have a good each way chance.
JETFIRE :-5 year old gelding trained by young A.M. Jadhav who’s overall record is unconvincing with just 1 win from his 20 starts but he has finished runner up on as many as 7 occasions and seems to be effective over this trip. After needing an initial lung opener, he has run promisingly on the last 3 occasions in similar contests, and was 4th behind Anatevka on his penultimate run over this trip. He finished a fair 3rd to Odessa last time out as well and it is notable that he takes a significant drop in weight today, running at 51 kilos compared to 61 the last couple of times. N.S. Parmar takes the ride, he has a good draw in Stall 3 and looks to have a good chance to finish in the frame here and is another who merits each way consideration.
FRIEZE :-Another sparingly raced 5 year old mare from the yard of Altaf Hussain, she won the first two starts of her career and looked an exciting prospect but seems to have lost her way since then and has failed to add another success in her last 8 starts. She has had 2 runs this season so should have regained her fitness and seems to be fancied for the first time this term as her recent workouts have been eye catching and she has a strong rider up for the first time with C.S. Jodha booked to ride. She does have the potential to be better than her current mark and can spring a surprise from the bottom of the scale.
CONCLUSION :-The most competitive race of the day and hard to single out one runner in particular with several looking to have chances. Anatevka is a tentative selection to repeat her impressive last effort with P.S. Kaviraj riding well at present. The dangers are plenty with Fine Tune looking well handicapped, Epiphany well prepared and Ebony currently in top form.
Race No. 7 :- The Garware Club Trophy – Class II & III – Distance :- 1000M
SILVER FLAMES :- Well performed 4 year old from the Altaf Hussain ride who has a very eye catching jockey booking with David Allan flying down especially to take the ride which indicates that connections are very strong. Winner of 4 races from 9 starts, he scored an impressive 6 furlong win last time out, beating Joplin by 3 ½ lengths and he is 2 kilos worse off with that rival today. The key point here though is Joplin is better over 1000M than over 1200M so the edge would have to go to the grey today. Silver Flames however, looks to be in fine fettle at present and should try very hard to repeat and cannot be ignored.
JOPLIN :-Speedy 5 year old mare trained by Nosher Cama who also has 4 wins to her name from 9 starts and is better over this trip than over 6 furlongs although she managed a 1200M as well. She ran a forward race last time out and was in front till the furlong pole so, being 2 kilos better off at the weights with Silver Flame today she would fancy her chances. She looks to be in good nick at present and with P.S. Chouhan in the saddle and a good draw in Stall 2, she looks to have an excellent chance to return to the winner’s circle and should be a leading contender.
MYSTIC BAY :- Very interesting 4 year old gelding trained by Deepesh Narredu who was thought to be a Classic prospect and was campaigned in a lot of the top races early in his career but was dropped back to this minimum trip after finishing well beaten in the 2000 Guineas and gave a classy performance to win comfortably by 3 lengths from Chephirah. He has a 6 kilo penalty to contend with for that win but seems to be working very well since the run and is quite unexposed in this sphere so looks capable of progressing further. David Egan who rode last time out keeps the ride, he looks open to further improvement and it will be interesting to see the tactics that he adopts in this small field. Should be right there at the finish and no surprise to see him go in again.
CONCLUSION :-Mystic Bay is very interesting in his new role as a sprinter but he is up in grade and may find it hard to get the better of Joplin. The grey seems to be better placed than Silver Flames on their last run and should be more effective back at her pet trip.
Race No. 8 :- The Otters Club Trophy – Class V – Distance :- 1200M
DIVINE HUNT :-Altaf Hussain seems to have a decent bunch of runners today and this well bred and unexposed 4 year old appears to have been diligently prepared for a clever gamble. Making his racing debut over 1000M at the end of the last Mumbai season when finishing midfield behind Belenus, he was given time to improve and come to hand, reappearing after a long break in Pune again over 1000M where he looked to have improved when making casual late progress from the rear to finish a close 5th. That run was in the higher class, he has now been eased in grade and the booking of P. Trevor is an eye catching one. He looks open to plenty of improvement on just his 3rd career start, appears to have been well prepared including a Mock Race and looks a very strong fancy to get off the mark at the first time of serious asking. Leading contender.
LUMINOSITY :- Maiden 4 year old gelding trained by H.J. Antia who has run 7 times so far, showing speed on most occasions and looking like he was ready to strike on his penultimate run when finishing a close 3rd behind Del Mar and Hidden Gold, both of whom have gone on to repeat. He was a hot favourite in a Class IV handicap last time out but failed to show any zip and ended up a very tame 5th behind Conscience. He did not appear to be at his best that day for some reason, he too has been eased in grade into the lower class and is upped slightly in trip to 1200M. Hanumant Singh is replaced by S.A. Amit today, that penultimate run was still very promising and he is expected to run a much better race today and could very well bounce back now.
MACAU :- Another unexposed 4 year old from the stable of M.K. Jadhav who has had 3 runs so far, who has not been seriously tried in his 3 runs so far and could conceivably be better than his current mark. He did run promisingly on his 2nd run on the opening day of the Pune season when finishing a close 4th to Saltbae over this trip but did not race again for the rest of the season and looked very rusty on his seasonal reappearance in Class IV, beating only one runner home. He should be fitter and sharper for that run and the booking of A. Sandesh today catches the eye taking over from N.S. Parmar. He has moved quite pleasingly in his recent workouts, has bagged the No. 1 rail draw today and looks set to have a bold show and must be seriously considered as an unexposed improver.
SERPENTINE :- Another interesting looking candidate who was the medium of a huge gamble on his racing debut a couple of months ago, backed in from double figure prices to 4/1 against Sasakwa but failed to make an impression that day and finished 6th. He is sure to have learnt from that experience and stripped fitter and should give a much better account of himself today. A. Prakash takes over from Bhawani Singh in the saddle, he should make the usual progression from first run to second and it will be interesting to see how he runs today, especially if the money comes for him again.
BLAZING BAY :-4 year old gelding from the Karthik G stable who is much more exposed than many of these having had 12 starts till date without success and also having been tried over a variety of trips. He did show some promise on his penultimate start over 1000M when finishing 4th just behind Luminosity but then disappointed on Derby weekend when only 8th in a similar contest behind Golden Steal with Colm O’Donoghue in the saddle. Bhawani Singh reverts to ride him today, he is drawn wide in Stall 12 and although he can be involved in the finish, he looks more of a minor berth contender and should fight it out for minor honours.
PERFECT SHINING :- Improving 4 year old filly from the yard of S.S. Shah who has run 9 times so far without success but seems to be slowly coming to hand and gave her best performance till date last time out when finishing on to be 3rd to Abraxas over 1000M with the same rider up. That run suggested that she may be finding some form, she steps up an additional furlong and N.S. Parmar retains the ride. She too looks to have less scope to improve than some of the more lightly raced types but can add some spice to finish if she improves from that last effort.
CONCLUSION :-A tricky finale with several unexposed and untried types likely to be fancied today. The one’s to focus on are Divine Hunt, Serpentine and Macau and the winner should emerge from this trio. Luminosity is also feared if his last run is taken with a pinch of salt
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same).