• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
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By Mahendra Mallya
Thursday 23 Feb 2017
St Andrews (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Malabar Hills Club Cup

The All Clubs day saw a fairly good representation of some of the premier Clubs’ bigwigs gracing the RWITC lawns and racing in general was gripping all day through.

Bezan Chenoy trained St Andrews (Phoenix Tower – Machrihanish, Manjri Stud), the shortest priced favourite on the day went about his task in a clinical fashion and scored an easy victory. Khayyam, as expected, went for it from the word go and St Andrews settled well in second until into the straight. Khayyam tried hard to hold on to his lead, however, St Andrews picked up momentum early in the straight and surged ahead smoothly to win drawing away. The on-money favourite caused no anxious moments galloping away with a strong finish and looked the winner the moment they straightened for home. Khayyam stuck to his task and was rewarded with the runner-up berth as was also expected. She is Special improved positions and clearly indicated she needed more ground.

Artistic (Mull of Kintyre – Shanley, Sohna Stud) bounced back to winning ways after having ended second in her last run following a streak of wins between Mumbai & Pune. She got off to a good start and settled to lead the field early and then accelerated well in the straight to keep the rest at bay.

Artistic quickened well into the straight and shook off Romantic Lass with ease. Flashy Wings tried to make a fight of it but could not gain much. Beach Game never looked in the hunt nor did Lord Arazan. An Jolie made some progress to finish third behind Artistic and Flashy Wings.

Among the two races for maiden three-year-olds, Caprisca (Steinbeck – Xisca, Usha Stud) made it to the winner’s enclosure with a determined effort. The Imtiaz ward took charge early in the straight and jockey Trevor had him going at a steady pace. Favourite Selfie Star came with a game challenge to catch up with the new leader, however, she ran green and started to drift out under pressure. That little flaw was good enough for Caprisca to capitalize on and Trevor rode hard to see him through. Themis arrived with a blistering run towards the end and did well to finish alongside the winner, beating Selfie Star to third close home.

Pokerface (Stern Opinion – Silk Runner, Pratap Stud) showed marked improvement over his debut run and struck it rich. Pokerface with J Chinoy atop sailed into the lead with Wild Fire close behind, tote favourite Ascension settled a couple of lengths behind and the rest were never really into it.

Pokerface continued to gallop on gamely even as Wild Fire came to within half-length of Pokerface, but failed to sustain. Ascension then started to close in but that effort came too late as Pokerface kicked on to score his first win edging out Ascension and Wild Fire.  

The well-backed Power Shadow (Noverre – Victoria Cannon, Sohna Stud) laboured to a close win with a couple of opponents snapping at his tail all along the final furlong, giving his supporters lots to shout about. Power Shadow had taken charge soon on turning for home and with 200 to go looked in firm command. Grande Vitesse and Zoom Zoom surged forward and were gaining ground briskly, but Power Shadow held on to carve out a narrow win warding off Zoom Zoom who ended a close second and Grande Vitesse.

Super Bolt (Noverre – Arhaaff, Sohna Stud) was well ridden by apprentice SA Amit who was calm despite not being in the best of positions early on. Ricardus brought the field home and soon Deccan King made his move to go for the lead. Super Bolt had improved positions and was right in with the front bunch at the turn. He picked up speed past the 400 and soon joined Deccan King. The pair fought out a few strides before Super Bolt dealt the killer blow and drew away from Deccan King to score comfortably. Ricardus just managed to hold on to place money edging out Vitesse.

Elsa (Arazan – Dreaming, Poonawalla Stud) scored a shock-victory in the day’s opener with a game start-to-finish essay. Favourite Nelsons Blood was never in the hunt and was languishing away from the action in front. Sumaaq tried to challenge the leader but Elsa just kept pegging away towards the winning post. Flashing Honour too tried hard to topple the front runner, but failed to collar Elsa while finishing second beating Sumaaq. Nelsons Blood ran on to take the fourth spot.

Knight’s Quest (Arazan – Mystic Quest, Exhilaration Stud) scrapped through to win the concluding event of the day having to fight off a determined effort from Samurai. The Narendra Lagad ward came up with a good finish and even got past Samurai in the final furlong. Samurai was not done yet and mounted a re-run to wrest the lead back, however, Knight’s Quest got that extra bit to once again surge forward and hit the wire ahead of Samurai and score his first win.

For the professionals, jockey P Trevor was the lone pro to score a double.