• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Ikram Khan
Saturday 04 Mar 2017
Mr Zeyn Mirza & trainer S S Attaollahi leading Captain Morgan (P Trevor Up), winner of The Dr M A M Ramaswamy Chettiar Of Chettinad Memorial Stayers' Cup (Gr.1)

Dr.Vijay Mallya is smiling in England. URBB managing director Zeyn Mirza is delighted. The Kunigal Stud Farms manager Dinesh is ecstatic. Chief accounts head Ramprasad is pleased posting the big credit entries. Leading pro Trevor Patel is on a high and N S Parmar is over the moon. All this happened on the eve of the Indian Turf Invitation Cup. The Vijay Mallya brigade won both the Stayers and Sprinters’ Cup and it was time for song and dance all night long in the Mallya camp.

After his success in the Chennai St.Leger, the Sulaiman Attaollahi schooled Captain Morgan (Admiralofthefleet – Caprese Kunigal Stud) was the favourite in the gruelling 3000M Stayers’ Cup. The Mallya think-tank after successfully employing the `sit and hit’ tactic in Guindy boldly chose to stick with it despite the fact that the `Captain’ here was pitted against better quality stayers.

The Chennai hopeful Cha Cha Cha hit the front and set a decent pace all through the energy sapping trip followed closely by the game galloper Booker Jones, Shivalik Heroine and the Mumbai mainhope Arlene and the last year winner, Tintinnabulation from the city of Nawabs, while Trevor astride Captain Morgan chose to grace the wrong end of the field for most part of the exacting journey.

After the front runners shot their bolt at the top of the straight, Pradeep Chouhan guiding the fortunes of the Hyderabad challenger Tintinnabulation assumed command and looked good to record his second straight victory in this event before Trevor setalight Captain Morgan. Trevor after the event confessed that he did panic when he saw Chouhan and the Nawab streak clear but in a never-say-die effort the top pro packed punch on the `Captain’ and the star performer from the Kunigal Stud Farm produced a stunning gallop in the final furlong to overhaul the leader and emerge the best Stayer on the circuit.

It was an amazing effort and the followers of form delighted with the performance of the public choice provided Trevor and Captain Morgan a standing ovation.

A delighted Zeyn Mirza who was confident that Captain Morgan would come home trumps in the big event said: “We stuck with our plans to race of the pace. It brought home the desired result in Chennai and I’m happy that we did it again in the big one here.”  

After winning the Dr.M A M Ramaswamy Chettiar Of Chettinad Memorial Stayers’ Cup, the spotlight shifted to the Sprinters and in what was a very open affair, the two Mumbai main hopes Dancing Prances fresh from his success in his last effort in Mumbai and Denny Crane from the stables of Pesi Shroff who had recorded a hat-trick of wins this season at his parent-centre before travelling to Bengaluru enjoyed top billing. But it was the other Pesi ward Adam (Multidimensional – Adesina) who stole the show displaying good speed and amazing turn of foot to peg back the challenge of local star Smile Stone to emerge the best sprinter on the Indian racing scene. Adam had won the event in Chennai last year and to do it again this year only confirms that Shroff has done great job to keep the seven-year-old sprinting at his best at this age. Shivalik Star finished third ahead of the Kolkata challenger Multitude while Mickey Mouse found the going tough, badly drawn in this event.

Parmar at the victory podium disclosed that Adam was keen and ready to produce his best the moment he jumped out and the moment he hit the front he knew that Adam would sail home.

“He was going nicely and that provided me the confidence required to score in this big event. The moment I took over the running I knew that it will take a lot to beat me and Adam and it was a top of the world feeling when Adam raced home to emerge the best again,” said Parmar.

After the well supported Automatic from Irfan Ghatala’s yard played up and was withdrawn at the starting gates in the Kunigal Stud Million for juveniles, the fashionably bred Mauritania (Excellent Art- Classic Sky) from Padmanabhan’s yard owned by Zavaray Poonawalla cantered home in the hands of Scottish pro David Allan. The smart son of Excellent Art who has stolen the limelight with his first crop is a good type of youngster and more will be heard of him in the summer ahead. Shaman did well to take the second spot in his debut while Don Dela Vega surprised most finishing a suggestive third.

Disappointed that Automatic was withdrawn in the juvenile event, the smile was back on the face of Irfan Ghatala after the well supported Gypsy (Burden of Proof – Ching Mai/Kunigal Stud) piloted by Suraj Narredu won his second straight start to the delight of the sporting owner Daulat Chhabria who was positive while revealing that Gypsy will come up tops in the Sans Craintes Stud Million.

“I’m telling you that he will win despite the bad draw. He is in top form and he will do it again tomorrow,” said Daulat at a party on the eve of the event and Gypsy proved him right. Arvak who was strongly fancied found his foot a little too late and flashed home second ahead of Amber Crown.

After a long time Arvind Ganapathy was most satisfied leading a winner, lesser fancied Sterling Role (Arazan – Priceless Glorry) romping home in the Original Vel Million run over a distance of seven furlongs. Ravishing Snow from Padmanabhan’s yard on the strength of his impressive last start success was the overwhelming favourite but he performed like a dud and only took a lot of good money down the drain. Ira finished a game second and is one for the notebook.

The opening event, the Ravi Aggarwal Memorial Million was claimed by the sponsors themselves, the lesser fancied Hurrah (Kyllachy – Main Attraction) from Sandhu’s yard proving too good for his 14 rivals. The favourite D’Accord raced in patches and finished a tame third behind Just Fabulous.

The concluding event, the Garuda Mall Million saw Suraj record a double booting home the Imtiaz Khan-trained Expert (Win Legend – Northern Angel) who was sweetly fancied by the right connections. Mariko and China One garnered maximum support but the two failed to make an impression in the race though the former saved place money at the end.