• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Mahendra Mallya
Sunday 12 Mar 2017
Trainer Vinesh leading Jack Frost (A Sandesh Up), winner of The C N Wadia Gold Cup (Gr.2)

The fashion and glamour quotient is always on a high on the CN Wadia Gold Cup day. Mrs Maureen Wadia, an ambassador of style herself, presents an enthralling exhibition of the latest trends in the fashion industry with her Gladrags Mega Model and Manhunt contests along with the unique Mrs India and the Little Masters. Sunday saw a grand mix of western and ethnic trends along with bridal-wear with a sizable number of models – male, female and children prance around the paddock amidst a sportingly cheering crowd. A couple of dance numbers with little kids and a few adolescent shaking their legs had the onlookers tapping their feet in sync to give the day a complete sense of entertainment.

The equine hero of the day was undoubtedly Jack Frost. The son of Kingda Ka out of Breeze and I, foaled at the Nanoli Stud Farm, gave his best on the day to bag the coveted CN Wadia Gold Cup (Gr2) showing off his fighting qualities and that bit of class factor with it.

Cameron set off to take the lead from the start and went about at a friendly pace initially and none of the others seem to mind that. Commodore settled behind the leader with the rest following close behind galloping in a single file, with Alaindair at the tail end of the field.

Jack Frost made progress past the 1000 m mark to be in third, a move that was a change from the past. He was in striking position early this time and that paid rich dividends. Cameron could not measure up when Commodore tackled her with ease and shot into the lead. Sandesh atop Jack Frost started to challenge Commodore with a furlong to go. Alaindair and the others looked beat well before the distance post. Commodore fought out bravely but then Jack Frost had a lot left and in the final 100 Jack Frost came in firing on all cylinders to push past Commodore and draw away to coast to victory with exhibiting a strong finishing burst of speed. Jack Frost has been consistent right through his career of 17 outings, winning six of them and placing on all but three occasions.    

“I just kept pacing across the lawns. The excitement was building up fast and it was too much for me. My heart was pounding a lot faster than that of Jack Frost, I reckon. I could hear the commentator calling Jack Frost ahead and the last few strides was like never-ending to me. I am delighted and such victories are a joy like nothing else. I am thankful to jockey Sandesh and trainer Vinesh for this success and I am really overjoyed,” said owner Peter Deubet.

For jockey Sandesh, it was his best day at office for a long time returning with four winners including Jack Frost. He started off with Bramahchari (Chevalier – Avec Plaisir, Ruia Stud) in the second race of the day, claiming the Mulraj Goculdas Trophy, a sprint for horses in Class I.

Supreme Regime darted past Brynhill to hit the front with Deep Diver and on-money favourite Paramour in close behind, another couple of lengths away came Bramahchari with Valentino in the rear.

Paramour got past Brynhill and the tiring Supreme Regime with ease, Deep Diver was not finding much, Bramahchari started to close in on the front runners. Paramour fought hard, but when Bramahchari found his lost rhythm in this race, Paramour had little chance. The Imtiaz Sait ward stormed ahead in the final furlong to romp home a clear winner. Paramour had to yet again return second best.

Sandesh scored again in the very next race with Rehanullah Khan trained Vice Admiral (Lord Admiral – Go Out Backwards, Sans Craintes Stud). Vice Admiral got past leader Vision of Romance soon on entering the homestretch and built a handy lead. Pugnacious had to switch out from the rails for a clear passage and he started inching closer to the leader. Volantis came from the second last position to throw her hat in but she had gone out far too wide. In the end, Vice Admiral held on by a narrow margin to win it from Pugnacious and Volantis.

Sandesh capped the day with another hard-fought win, keeping a couple of challengers from spoiling his start-to-finish effort astride Motherland (Arazan – Indistinto, Poona Stud). Motherland, from Dallas Todywalla’s yard, galloped to the front and went at a good clip. She was up and away once they entered the homestretch and Sandesh was equal to the task in goading her on. A late challenge was building up as a bunch of horses started closing in, with the strongest challenge coming from Fabio and El Tycoon. However, Sandesh with Motherland, galloping resolutely, sustained the grip on the race and warded off the challengers to carve out a narrow win.

Vishal Gaekwad trained Cerrado (Requinto – Lady Causeway, Nanoli Stud) won her maiden race without encountering any threat at any stage. She ambled alongside leader Brooklyn Bridge until the turn and shot ahead on as they straightened for home. Once ahead, Cerrado, with Neeraj Rawal in the saddle sailed away from the rest to win by a huge margin. Cerrado finished well ahead of Solo Mission who was stretched by Anniversary Girl for the runner up berth.

Sussex Pride (Sussex – Moneypenny, Pratap Stud) his second victory this season with a scintillating burst of speed in the homestretch partnered by P Trevor. The Subhag Singh ward sat up with the pace for the 2000 m trip and galloped past the leader Daydreamer soon on turning for home. Once ahead, Sussex Pride accelerated extremely well to stay clear of the rest and win the Jayaramdas Patel Trophy with a clear margin. Flashing Honour kicked on to take the second slot ahead of Thor of Asgard.

Democrat (Samhoon – Alamshaara, AB Stud) pulled off an upset to win the Div II of the Indian Navy Trophy. Setting off on a start to finish mission, Democrat, with NS Parmar in the saddle, had a handy lead coming into the straight and capitalized well on that lead to stay ahead all the way home. Petronius improved towards the end, but could only claim the runner up spot from Sporto. Philadelphia, the hot favourite finished a dismal fourth.

Ritz (Arazan – Lombardia, Exhilaration Stud) finally achieved her maiden victory in her ninth start and won it narrowly. Jockey CS Jodha had to take the turn slightly wide and then started to quicken and go for the lead. They seemed to be well on way to an easy victory past the distance post, however, top weighted Red Fort put in a threatening gallop to almost pip Ritz on the post. Ritz was made to fight all the way and did well not to falter in the closing stages. Jockey CS Jodha played his part well in ensuring Ritz nosed the wire in time.

For the professionals, Sandesh was easily the star of the day with four winners to show at the end of the day. Trainer Imtiaz Sait sent out a lucrative double as well.