• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Mahendra Mallya
Thursday 16 Mar 2017
Trainer M K Jadhav leading Governor General (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Kailashpat Singhania Trophy

With the focus on the three ‘A’s – Allora, Ancient Glory and Alishas Pet it was Governor General (Phoenix tower – Dancing Highness, Amanali Stud) who slipped in a well-timed win to claim the Kailashpat Singhania Trophy for horses in Class II over 1200m. Nascar led them into the straight but soon had Ancient Glory get past to take the lead. Allora was not finding much although getting a nice rail run, while Governor General quickened well to challenge Ancient Glory. This pair fought out in the final furlong and Sandesh’s strong handling ensured that Governor General snatched victory close home.

Sandesh struck again in the astride Alpine Express (Rebuttal – Pinkchuchi, Hazara Stud) having to urge the filly all the way to the wire. Free Speech was in the lead on straightening up and was going all out. The others were catching up fast and Alpine Express improved from third to go for the lead inside the final furlong. Rock in Rio showed good paces to offer a challenge, while Cyclone had to do too much in the straight. Queen Credible made her trademark bid, coming from the rear with a flash of a run, however, Alpine Express managed to ward them all off and carve out a narrow win.

It was a good day at office for jockey CS Jodha who accumulated three hard fought victories. He started off well with Sawgrass in the day’s opener. Chizzler was the hot favourite but disappointed a large following. He moved prominently early in the straight but failed to sustain like he had done in both his previous wins. Chizzler found it hard even to tackle Dancing Lord and was struggling to stay in contention approaching the distance post. Sawgrass (Diktat – Elle Et Moi, Hazara Stud) ran a cracker of a race, coming from the rear to finish with a scorching gallop that got her the race close home. Dancing Lord was unlucky to see a good effort go down narrowly. Chizzler ended a tame third.

Jockey CS Jodha then guided Lord Commander (Western Aristocrat – Bionic Angel) to his maiden victory with a good effort to down favourite Shamwari. Lord Commander was in close fifth until the turn with Shamwari leading them into the straight. Lord Commander quickened soon on turning for home and picked up momentum to easily get past the front bunch and take charge. Once in the lead, jockey CS Jodha kept the Bezan Chenoy ward going at a good clip and stayed ahead all the way to the winning post. Manzanita improved well towards the end to pip Shamwari for the runner-up berth.

Jockey CS Jodha would be most peased with his effort atop Imtiaz Sait’s New England (Arazan – Autumnal, Vikram Greenland) as he literally snatched victory in a sensational finishing effort, charging in and covering a lot of ground to pip Flag Flying on the post.

Flag Flying took off soon on turning for home and had built what seemed a winning lead. Flag Flying got past Triple Threat soon on entering the homestretch and stretched away nicely to bound forward to what looked a clinching lead. New England had a lot of ground to cover and with 200 to go it did seem that Flag Flying would prevail. However, jockey CS Jodha’s never-say-die effort got New England going and they started inching closer with every stride. As if knowing what to do, New England powered ahead to just about manage to pip Flag Flying on the post.

Gentillesse (Varenar – Si Gentille, Equus Stud) made ample amends showing improvement over her debut run and scored her maiden win without causing any anxious moments. This time round, she was right up with the front running Loire and shot into the lead soon on straightening up. Once in the lead, Gentillesse, ridden by Neeraj Rawal, galloped on gamely to stay ahead all the way home. Even a late brilliance shown by Sassy Lass could not make an impact on the her, but Sassy Lass did catch the eye in her finishing effort.

Jockey Hanumant Singh put in all his might behind Slam Dunk and managed to return victorious in a thrilling finish. Going for it from the start Slam Dunk (Sussex – Escalating, Pratap Stud) maintained the pressure all though and galloped freely most of the way. The challenge came soon in the straight with a bunch of horses coming from either side. Beneficial was getting far too close for comfort and so was She’s A Tiger from the inner rails. Knight’s Quest was not too far back either. Hanumant Singh egged Slam Dunk on to ward off the pack trying to hunt him down and won it in a close finish. She’s A Tiger fell short by a whisker while Beneficial ended a close third.

Aeolus Maximus (Royal Gladiator – Rising Tide, Pratap Stud) finally tasted his maiden victory on his 35th attempt. He had his work cut out in the straight as the prime fancy Hunting Pleasure shaped well in the straight and held a slender lead going for the wire. Aeolus Maximus, partnered by Dashrath Singh, came with a late and a forceful bid to sail ahead meters from home and notch up a well-deserved victory after a spate of consistent efforts drawing a blank. It was heart break for the followers of Hunting Pleasure as he did his best yet failed to pull it off after being in a good position to win until beaten.

For the professionals, trainer Bezan Chenoy saddled a double, while jockeys CS Jodha and A Sandesh scored a treble and double respectively.