• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Mahendra Mallya
Sunday 26 Mar 2017
Trainer P Shroff leading Commodore (P Trevor Up), winner of The Tata Housing Turf Championship (Gr.3)

Commodore (Danehill Dancer – Antioquia, Manjri Stud) showed mettle of steel going over the tricky distance of 1800m start to finish and staying ahead all the way, even when pressed in the last 100 meters. Going at his own comfortable pace, Commodore with Treovr in the saddle, settled down to fine rhythm, maintaining about two lengths over B Fifty Two all the way into the straight. Colombiana, who had an equal share of followers, was slowly off yet again and tailed them all the way and was never given a chance by the other two to even get close to them.

Commodore looked good coming into the straight and with Colombiana just not able to come to terms, Commodore was believed to win easily even with 400 to go. The Pesi Shroff trainee obliged alright, but with some last minute excitement brewing as B Fifty Two gathered momentum and started to draw closer to the leader. Commodore eventually seized a win with just under a length to spare, while B Fifty Two beat Colombiana by close to two lengths.

La Magnifique (Shamardal – Ajaweed, Equus Stud) showed good improvement over her January debut third and with a mock race won recently she showed some fine galloping talent to bring home the Karl Umrigar Trophy, named after one of the most loved jockeys in the country.  

La Magnifique, with Neeraj Rawal in the saddle, was off to a great start and was well ahead of the rest as they turned for home. Once into the straight, La Magnifique carried on her good work and stayed well ahead of the rest winning comfortably and with a lot to spare. Man of Word chased the leader all the way while, Lady Be Good covered a lot of ground and without troubling the winner, finished almost abreast with Man of Word.

Jockey Trevor once again asserted his supreme form reaping a rich treble for the second day on the trot. He piloted Princess P (Phoenix Tower – Torque, Manjri Stud) to a fine win, another start to finish attempt with a little tussle at the business end that ended well for him. Princess P set off at a scorching gallop to lead them in with Wild Fire and favourite Gazino close behind. Princess P pushed further ahead in the straight and with Wild Fire falling back, Gazino moved up to challenge the leader. The pair grappled a few strides, but Trevor got Princess P going again to stretch out well in the end and win comfortably achieving the all-important maiden victory for the Dallas Todywalla trained filly.

Trevor brought delight and some big bucks too to the Asad Siddiqui stables as he helped pull off a gamble with top-weighted Jimbo (Senure – Lannkala, Manjri Stud). Trevor had Jimbo off to an alert start and then kept a safe distance from his close rivals. Double Nine and El Tycoon were in the second and third spots with Forever Yours close with them. Jimbo picked up momentum in the straight and sped away workmanlike and Trevor ensured that there were no last minute surprises. Jimbo sustained his speed all the way to score a facile victory. Double Nine ran on to finish second while Fringe Benefit came from behind to pip El Tycoon for place money.

The day started well for followers of favourites and for trainer Vishal Gaikwad as well the burly trainer saddling winners in the first two races. Othello (Ikhtyar – Highland Ghillie, Nanoli Stud) kept the promise he had shown in his last run over the same trip. He had clearly come to hand and had taken his time in doing so. Vishal Gaikwad had been patient with the gelding and judged his distance and placed him well to secure that much needed first win. Othello looked good when he led them into the straight and had plenty left in the tank as he galloped on ahead. None from behind showed any appreciable zip to knock him over and Othello, ridden by J Chinoy had it easy as he kicked on gamely to stay well ahead at the finish. Jager Bomb showed some old form to rally on and take the runner up berth beating Care Free to third.

Vishal Gaikwad next sent out strong favourite Miss Saigon (Rock of Gibraltar – Lothian Lass, Nanoli Stud) in the safe hands of jockey Neeraj Rawal. Here Mountbatten had streaked ahead for a huge lead from the start with Streetjammer and Miss Saigon going after him. Mountbatten kicked on in the straight but the no-hoper’s hopes if any, went crashing down when Miss Saigon and Streetjammer brushed him aside and zipped ahead. Streetjammer fought hard but Miss Saigon was simply too good and she sailed ahead to score a long pending win.

Shivalik Skies (Rebuttal – Well Rehearsed, Hazara Stud) with Amyn Merchant in the saddled pulled off an upset win in a race that saw changing fortunes. Frisky Whiskey led them into the straight and was soon displaced by Huracan. Soon a bunch of horses started to close in on the front runners and Star Ace warmed up nicely to progress, getting past horses with each stride. Shivalik Skies rallied between horses and picked up speed past the distance post and finished on fastest to pip Star Ace on the wire to score a win for Vijay Kasbekar’s stables. Favorite Oscillation got a shove-knock early in the straight that threw him off gear badly and may have had bearing on his chances and despite being last at the finish, Oscillation improved considerably to end a god third. Jockey SA Amit did take an objection against Sandesh (Star Ace) and although there was substance in his protest, the objection was overruled, Sandesh a trifle lucky to keep the second spot.

Arakawah (Rebuttal – Lambency, Hazara Stud) was rewarded for his persistence and came from the dead to prize out his win. It seemed all curtains for Arakawah when his lead disappeared as both Magical Memory and later House of Commons seemed to have got the better of him. House of Commons in particular, shot past them both and having done that inside the final furlong was taken to win. However, House of Commons went out of steam suddenly and Arakawah clawed his way back into the race and grabbed back the initiative to gratefully accept an unexpected victory.

For the professionals, trainer Vishal Gaikwad saddled a double, while jockeys P Trevor scored a treble and Neeraj Rawal a double.