• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Mahendra Mallya
Saturday 08 Apr 2017
Trainer S K Sunderji leading Turning Point (Akshay Kumar Up), winner of The Stylecracker Juvenile Gold Cup

The Mahalaxmi racecourse was abuzz again with the Stylecracker presenting a festive atmosphere with an array of entertainment for all ages, right from the toddlers upwards. The members’ lawns was chock-o-block with people hopping around sifting through a variety of products on display and sale and a mini amusement park for the juniors kept the decimals higher than that at the thrilling finish on the track. On the race track, jockeys P Trevor and Neeraj Rawal yet again stood out with a treble and a double respectively and their followers had a lot to shout about.

Trevor started the day on a winning note astride Multyglory (Multidimensional – Reflected Glory, Usha Stud) with a scathing victory, winning with such authority that left several punters confounded over his last outing loss. He was completely in charge once they turned for home as he easily caught up with Raeez early in the straight, looking to dominate even as Raeez shot ahead past the 800 to build a handy lead. Multiglory covered ground briskly in the straight to trounce Raeez, the even money favourite with ease.

Neeraj Rawal then took center-stage with a back-to-back double in the next two races. He piloted Pesi Shroff trained Lord of the Sea (Dean’s Kitten – Enamoured, Bhaktawar Stud) to a thumping victory and it was surprising to see a big drift in odds as the pre-race on-money favourite was offered at even money by race time.

Neeraj Rawal had Lord of the Seas up in front briefly before settling in second as Gdansk took over. Lady Be Good was further behind until the turn. Lord of the Seas surged ahead early in the straight and worked up a good pace to dart ahead into the lead. Neeraj urged the Shroff trainee on and soon it was clear that Lord of the Sea would romp home. Lady Be Good improved positions and ended a faraway second. Lucky Luciano too progressed from the rear to end third, gaining a fine educative run.

Neeraj then powered Brothersofthewind (Rebuttal – Fantasy Moon, Hazara Stud) to a maiden victory, ensuring the campaign ended on a successful note for trainer Vinesh’s ward. Lurking close behind a closely huddled front bunch, Brothersofthewind took off past the 400 with a blazing finishing gallop. Tomahawk never looked convincing even though he was in the lead, with top fancy Brabourne looking in trouble as early as the first half of the homestretch. Brothersofthewind warmed up nicely and Neeraj Rawal got him going approaching the distance post, the gelding accelerating well to shut the opposition out with his game gallop. Cristo Boss and a good late charge, however he simply could not match the winner’s acceleration and had to be content with the runner up spot. Brabourne was the second on-money casualty for trainer Imtiaz Sait within the first three races.

Turning Point (Surfrider – Avec Plaisir) stole the show with a clinical performance that fetched her The Stylecracker Juvenile Gold Cup and her maiden success. Entrusted in the hands of jockey Akshay Kumar, the boy did complete justice, Turning Point settled in third position until the straight and then unleashed a fiery stretch-run. Imperial Beauty squandered away a good lead coming into the straight and faded away.  Admo showed good paces and shot into the lead, however, Turning Point was gathering momentum and when she picked up speed, it was curtains for Admo. Turning Point galloped ahead and sped away to score an impressive win. Admo ran on to finish second. Baby Face improved in the straight to take the third spot.

The Blazing Saddles Million threw a surprise winner in Sussex Pride (Sussex – Moneypenny, Pratap Stud) from a lot more fancied lot. Sherlock went out on a start-to-finish mission and held his own until well into the straight. Domination just could not find the acceleration to tackle the leader, while Glorious Eyes was also taking her time. Volantis ruined her chances by going wide. Subhag Singh trained Sussex Pride warmed up nicely to storm on to the scene in the hands of Akash Agarwal and sped past the front runners to score by a length. Sherlock stayed in second ahead of Glorious Eyes.

New England (Arazan – Autumnal, Poonawalla Stud) powered his way to a smooth victory, his second on the trot. This victory was a lot more dominant and fluent, New England literally winning as he liked. Settling back at a comfortable pace, New England was heading the back-bunch with King of Kelln further behind him. Out in front, Silk Baby and Bidstone Hill were grappling for the lead coming into the straight. New England showed tremendous acceleration and moved up between horses to take charge past the 300 and then sailed away from the rest. King of Killen made his move from the wider out and got past the rest, but found New England too hot to handle. Auroden showed some spark while ending in the money.

Queen Ria (Ontario – Queen Rania, Sohna Stud) galloped away to a neat start-to-finish victory with jockey SA Amit showing patience and skill to guide her home even as a couple of horses started to close in towards the finish. Taking off from the gates with alacrity, Queen Ria maintained a stranglehold right through. She led them into the straight comfortable with Amit doing a great job at keeping her going. Samurai started to inch closer from the outside, while Rich N Rare flanked on the inside. Jockey Amit relied on his hands and heels drive and although he let the two get close, he never let either get past. The Mansoor Shah ward had shown a bit of spark in her last outing and the trainer had astutely fine-tuned the filly to pull off a well thought out coup.

The concluding race of the day saw a ‘going for the neck’ battle between Fringe Benefit and Maduro, who had the supports screaming hoarse. Both were good priced horses garnering support in the ring and the fierce battle was edge of the seat stuff.

Quixotic led them into the straight but soon had Maduro challenging for the lead. Fringe Benefit (Noverre – Distant Valley, Sohna Stud) moved in along the inner rails and picked up speed to snatch the lead. Maduro looked a live threat and Trevor got going atop Fringe Benefit. The duo battled fiercely right to the wire with the Mansoor Shah trainee always having a slight upper hand. Trevor ensured that Fringe Benefit maintained his momentum all through and prevailed by a long neck.

For the professionals, trainers Mansoor Shah and Sunderji saddled a double each, while joceys P Trevor and Neeraj Rawal scored a treble and double respectively.