• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Ikram Khan
Sunday 02 Jul 2017
Trainer P Shroff leading Denny Crane (J Chinoy Up), winner ofThe Chief Minister's Cup (Gr.3)

Pesi Shroff is enjoying a fine run and it has proved to be a summer to remember for the Mumbai champion. He continues to pick up plums each week and his horses are all looking good and ready to score. This week again he picked up both plums, Anacapri winning the Juvenile Sprinters’ Million on Saturday and the 10 to one long shot Denny Crane surprising most in the Chief Minister’s Cup, the next day.

Stablemate Captain Courage was the favourite in this event but the public choice in no mood to enter the stall played up at the gates and was examined by the vet before he was certified fit to race. In cases, where the horses, particularly the favourites play up and are in no mood to race, it is wise to withdraw the horse considering the fact that big money rides on the favourite. But time and again the decision makers at the start at this centre ignore this consideration and the poor punters and the owners pay a big price. Captain Courage came home last and it was the poor punters who lost out while all the illegal bookies operating inside and outside the BTC premises were smiling all the way to the bank.

To start with it was an open race and winner picking here was tricky. Kolkata challenger Multitude had the best credentials to score after the `Captain’ who was back after a long lay-off and was still preferred because Shroff’s strike rate has been exemplary in the big plums this season

Jockey J Chinoy took Denny Crane to the front and stayed put gallantly snuffing out the belated challenge of Multitude. The runner-up it appeared would get the leader but at the end it was clear that leading pro Sandesh had failed to time his final challenge to a nicety. The in-form Siobhan finished third ahead of Bold Command who will earn his bracket over a longer course in the weeks ahead.

Inayathulla-trained Pinyada brought off the biggest upset of the day in the Pendragon Plate. Carnarvon and Gandharva started favourites before money came pouring on the former who many reckoned was a `moral certainty’ but both the fancied runners were not spotted at the finish. Habanero looked set to score before Pinyada stormed through in the hands of Merchant. Habanero nosed out Great Tribute to get the runner-up berth.

After the first five races of the day produced shock results. The Dominic-trained Bora Bora provided some relief for the followers of form. The three-year-old filly shot into an early lead at the top of the straight and comfortably stayed in front to land the spoils. Desert Falcon managed to nose out strongly fancied Marina Del Rey who warmed up too late to have any say at the finish.

Imtiaz Khan-trained Call Me Maybe had a good forward run over a mile and looked ready to strike in Honeyday Plate run over a sprint. The in-form contestant just that did, flooring all the rivals in the final furlong to retire home a deserving winner.

Ambleside had a good chance to provide an encore in the Col Rajkumar C Desraj Urs Memorial Cup but the Neil ward flopped. The race was won by longshot Dream Star piloted by the able apprentice Ryan Ahmed. Fair Game kept I`ve Got Clout at bay to get the second place.

The upper division of the Supervite Plate saw the favoured duo of Rocket Punch and Ira packing their bags even before the race took a serious turn. Fine Barristor from trainer Md Khan`s stable with jockey Raja Rao in the saddle came up tops. Mistress of Spice was second ahead of Nagarjuna. This was a a stunner and most punters were floored by this shock win.

In the lower division of the event another outsider Angelic Love from new trainer M R Singh’s yard  showed a clean pair of heels to her nine rivals. It was M R Singh’s maiden success and he will cherish the moment.