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PALATIAL CANTERS TO WIN BYCULLA CUP
MUMBAI
By Mahendra Mallya
Thursday 18 Jan 2018
Trainer S Waheed leading Palatial (P Trevor Up), winner of The Byculla Club Trophy

Palatial (Pivotal – Pink Palace, Bhaktawar Stud), trained by Waheed and ridden by Trevor,  scored an easy victory to claim the Byculla Club Trophy, playing the waiting game over the 2800 trip and then  toying with his two rivals at the business end to canter home in style.  

Sitting well off the pace set by last start surprise winner Square Moon, Palatial ran at his own leisurely pace for most of the journey. Once they turned for home, Palatial moved up nicely and was full of running to end Square Moon's reign at the helm. The gelding galloped away merrily to dominate in the final furlong and won drawing away with a big margin.  

Narendra Lagad trained Lilac Time (Radiant – Con Artist) finally came into her own to score a long pending victory. It was not all smooth sailing for Lilac Time though, as she had to overpower a determined Isinit. The long-time leader galloped stubbornly in the homestretch managing to thwart the challenge coming from favourite Beyond Forces. However, Lilac Time, with Dashrath Singh on board, applied pressure as she got alongside in the last 50 meters and in a hard fought battle managed to peg back Isinit on the last stride and score a thrilling victory. 

Sereno (Pinson – Serenity, Nakul Stud) trained by SK Sunderji, was quickly off and had a good momentum going right from start. On entering the homestretch, he quickened well and kept a safe distance from his opponents. Pricelessgirl who had tailed Sereno from the start could not sustain, but hung on, fighting a losing battle. Kingston Heath raised some hope as did El Tycoon, but neither could measure up to Sereno who galloped freely to stay well ahead all the way to the wire to post a comfortable victory. El Tycoon managed to wrest the runner up slot from Kingston Heath. Pricelessgirl ended in the frame.  

Favourite Kotor attempted it start to finish but found it tough to get going in the straight. Diwali Lights too could not press home the advantage after being prominently poised at the turn. Mansoor Shah ward Centaurus (Virtual – Caressed, Bhaktawar Stud) gathered momentum in the straight under the handling of upcoming apprentice Zeeshan,  showed a good turn of foot to amass a decisive lead approaching the distance post and carried on to seal the race with more than 100m to go. Centaurus won easing up and showed that he is back in form. Lovely Fairy got the measure of Kotor and ended a good second.  

Nazak Chenoy trained Aurelia (Phoenix Tower – Star Always, Manjri Stud) pulled off a sensational last stride victory, showing plenty of speed and resolve to surface from the rear and time her finish to perfection with Trevor astride.The leads changed dramatically with Orion’s Belt surrendering to La Magnifique. Soon Gallant Knight arrived to tackle La Magnifique and as these two were grappling, Aurelia and Spiridon burst on the duo in front at the same juncture. Aurelia fought it out well and managed to pip Spiridon to win it in a close finish. 

Mansoor Shah scored a double with Alyaties (Noverre – Aim to Achieve, Bhaktawar Stud) who pulled off a comfortable victory, putting in a scorching gallop at the finish. She tagged alongside Royal Blood right from start and she started surging ahead once they turned for home.

Alyaties, with Zeeshan in the saddle, broke away from her opponents early n the straight and galloped gamely all the way, bounding away and sewing up the issue long way from home. Alyaties had been showing promise for a while now and finally lived up to it justifying the strong support she received in the ring. Dolphin, the main rival got into traffic problems and got squeezed between horses at a crucial juncture which marred her chances. Dolphin wriggled out soon but had to settle for the second slot. Adam’s Creation ran on to take the third place from Royal Mews.

Jeena (Chevalier – Saytarra, Pratap Stud) lasted out nicely after darting to the front from the gates. She entered the straight with a slight upper hand and kicked on gamely to stay in front. Galtero improved past the 300 metres and started to inch closer. Jockey SJ Sunil egged the Nirad Karanjawalla ward on relentlessly and pulled off a narrow win with Galtero breathing down her neck. Bay of Love ran on to take the place money.

For the professionals, trainer Mansoor Shah saddled a double, while jockey P Trevor scored a treble and apprentice Zeeshan pitched in with a double as well.