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ABBEY FIGHTS HARD TO WIN SETH RAMNATH DAGA TROPHY
MUMBAI
By Mahendra Mallya
Thursday 25 Jan 2018
Mr Shapoor P Mistry & trainer Faisal A Abbas leading Abbey (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Seth Ramnath Daga Trophy

Prime favourites took a back seat with only three obliging in the nine race card slated for Thursday’s evening racing at the Mahalaxmi racecourse. However, there were no rank outsiders as such and the followers of form would have been content with the day’s overall results.

Mount Olympus (Win Legend – Integral, Dashmesh Stud) was confidently backed and was the shortest priced runner (6/10) on the day. The Narendra Lagad ward caused no anxiety to his backers, dishing out a clinical start to finish victory, looking the winner as early as turning for home.

He took off briskly from the gates and galloped smoothly to add distance between himself and his rivals and as they turned for home, Mount Olympus was skipping further away from the rest. Dashrath Singh, astride Mount Olympus rode out confidently and within seconds was bounding away, galloping gallantly towards the winning post leaving no chance to any of his opponents to catch up. He won drawing away and with such an impressive debut, he surely looks good to add at least another victory soon this season.   Iron Age ran on to finish second, but never too close to the winner. Medici improved towards the end to beat Masar for the third place.

Abbey (Phoenix Tower – Attune, Manjri Stud) showed terrific fighting qualities to win the prestigious Seth Ramnath Daga Trophy in a close finish involving two other horses.

Suraj Narredu got going soon on start and had Abbey surging into the lead past Mygrator to attempt it start to finish. Mygrator got stuck on the rails as Anacapri moved up on the outside to run alongside Mygrator.  Super Sunshine whipped around at the gates and lost all his chances. Excelling Gold and Goldie’s Pet did not quicken as they would have liked.

In the homestretch, Abbey was constantly challenged by Anacapri and these two battled hard for supremacy. They were bobbing heads approaching the distance post with Mygrator desperately looking to get a clear run, galloping uncertainly behind these two. Abbey wrested back the initiative and came on with a strong re-run and then Mygrator switched lanes to join the fight. It was a thrilling finish that saw the trio going all out scrambling to the wire and Abbey just about managed to stay ahead on the post with Mygrator managing to get his nose ahead to pip Anacapri for the runner up slot. Jockey PS Chouhan tried to get the stewards to believe he was hindered by Abbey early in the homestretch, but his frivolous objection was thrown out without delay.

Suraj Narredu had earlier partnered Lady Be Good (Arazan – Tootsie Wootise, Villoo’s Greenfield Farm) to a splendid victory, working his way up with some persistent riding to get Lady Be Good to launch her attack in the last 100 meters.

Happy Birthday had shot ahead soon on turning for home and was galloping at a good clip too. Adonijah could have been handled better and jockey Sandesh was always five off the fence and taking the turn wide as well. Lady Be Good emerged through the mid-bunch and started warming up approaching the distance post. Happy Birthday by then had stolen a march and left the others to catch up with him. Lady Be Good produced a scorching finish to race ahead meters from the winning post to score a narrow win. Happy Birthday was unlucky to be beaten close home, but managed to smother hot favourite Adonijah and keep the second place.

Drogo (Rebuttal – Gertie Laurie, Hazara Stud) pulled off a well-fought victory with some strong riding by jockey PS Chouhan seeing him through.  Sitting second behind leader Mount McKinley, Drogo had to measure up to the leader’s persistent gallop and resistance as Drogo inched his way closer with every stride in the homestretch. Mount McKinley was not the one to give up easily and fought on bravely. Drogo finally wore him down a stride or two from the winning post and his consistency was finally rewarded with a much deserved win. Mount McKinley was a gallant runner up, stretching Drogo all the way to the wire. Carnival ended a faraway third.

Ascension (Phoenix Tower – Wedded Woman, Manjri Stud) has improved steadily and showed a lot more speed and resolve while picking up his second victory in as many starts this season. He was freewheeling down the straight with a slight advantage over Glorious Land. Flamboyant Flame was looking for room along the rails while Locarno was finding it hard to stay in contention.

Ascension, with CS Jodha in the saddle, kept the momentum going, Jodha riding hard and using the whip to ensure Ascension didn’t let her guard down. The SK Sunderji ward galloped resolutely all the way to eventually secure a comfortable victory. Glorious Land kicked on to end second just ahead of Flamboyant Flame. Fringe Benefit did well to finish in the frame.

Tanjo (Western Aristocrat – Hazelhead, Nanoli Stud) stood up to the challenge posed by Celestial Light and held his ground to score another victory to follow his last start win.

Settled in fourth until the turn, Tanjo made an early forward surge soon on entering the homestretch. Rincon and Irisis were up in front when Tanjo with PS Chouhan astride arrived with a good gallop. Tanjo passed them by with ease and just when it looked he would pull away, Celestial Light came up with a game challenge. The duo fought a few strides before Tanjo called his challenger’s bluff and tore away in the finishing moments. Tanjo won well and with a two-length margin. Celestial Light deserves a pat for a good run race while finishing second. Counsellor improved considerably in the straight and ended an eye-catching third, showing enough promise to mark him next time out.

Rain Dance (Arabian Gulf – Radiating, Manjri Stud) made a concerted effort and reaped rich rewards to add to her solitary career victory. She was in the fighting line midway up the straight with My precious leading them all. Star Aligned looked good momentarily but then she could not finish off with the same aggression she showed briefly while coming into contention. Massimo moved steadily along the rails and was lucky too to get the gaps, but just could not quicken well enough to make it count. Rain Dance it was, who galloped resolutely in the final furlong to overcome all the threats and score a bright victory.

Speedo (Alnasr Alwasheek – Enchante, Manju Meadows Stud) pulled off a hard fought start to finish victory beating a good set of opponents. She had a decent lead coming into the straight and she build on it steadily to counter her challengers effectively. Malavika and Adams Beginning offered a dual challenge, but Speedo held on gallantly to win with a length to spare. Abraxas did well to finish with the money beating Adams beginning for the third spot.

Pricelessgirl (Noverre – A Girl, Sohna Stud) has shown an upward curve in form of late, particularly after her maiden win at Pune. She looked fresh and fit as she darted into the lead soon at start and picked up good momentum once in the straight. Stunner tried to offer a fight, but couldn’t keep up. Pricelessgirl opened up a good lead approaching the distance post and kicked on gamely to go all the way without encountering any danger. Ame ran on to take the second spot, while favourite Walk On By improved late to end a tame third.

For the professionals, jockeys Suraj Narredu and PS Chouhan scored a double each.