• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Mahendra Mallya
Saturday 03 Feb 2018
Mr Shapoor P Mistry & trainer M Narredu leading Pioneer (P S Chouhan Up) winner of The Ebco Worksmart Breeder's Produce Stakes (Gr.3)

Competitive racing and thrilling finishes panned out through the eve of the Kingfisher Indian Derby and with superb entertainment at the Mahalaxmi racecourse was top-notch revelry for the thousands who gathered at the famed venue.

On the racing front, Malesh Narredu trained Pioneer (Pioneer – Riyasat, Manjri Stud) dug deep to land his second victory in as many starts to clinch the feature event, the Ebco Worksmart Breeder’s Produce Stakes (Gr3).

Pioneer was out of the gates in a flash but settled down in the third position as Kanchenjunga darted into the lead with favourite Adjudicate in second until the turn. Kanchenjunga was fight a losing battle in the straight and soon Adjudicate got past to grab the lead. Pioneer switched gears and started to accelerate. Mozart, who was guilty of a tardy start, started to make his run from the outside and was picking up speed to make his presence felt.

Pioneer, ridden by PS Chouhan got going in the final furlong and accounted for stablemate Adjuicate easily but had to contend with Mozart who was looming large. However, Pioneer powered away in the final 100m to stamp his authority and eventually win with something to spare. Mozart would rue his poor start which may have cost him the race. Adjudicate ran on but failed narrowly to hold on to the runner-up berth.

Your Royal Majesty (Multidimensional – You Are My Miracle, Usha Stud) like old wine is getting better with age. He has been in great touch particularly in his last few outings and this time he galloped resolutely to stand his ground when challenged.

Jockey Neeraj Rawal held him in check in second position behind B Fifty Two all the way until into the straight. Lucas missed the kick and languished in the rear.

B Fifty Two led them into the straight and soon Your Royal Majesty strode out ahead, not really firing away, Neeraj saving a bit for the last. Costa Del Sol moved up to challenge the new leader. B Fifty Two was fighting hard to stay in the vicinity while New England was going all out to make a race of it.

Your Royal Majesty finished on well, managing to thwart every effort to bring him down and held on to win by just under a length and to claim the prestigious RN Kanga Gold Trophy (Gr3) in a thrilling finish. Costa Del Sol has bounced back to form and failed narrowly to nail it this time. New England did well to end in the money.

After a streak of disappointments Gloriosus (China Visit – Glorieuse, Usha Stud) came up with a brilliant performance that have him his second career win after a gap of five outings between his last win and now. It was not all smooth sailing for Gloriosus as he was stuck between horses, racing in the mid pack for most of the journey at the peril of getting caught in a traffic jam. Jockey Neeraj Rawal was at his best manoeuvring his way tactfully making his own room to get into prominence only in the final furlong.

Meanwhile, leader Sagittarius stubbornly stay at head right from the start until midway up the straight before fading away as top fancy Costa Brava collard him in front of the stands. Just as the favourite was being hailed, Gloriosus tore through between horses and produced a brilliant burst of speed to draw away in the last 50 meters to bag the Dr MAM Ramaswamy Million in style. Costa Brava was floored only in the last few strides, ending up a gallant second. Sussex Pride was last for most of the journey, yet arrived with a strong finish and did extremely well to end an eye-catching third. Auburn had a good chance with 400 to go, led briefly too, but could not finish on as she had done before and finished fourth.

Cambridge (Burden of Proof – Chimerique, Kunigal Stud) won well and beat a tough bunch of horses with ease, skipping away at the business end to clinch the Sohna Stud Million.

Jockey YS Srinath kept Cambridge in check for most of the seven-furlong journey, unperturbed with being closer to the rear. He picked up brisk momentum only when they straightened up for home. Once he alerted the Pesi Shroff trainee, Cambridge produced a scorching gallop to draw away from his rivals. None looked like challenging him even as they approached the distance post. Cambridge kicked on gamely to steer clear of the rest and win handsomely.  Uncle Scrooge ran the fastest among the beaten brigade to cover a lot of ground and finish a commendable second, ahead of Summer Rays. Pugnacious did well to figure in the frame and it may pay to watch him next time out.

Artus (China Visit – Altimara, usha Stud) finally secured a pleasing maiden victory on her seventh start. Chasing the front-running Nightfall into the straight, Artus, with PS Chouhan in the saddle, strode majestically to the front soon on turning for home. She gathered momentum with every stride and outpaced her rivals with a good measure of comfort. None from behind could get close to the Noshir Cama trained filly and she brought up her first win without sweat. Finest Moment laboured hard to catch up, but never really could put any pressure on Artus. Dazzling Eyes caught the eye, finishing with the money, coming from a long way back to finish third.

Dolphin (Arazan – Diablo’s Secret, Dashmesh Stud) was another one to score a maiden win and this was her 14th start. She had showed promise a couple of times particularly in her last outing and she went one better this time to win the Kingfisher Ultra Sundowner Million with a terrific finishing run.

Up with the front bunch, Dolphin made steady progress in the straight. Padmakosa led them in and soon bowed out. Favourite Cherry Blossom shot ahead with less than 400 to go and had a bunch of horses all around, Dolphin looking for a clear run along the inner rails.

Cherry Blossom failed to polish it off when Dolphin made her appearance and pounced on the leader. Dolphin was unleashing a powerful gallop with jockey CS Jodha getting her to go at full-flight. Once they got past Cherry Blossom it was all over. Even the speedy gallop from Blazing Steps made no impact on dolphin and the Waheed trained mare stretched away from them all. Blazing Steps had to be content with the next best slot, while Cherry Blossom showed signs of earning his oun bracket sooner than later.

Arc Shine (Pinson – Scholarship, Pratap Stud) also achieved her maiden success (11th start) with game fight involving favourite Tenerife, snatching victory on the last couple of strides.

Settling in third as Tenerife was sent out in a start to finish mission, Arc Shine produced a superlative effort to wear down Tenerife. The favourite looked in command at the distance post with a handy lead. Arc Shine started to inch closer but Tenerife made the chasing down hard as she was kicking on tirelessly. Pokerface and Democrat were hovering just behind, both looking prominent. Weight was the issue with Pokerface and Democrat took his time to throttle.

Tenerife led until the last couple of strides and it was that last ditch effort from the Sangramsingh Joshi’s ward and the relentless efforts of jockey Amyn Merchant that helped Arc Shine prevail in a scintillating finish to the day’s racing action.

For the professionals, trainer Pesi Shroff saddled a double, while jockeys Neeraj Rawal and PS Chauhan scored a double each.