• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
THEMIS WINS CN WADIA GOLD CUP (GR.2)
MUMBAI
By Mahendra Mallya
Sunday 11 Mar 2018
Mr & Mrs Vijay B Shirke, Mr K N Dhunjibhoy & trainer MK Jadhav leading Themis (A Sandesh Up), winner of The C. N. Wadia Gold Cup (Gr.2)

Mania Jadhav trained filly Themis (Lord Shanakill – Soul Society, Hazara Stud) romped to an emphatic win to claim the prestigious CN Wadia Gold Cup (Gr2), jockey Sandesh saving her best for the last in the 2400m race.

Sandesh had Themis way down the field for most of the journey, keeping her in check, off the pace. Square Moon led them all the way until B Fifty Two got past him at the turn.

Into the straight, B Fifty Two galloped on gamely enjoying a handy lead, Big Sur and Escala had a good opportunity to assert themselves, but neither could come up with anything worthwhile. Themis came alive past the 400m mark and Sandesh held her confidently, nursing her to open up just about at the perfect moment.

Once Themis got the go from Sandesh, she began devouring ground at a fast clip to collar B Fifty Two in the final furlong and then drew away impressively showing quick acceleration, galloping away to score convincingly, clocking a smart timing of 2:28 to out-class a competitive set of horses comprehensively.

B Fifty Two kicked on to take the runner-up berth and the connections ought to be pleased with his performance through the season. Supreme General ran on to finish in the money.

Trainer Pesi Shroff saddled a good double on the day with 7/1 shot Massimo and hot favourite Khartoum (Dean’s Kitten – Paradise Royale, Sohna Stud) winning their respective races.

Massimo (Mull of Kintyre – Dragnet, Bhaktawar Stud) set off on a start to finish mission with Bottega Louie settling in second, followed by Celestial Light and Vice Admiral racing together not too far behind.

Massimo entered the straight slightly ahead with on-money favourite Bottega Louie on his tail, looking ready to pounce. Jockey Sandesh got to work when CS Jodha ridden Bottega Louie came alongside and both riders were going hammer and tongs through the long Mumbai straight. They matched stride for straight at it appeared as though Bottega Louie may wear down Massimo at one point when he nosed slightly ahead, however, Massimo continued to fight off the favourite and just about managed to wrest it back on the post to carve out a well-fought victory in a thrilling finish.  

Khartoum did not have to fight as hard, but had to cover a lot of ground in the straight as Artus had a runaway lead past the 600m mark and Khartoum had some catching up to do.  

Artus had boldly hit the front essaying the mile-and-quarter race start to finish. Sensing this ploy, Sandesh moved to second spot and settled to stalk the leader.

Artus gradually sped ahead opening up a huge lead while Sandesh let him do so, not wanting to rush Khartoum. Artus entered the straight with a handy lead; Sandesh inched closer with Khartoum and caught up with Artus in the final furlong. Artus resisted bravely, not letting Khartoum slip away easily, but it was clear that while Artus was under pressure, while Khartoum was moving the better of the two. Eventually Khartoum wore Artus down to win comfortably although the margin was just over a length.  

SK Sunderji’s Between The Waters (Surfrider – Althing, Ruia Stud) had a dream debut scoring emphatically in his first outing. He had been prepared well for his debut and Between The Waters had displayed his fitness on the morning track and duly achieved his maiden success.

Baymax hit the front soon on start with favourite Julio Cesaro in second, Between the Waters settled along the rails. Native Prince was off slowly and was never in the reckoning.

Baymax led them into the straight with Julio Cesaro alongside, but the latter just couldn’t quicken and was clearly under severe pressure. Between The Waters on the other hand, moved powerfully through the inner rails and once he got past Baymax, Between the Waters stretched out nicely to win drawing away. Red Carnation improved with a late bid to finish second, a good 2 ¾ L behind the winner.

Jockey Neeraj Rawal won the first and the last race of the day, both popular fancies. He started the day with a clinical start-to-finish victory atop Augustus Caesar (Holy Roman Emperor – Snowy Day In La, Equus Stud).

Taking off at a good clip Augustus Caesar led them into the straight and set about reaping the rewards of a nice good start. He had a handy lead coming into the final two furlongs. Merlin started to accelerate and inch closer while Bushtops too was shaping well. However, the run-advantage that Augustus Caesar came in handy as he galloped away fluently to win easing up with two lengths to spare, Neeraj egging him on right through. Merlin and Bushtops both had an educative outing and should be a force to reckon with the next time out.

Neeraj Rawal once again was in his elements in the last race of the day astride Dallas Todywalla trained Chaplin (Excellent Art – Amazing Ray, Exhilaration Stud).  Once Chaplin got into the acceleration mode, it was all over. Chaplin surged forward and sped further away from Slam Dunk in a trice and looked the winner long way from home. Star Comrade finished on well to beat Slam Dunk for the second slot. Checkmate did well to figure in the frame considering his bad start. .

Slam Dung was quickest at the start and darted into the lead. Favourite Checkmate got caught between horses at the jump, hence was squeezed and lost out on a good start, finding him at the wrong end of the field, from which it made it impossible for him to make an impact.

Slam Dunk had a good break on entering the straight, leading by more than two lengths with 400 to go. However, Chaplin was just beginning to warm up).  Once Chaplin got into the acceleration mode, it was all over. Chaplin surged forward and sped further away from Slam Dunk in a trice and looked the winner long way from home. Star Comrade finished on well to beat Slam Dunk for the second slot. Checkmate did well to figure in the frame considering his bad start.   

Congressional (Razeen – Kerataka, Greentree Stud) brought about a morale-boosting victory and added to his win tally after really long time. He was ready to go at the turn and he raced ahead early in the straight. He built on his lead steadily managing to stay ahead of Governor General all the way home. 

 For the professionals, trainer Pesi Shroff saddled a double, while jockey Sandesh was the star of the day with three wins, jockey Neeraj Rawal chipped in with a double as well.