• Ruffina wins The Sprinters Cup (Gr.1)
  • Azzurro wins The Dr M A M Ramaswamy Stayers Cup (Gr.1)
  • Whomakestherules wins The Maj P K Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup (Gr.1)
  • Kangra wins The Indian Turf Invitation Cup (Gr.1) in record timing
By Mahendra Mallya
Thursday 15 Mar 2018
Mr Jaydev M Mody & trainer Dallas Todywalla leading Selfie Star (David Allan Up), winner of The Radha Sigtia Trophy

After a lull in the classics, Selfie Star (Excellent Art – Maharanee, Exhilaration Stud) returned to winning ways notching up her fourth career victory back in handicap races in class II. David Allan hit the front with Selfie Star and showed no hurry, settling down to a very comfortable initial pace. Multiglory followed a couple of lengths behind in second, with Drogo and Uncle Scrooge bringing up the rear.

Multiglory shot past Selfie Star in the back stretch and led the four horse field all the way into the straight. Selfie Star soon wrested back the lead and stormed ahead galloping at full steam. None of the three rivals could catch up with Selfie Star and the Dallas Todywalla ward galloped on to win by just over a length. Sandesh, astride Uncle Scrooge, would have done better if he had started his finishing gallop a few meters earlier. He seemed in no hurry even as Selfie Star had gone into the lead and was going all out. Sandesh waited a tad too long before pushing his mount forward and then again tapped the whip only a couple of times even though Uncle Scrooge was gaining on the leader. On hindsight, had Sandesh opened throttle on Uncle Scrooge and used the whip judiciously, the verdict would have been closer. The followers of the favourite would have vented a sigh of relief as Selfie Star zipped past the winning post.

Forest Fairy (Arazan – Forest Fantasy, Poonawalla Stud) also scored an easy win beating Star of Thea, stretching away in the final 100 meters. Star of Thea, attempting a third straight win, was off on a start to finish mission. Forest Fairy settled in second with the rest following close behind. Glyndebourne was withdrawn at the gates, taking the sheen off, of what could have been a much keener tussle. That was not to be, hence Forest Fairy didn’t have to be extended while easily getting past of leader Star of Thea midway up the straight and then quickening well to steer clear, winning by two lengths without actually needing to fire on all cylinders, jockey Trevor doing just what was required and nothing more.

Trevor then partnered Imtiaz Sait’s Harmony of the Sea (Multidimensional – Sea Value, Mehra Stud) to time to score her second career win from only six starts. Trevor was at his scintillating best as he timed his finish to perfection.

Collegium grabbed the lead soon on turning for home and worked his way up nicely shapping well for the final run. Soon Arc Shine came up with a worthy challenge, coming alongside Collegium and the two were going hard at it. Harmony of the Sea improved well and began to quicken in the final furlong. Trevor got the filly going and Harmony of the Sea began to devour ground at a brisk pace. Arc Shine had barely gone past Collegium when Harmony of the Sea thundered along to pip Arc Shine on the post in a thrilling finish.

Harrier disappointed, was never prominent and only managed to come late on the scene to finish a tame face-saving fourth. Angels Touch improved considerably to finish one off the frame, but had to be whipped and pushed vigorously to regroup from the last spot at the turn to gain in position through the straight.

Jockey Dashrath Singh scored a back-to-back double both at nourishing odds. He first won with a late finish atop Sir Song (Hymn – Vicereen, Jai Govind Stud) after gracing the tail end of the field at the start and then improving past the 800m to make a good final run to get the nod right at the wire.

Deccan King led them into the straight with Commandperformance alongside, the latter bowing out of contention pretty soon. Cupido moved between horses to challenge for the lead and in the final furlong a bunch of horses were scrambling on to make the finish exciting.

Cupido got the measure of Deccan King and was fighting hard to stay in the lead. Sir Song arrived with a late burst and fought stride for stride with Cupido, gaining on the latter with every stride.  At the wire, Sir Song stretched his head in front and snatched a thrilling win. Aloha arrived with a fast gallop and did well to end a close third.

Dashrath then partnered Huzzah’s Grace (Chevalier – Radical Velocity, Ruia Stud) to carve out another victory in a similar fashion. He was a tad fortunate though as apprentice jockey Zeeshan astride Angel’s Harmony faltered at the last stride buckling and losing balance which may have cost him the race.

Angel’s Harmony switched lanes in the straight and made a forward dash with about 400 to go and shaped like a winner with those close behind not making much progress. Dashrath got Huzzah’s Grace going in the final furlong and started to close in on the leader at a good clip. Angels Harmony was still slightly ahead approaching the finish when Zeeshan seemed to have been caught off balance for that one stride which was enough for Huzzah’s Grace to speed ahead and clinch the race. Master Sergeant did well to finish in the money.

Pricelessgirl (Noverre – A Girl, Sohna Stud) trained by C Rajendra was ably ridden by apprentice jockey SA Amit to a fluent start to finish victory, her second this season and third overall. Getting out of the gates quickest, Pricelessgirl showed a lot of speed while leading them into the straight.

Once into the homestretch, SA Amit had Pricelessgirl racing further ahead not hurrying the filly too much and ensuring that she sustained all the way. He just nudged her a couple of times and was more hands and heels all through to keep her going. Pricelessgirl won with a healthy margin and was impressive all through. Adeline ran on to take the runner up berth ahead of Charging Tigress.

Mansoor Shah trained Fine Tune (Mull of Kintyre – Farmers Swing,  Sohna Stud)has struck good form and scored another fighting win – his second this season. It was not all that easy though as El tycoon nearly pulled it off.

El Tycoon led them into the straight and galloped on gamely right through into the final furlong. Fine Tune, who was never too far away from the leader, started to accelerate well at the business end. Apprentice jockey Zeeshan had her finish on fast and challenged El Tycoon closer home. They fought hard and eventually Fine Tune got the better of El Tycoon winning it by a head verdict.

For the professionals, trainer Imtiaz Sait saddled a double, while jockeys P Trevor and Dashrath Singh scored a double each.