• 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
Sunday 25 Mar 2018
Mr Vivek Jain & trainer Imtiaz A Sait Leading New England (A Sandesh UP) Winner OF The R M & Rukmani Goculdas Million

Imtiaz Sait ward New England (Arazan – Autumnal, Highgrove Stud) after some consistent performances returned to his own while winning the RM & Rukmani Goculdas Million easily accounting for a small but competitive field. The prime fancy raced in the rear along with runner up Yanna Rascala until the straight and then displayed pleasing burst of speed to look the winner as early as the final furlong marker.

Adam lead them into the straight with Dancing Prances and St Andrews looking to build up a fight when New England came along with the proverbial chip on the shoulder. None could take him on though and jockey Sandesh cruised past the trio to dart ahead without being extended. Yanna Rascala, the last one to turn for home gained ground but not fast enough to cause any scare to New England, finishing second just a length behind the winner. The rest were too far down the field.

Dancing Prances and Adam, two battled-scarred seasoned campaigners, looked on the decline sadly, as they caved in tamely this time round.

Imtiaz Sait landed a double with New England as he had earlier led in Gold Bond (Dean’s Kitten – Sharatila, Bhaktawar Stud). Jockey Neeraj Rawal strode out to the front and controlled the pace to what best suited him. Favourite Gdansk set out in chase with the rest following in a single file.

Gold Bond entered the straight with a small lead but galloped on gamely all the way through. Gdansk could not reproduce his last start performance and was getting nowhere although he was within striking distance. Happy Birthday looked a threat as he inched closer to Gold Bond past the distance post and there seemed a fight brewing. However, Neeraj Rawal had Gold Bond going relentlessly and stayed ahead all the way past the post.

Pesi Shroff had two runners to ensure success in one of his targeted races -the Karl Umrigar Trophy. Interestingly both were well-supported in the betting ring, with Nobleman the clear favourite. It was Kanchenjunga who hit the front soon on settling down for the seven furlong race and stepped up the pace in the straight to win with a huge margin. Nobleman was right behind Kanchenjunga entering the straight, but when Kanchenjunga opened full throttle, Nobleman just could not keep up. Kanchenjunga galloped resolutely to notch up her maiden victory drawing away from the field. With Nobleman chasing the winner all the way, Pesi would have been happy to win the top two positions in the race held in Memory of his brother-in-law, a champion jockey himself, who died following an unfortunate fall, the loss that still brings the cringe to the racing fraternity.

Eternal Sunshine (Phoenix Tower – Divine Impact, Manjri Stud) changed tactics and raced to the front for the 2400m race and reaped rich rewards. She led from the start until past the the half way mark where from Vulcan raced ahead and took charge.

Vulcan galloped purposefully in the straight and held the top position even as Eternal Sunshine was putting in a stiff challenge. Frivolous and Daffodil too were looming large and with Uncle Scrooge right alongside, they were heading for a thrilling finish.  It was a sight to behold across the stands when any of the five looked good to pull it off. It was Rehanullah Khan’s Eternal Sunshine who produced that extra bit to down Vulcan close home. Daffodil managed to pip Frivolous by a nose.

There were two hatricks on the day! Clymene (Western Aristocrat – Magdalena, Nanoli Stud) galloped to her third victory on the trot. Faisal Abbas trained Clymene settled in second as Wild Fire darted into the lead. The rest were following close behind, barring Gangnam Style and Valentino.

Clymene wore down Wild Fire soon on turning for home and built up a handy lead. Double Nine was urged and hard ridden along the rails and warmed up nicely to provide pep to the finish. Double Nine started to bridge the gap at a quick rate and was right alongside Clymene approaching the winning post. Sandesh was at his vigorous best as he held on grimly to snatch a close verdict. Clymene was lucky to see the winning post come to her rescue.

 Mansoor Shah’s ward Alyatis (Noverre – Aim to Achieve, Sohna Stud) was the other one to pick up three races on the trot this season. Alyatis has run into top form and has been improving with every run.

This time too Alyatis was in the picture right from the start as Slam Dunk led them well into the straight. Soon Alyatis reproduced her sustained gallop and started to brek away from the pack in pursuit. She stretched away in the final furlong leaving the rest in futile chase. Beshiktash ran on to take the runner up spot, while Zanzibaar did well to improve considerably to bet the rest for place money.

Mansoor Shah struck again in the very next race with Flower Dust (Mull of Kintyre – Fatinat Al Melouk, Bloodhorse Stud). Flower Dust had never touched the board in nine starts, yet received strong support in the betting. That’s Mansoor Shah for you, always confident while suggesting a bet.

Flower Dust caused no anxiety at all to her backers as she hit the front soon on settling down and then galloped gallantly all the way. Once in the straight, she built on her handy lead and galloped on strongly to win running away clinching her maiden victory by a widening margin. Spontaneous Eddie kicked on to finish second ahead of Pathan.

Mansoor Shah could have had a third winner on the day but his ward Lorraine just failed to hold on after being ahead in their run to the wire. Whoopsidaisy led them into the straight with Captain Roy alongside. Star Scholar was also shaping well when Lorraine charged ahead and grabbed the lead. Fencing started to make his presence felt and arrived with a strong finish. They battled hard but Fencing overpowered Lorraine a few strides from the winning post and snatched a head verdict in an exciting finish. Star Scholar ended with the money.  

For the professionals, trainers Imtiaz Sait and Mansoor Shah saddled a double each, while jockeys A Sandesh and apprentice in form Zeeshan scored a double each as well.