• 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
Friday 30 Mar 2018
Mr Berjis Minoo Desai & trainer Vishal Gaikwad leading Glyndebourne (P Trevor Up), winner of The Behram A Engineer Cup

Punters got the better of the bookmakers as form held good in most of the races as four firm favourites obliged in the six-race card.

Glyndebourne (Western Aristocrat – Portia, Nanoli Stud) was the hottest favourite of the day and the only on-money runner. He obliged handsomely galloping away to a start to finish victory without encountering any challenge. Trevor had him go to the front soon at start and set off at a good clip. Invictus Maneo was in second and the others were not too far behind.

Glyndebourne looked far superior once they turned for home with Trevor relying on just hands and heels to guide the Vishal Gaikwad trained filly all the way home. Invictus Maneo chased the winner home without making any impact. Timeless Deeds improved to finish third ahead of Star Comrade the latter just going about the motions, running below par.

It was a spate of favourites ruling the day after Glyndebourne. However they didn’t make it as easily.

Beneficial (Varenar – Concept) had to counter a stiff challenge from Bidstone Hill who had taken over from Blitzkrieg soon on entering the straight. Beneficial, ably ridden by jockey R Ajinkya, started to inch closer. The pair fought through the final furlong and half with Beneficial looming large in final 150 or so. Grey Flannel switched lanes and produced a fine finishing effort, but he was too late as by then Beneficial had the clear upper hand and stretched his neck to nose the wire and cap it. Bidstone Hill stayed second as Grey Flannel fell a wee bit short to pip Bidstone Hill for the runner-up berth.

Transform (Mull of Kintyre – Change Tack, Country Stud) was heavily backed as though the Mansoor Shah trainee’s victory was simply certain. It turned out that way as he hit the front with a good jump from the gates and none of his rivals seem to be in the mood to go to the front.

Transform led them into the straight and it was all over. Apprentice jockey Zeeshan had to just open the throttle and Transform scuttled away from them all in a trice. He looked the winner long way from the finish as those behind him simply didn’t show any stomach for fight. Transform literally donkey-licked the entire field. She won by a healthy margin without causing any anxiety to those who backed him confidently. If there ever was a coup, this had to be it!

Highland Woods (Phoenix Tower – Kiss of Luck, Manjri Stud) scored well under the guidance of champion jockey P Trevor, who handled a tricky situation astutely. It all worked out well eventually for Highland Woods but there indeed were some trying moments particularly inside the final furlong.

Highland Woods got off to a quick start but was soon overtaken by Skysurfer who led the charge. Bourbon Legend too made a quick forward move as did Synchronicity and Huzzah’s Phoenix – all bunching up making it a tight squeeze for Highland Woods who was racing along the rails.

Into the straight, Skysurfer was slightly ahead with Synchronicity gaining on the leader. Highland Woods was sandwiched between these two. Trevor tried to manoeuvre his way and went for the gap along the rails left by Skysurfer, an old trick. Trevor almost got suckered in but showed presence of mind and switched out. With Synchronicity alongside it was a tight passage, but Skysurfer weakened slightly and Trevor seized the chance. He poked through to gain ascendency soon and shot into the lead. It was not over yet as Huzzah’s Phoenix arrived with a fiery finish which Highland Woods stood up to and thwarted it to win by a neck. Synchronicity did well to finish in the money in a tight finish involving all the top six positions.

Star Bright and Dazzling Star achieved their maiden successes in the day’s first two races. Star Bright (China Visit – Amstel, Usha Stud) scored a sublime victory dominating the second half of the straight and compiling an impressive victory.

Cristo Boss set the early pace and bowed out in the homestretch. Ebony soon took over but when Star Bright got going, she found no match for her brilliance. She accounted for them all and sped away in the final furlong to win by a pleasing margin. Ebony ended second a length ahead of Angels Harmony. Cristo boss filled the frame, while Angels Touch disappointed a fairly good following.

Dazzling Star (Multidimensional – Dazzling Skill, Greentree Stud) could not have asked for a better debut. She was off to a good start and settled well behind Retained Asset who too was quick to go for the lead early on.

Once they turned for home, Retained Asset had to give it all to retain his lead as Dazzling Star moved nicely on his outside. Into the final furlong, Dazzling Star accelerated well to take charge and then speed away to score comfortably. Golden Hind warmed up far too late to finish second ahead of Intense Stylist. Excellent Ella the prime fancy did not figure anywhere right through and disappointed.

Jockey P Trevor was the lone pro to score a double.