• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Ikram Khan
Saturday 23 Jun 2018
Mr Zeyn Mirza & trainer Irfan Ghatala leading Salazaar (S John Up), winner of The Chief Justice's Cup (Gr.3)

Despite the fact that he excelled in a mock race on June 10 beating Desert God without his pilot S John needing to move a muscle, Salazaar was ignored in the Chief Justice’s Cup, the plum event run over a distance of nine furlongs on the eve of the Colts Championship Stakes. The Irfan Ghatala ward available at (8/1) repeated the effort in record time in a race to floor the overwhelming favourite Prevalent Force, who proved no match to the winner, at his best. Salazaar’s next attempt will be to emerge the new Maharaja and on the strength of this performance, he is in with a definite chance if Zeyn Mirza and Irfan Ghatala provide him the chance to test the best at this campus.

The winner travelled nice and easy all through the backstretch and the moment John changed gears approaching the distance post, Salazaar sped past Ultimate Warrior and left the rest for dead cruising home in 1:48.4 seconds bettering the record (1:49.25) registered by Mathaiyus last year. Prevalent Force finished on well to take the second spot ahead of Ultimate Warrior, while the multi-classic winner Kangra who has gone off the boil came home fourth. Desert God who proved no match to Salazaar in the mock race finished a bad last and it is clear that this champion performer is not enjoying what he joyfully did a couple of summers ago.

After leading in Salazaar, Irfan recorded a double through the favourite Automatic, who justified his top billing in the Stewards Cup run over a distance of seven furlongs. The winner was piloted in copybook fashion by Zervan. Into The Spotlight who raised hopes midway up the straight held on to gain the runner-up berth ahead of Speed Hawk while Fair Game finished a fair fourth. Automatic like Salazaar is in good nick and is set to provide an encore.

The M Ali Asker Memorial Trophy run over a mile was claimed by the second in demand at the betting ring Poseidon from trainer Md.Khan’s yard. The winner, who found Capricious too good in his last start assumed command at the distance post and then gamely hung on to score from the on-money favourite New Creation and the lesser fancied Peluche.

The opening event, the Paddiwick Plate, another mile long event for juveniles saw the two Padmanabhan wards Most Welcome and Indian Pharaoh flash past the post locked together before the `magic’ eye nodded in favour of the favourite Most Welcome to the delight of the followers of form. Supernormal caught the eye while finishing a game third and it will not be long before this Marthand Mahindra owned youngster sheds his maiden status.

The Faraz  Arshad-trained Decisive looked a picture of fitness at the parade ring and he readily justified the confidence of his supporters in the Honeyday Plate run over a sprint. The moment Suraj Narredu pushed him ahead he looked keen to stamp his authority and he did that without really extending himself at end. Mystify Me finished second ahead of Halfsies while Princess Rumela raced in patches to come home fourth.

A sharp shower before the start of the Mystic Memory Plate posed a few challenges to the dozen contestants. Classic Cut from Irfan Ghatala’s yard, who was in line for a hat-trick opened the favourite before money came pouring in on the Arjun Manglorkar-trained Panama who closed the favourite. Panama nor Classic Cut made it to the winners’ circle. It was the lesser fancied Shades Of Desire who came up trumps in the event edging out San Bernadino close home. Queen Latifa caught the eye while finishing a creditable third and it will pay to follow the infamous queen next time out.

The final event was also held in pouring rain and another eight to one shot Nyssa in the hands of Rayan Ahmed snuffed out the challenge of Purity who now has finished second from her last four starts.