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St Andrews completes a formality in feature

By: Frankel   April 1 , 2017

Bezan Chenoy trained St Andrews completed the formality of going through the motions to win the 1400 metres Mathradas Goculdas Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of Saturday`s Mumbai races. The only realistic threat for St Andrews was stablemate Brynhill whose wins had been confined to shorter trips and he was not expected to come in the way of the favourite recording his second straight win. The other two runners in the fray were known to lose their chances at the gate itself.

With the season winding to a halt over the next two weeks and the weather conditions being oppressive, the fields were understandably poor. The stake money has taken a big hit with the club facing a serious financial crisis which is threatening to undermine its existence. A number of horses have moved out to race at other centres. Mumbai which had problem of plenty has too many vacant stables and emptiness is staring all round. With no relief in sight, one dreads to think of what the feature of racing at the premier center is going to be.

Coming back to the feature event, Brynhill enjoyed a free run in front and put up some semblance of resistance to St Andrews before the latter pulled away inside the final 100 metres. Super Sunshine was planted at the gates while Remember Me was off to habitual slow start.

Pesi Shroff trained Daffodil recorded a thrilling win over favourite Forest Fairy in the 1400 metres Nanoli Stud Juvenile Stakes, a race for three-year-olds. Forest Fairy was the overwhelming favourite but close to race time, the surge in betting on Daffodil who had an outing in Bangalore during the Invitation Cup weekend indicated that the favourite was not going to have it easy. There was a bit of a jostle at the start though Forest Fairy was not unduly hampered. Jockey Neeraj Rawal took Daffodil on a start to finish mission and the progeny of China Visit, despite veering out under pressure, managed to spare a neck at the finish to the favourite. Neeraj Rawal`s better riding skills made the difference to the outcome of the race. Jodha compounded his problems by poor positioning which allowed the favourite to spurt and establish a good break. Jodha also moved over to the rails from the outside and even though the horse responded aggressively to his urgings, he was not good enough to get that bit extra due to his tactical failing. Texas Gold ran on strongly at the finish to end up as a close third.

Cooji Katrak trained Pugnacious thwarted the bid of Jeannie to win the 1600 metres P B Avasia Plate, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Pugnacious led from the start and even though Jeannie put up a stiff fight, Neeraj on the favourite was able to extract that bit extra to win comfortably in the end. Jodha was once again found on the runner-up. Multiglory failed to offer any resistance to the battling duo in front.

Drogo obliged in the 1600 metres Captain G Hall Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46 at good odds. The Imtiaz Sait trained Drogo looked beat going into the final furlong as he was struggling to pick up momentum. However, he began to respond well in the final 100 metres and finished with a rush to eventually to edge past Ventura who shaped to win after getting the better of front-running Kiss From A Rose. Respect lost all his chances at the gate while Pretty Angel too did not raise a fluent gallop at the jump out.

Imtiaz Sait had a double for the day when the fancied Sensex produced a winning effort in the final furlong to win the 1400 metres Rajcoomar Gujadhur Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Vision of Romance attempted to win start to finish but was thwarted in the closing stages of the race by the eventual winner. Batman came from nowhere to finish second best, with jockey C S Jodha once again being the late comer on the runner-up. Classicus had all the chances but failed to find an extra gear and finished fourth.

Dallas Todywalla trained Grey Flannel came up with a late charge and managed to win the 1200 metres A Geddis Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46 , with a measured effort. Grey Flannel was ridden in restraint by Trevor who brought the favourite with a well-timed run to get the better of horses in front. Logano finished on with a powerful surge and came close to toppling the winner despite the interference at a crucial stage of the race. Fabio was third ahead of Be Bold with ¾ of a length each separating the first four placed horses.

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