Imtiaz Sait trained Caprisca who is showing his mettle in the handicap races after having been campaigned in the classics, had no problem in winning the 1600 metres Hyderabad Race Club Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of Sunday`s evening races held at Mumbai. There was excited anticipation that trainer Pesi Shroff could be completing saddling1000 winners in his career which perhaps was the reason why Yanna Rascala and Barrack came in for spirited betting in their respective races, but both flopped beyond expectation.
Caprisca has not yet reached the handicap mark and as such, he was backed with conviction by those who merely went by the belief that there is scope for further movement in the handicap scales for this talented son of Steinbeck. Yanna Rascala who had finished an eye-catching second to New England was widely expected to pose a stiff hurdle to the favourite and was backed down from a higher quote of 4/1. But in the race, Yanna Rascala did not settle, fought for his head, and in the straight when the pressure was applied, he did not respond and fell back rapidly to finish a dismal last. One is not sure what went wrong with him. Caprisca who was this time eased in the last position by jockey Zervan, appeared to be in a spot of bother when there was insufficient space on the inside to shoot through. But the favourite made his way and had the race sewn up a long way from home to win from Exodus and Frivolous.
Barrack was the betting rage in the 1400 metres Topspin Plate, a race for three-year-olds as the progeny of Multidimensional had the benefit of a race run and was widely expected to make a tremendous improvement. The price on Barrack was miserly with last start impressive winner Truly Epic also cornering good support. But in the event, both these horses failed to make an impression with Barrack swiftly going out of contention when the race picked up steam in the homestretch. Zervan had Strong Storm dictate the pace in front and he was never under pressure to keep the lead. In fact, the daughter of first season stallion Strong Suite skipped away from the rest in the final furlong for a win by a widening margin of four lengths. Truly Epic was ridden out to get the better of Mount Olympus for the runner-up berth. Barrack was a dismal fourth.
Mansoor Shah trained Flower Dust had shown an enormous reversal of form when recording a runaway win last time out. The violent form fluctuation had not gone down well with the Stewards or the racing public. The Stewards had been fined Rs 1 lakh on the trainer for the improved performance as also for unfair trade practices. Backed to the exclusion of the rest to win the 1400 metres Chatterbox Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46, apprentice jockey Zeeshan rode in patented style, having the on-money favourite lead all the way. Arashi showed some intention but was not good enough to pose serious problems to the fortunes of the front-runner. Queens Best for faraway third.
A quiet touch was brought off on Rehanullah Khan trained Royal Blood in the 1000 metres Donna Bella Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Abraxas led from the start with Royal Blood in the chase. Royal Blood picked up steam under the strong effort of Zeeshan and managed to overhaul the front-runner in the closing strides of the race. Bewitched showed up prominently but failed to change gear as it were and had to settle for the third spot.
Magan Singh Jodha trained Rain Dance produced a powerful burst of speed in the hands of apprentice jockey Shubham and nailed the front-running Knight`s Quest in sight of the post to land the spoils at long odds. Favourite Make It Shine made a desperate effort but fell short in the end.
M K Jadhav trained Bunting had advertised her readiness to strike when she had finished an impressive second in her last effort and the one-sided betting for her success in the 1200 metres Africaan Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66, was in keeping with this belief. Bunting led all the away and checked by a widening margin of four lengths over Collegium and Fringe Benefit.
Flower Dust (H Zeeshan up) winner of the Chatterbox Plate
Strong Storm (S Zervan up) winner of the Topspin Plate
Caprisca (S Zervan up) winner of the Hyderabad Race Club Trophy
Royal Blood (H Zeeshan up) winner of the Donna Bella Plate
Bunting (A Sandesh up) winner of the Africaan Plate
Rain Dance (D R Shubham up) winner of the Multi Flora Plate