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Star of Thea wins the final day’s feature

By: Frankel   April 29 , 2018

Narendra Lagad trained Star of Thea held off a host of horses to win the 1400 metres Jockeys Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66, the feature event of the concluding day`s races of the long-winding Mumbai racing season on Sunday. The consistency of the horse, as well as the initial speed, helped the progeny of Excellent Art to establish a good break when going into the final furlong which held him in good stead despite drifting out of a straight course under pressure. There was a cavalry charge behind with Arc Shine half a length behind followed by Celestial Light and Zanzibar who were at an arm`s length.

One could not but help heave a sigh of relief as the season has ended. Punters were at their wit`s end as racing remained unpredictable. The form was never the guiding factor in finding out the winners. It was the intention of the triers and the lack of intent on the others which decided the fate of the races. The trust factor was totally absent from people who are to lead by example themselves letting everybody down by not showing high moral standards.

The final day was not without its share of questionable performances from the professionals. Jockey Pradeep Chouhan once again incurred the wrath of the punters who gave him a mouthful for his lackadaisical effort on favourite Lorraine. Chouhan has been in the eye of the storm having been suspended for six months. He could ride on the final weekend only because of the stay obtained at the High Court. Chouhan was not perturbed by the turn of events because he has time and again proved that he is a daring person.

One was disappointed at the quality of the ride he gave to favourite Lorraine who was brought with a big effort when the cause had been lost. Everything that preceded to that point proved detrimental to the chances of the horse. Make It Shine had the first run on her opponents in the 1200 metres Racing Officials Trophy (Div II), a race for horses rated 20 to 46 and held off Royal Mews and the challenge of the favourite who warmed up too late in the words of the commentator. One cannot understand why there was no show of aggression in the early part which effectively decided the fate of the race. The angered punters could only do what they can under the circumstances: air their disappointment hurling expletives at the jockey. These days it seems people even deposit their conscience in safe deposit lockers lest it troubles them! The lower division of the race was won by well-backed Faisal Abbas trainee Nembe Creek who held off Hopelicious quite easily to land a good touch.

In racing one can survive if one is in receipt of information about the intent of connections provided there is honesty even in this. Information or khabar flies thick and fast in racing and more often not, it also cause s the downfall of punters. Racing is sliding downwards these days with the trust factor disappearing into thin air. The men who matter in governing the club should show greater commitment to ensure that the sport does not disintegrate. For this to happen, people at the helm should be setting examples.

Be that as it may, coming back to the racing action, Dallas Todywalla trained Excellent who had a good educative debut run, built on that effort easily winning the 1400 metres Diego Rivera Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Jockey Zervan was not required to do much on the favourite who kept the challenge of two outsiders Awesome One and Ponderosa at bay.

Imtiaz Sait trained Kimberella had run fair races after having won in the early part of the season. But the progeny of Western Aristocrat was not in serious betting as the filly went to the post at long odds. Arrecife who had run a forward race and Momentum were widely expected to be the main contenders. Jockey Dashrath Singh who got a chance ride, brought Kimberella into contention with a furlong left in the race and his power-packed riding ensured that the lesser fancied runner got the better of long-time leader Sandalphon. Kimberella easily held off Momentum who moved with a flourish but failed to sustain the brilliance and settled for the second spot ahead of the long-time leader. Arrecife who was at the rear of the field ran on well towards the end but could only finish a tame fifth.

Vinesh trained Raise A Grand had all the credentials to win the 1400 metres Shandaar Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. The odds kept shortening and in line with the huge volume of money attracted by the four-year-old filly, Raise A Grand won by a widening margin of seven lengths over Angel Coin and Lovely Fairy.

The last race of the season saw Arvan who had the racing form being made the favourite despite the wide outside draw. Arvan took a slow start and graced the wrong end of the field making the punters bid goodbye to their money. In the battle of long shots, Milwalkee managed to beat the late rally of Arc of Passion to win the 1000 metres Good Bye Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category by a whisker. Golden Tower was a close third. One felt that it would have been apt if the race had been named as Good Bye Money Plate!


Raise A Grand (G Amit up) winner of the Shandaar Plate

Star Of Thea (G Amit up) winner of the Jockeys Trophy

Excellent (S Zervan up) winner of the Diego Rivera Plate

Kimberella (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Minstrel Plate

Make It Shine (Raghuveer Singh up) winner of the Racing Officials Trophy (Div-II)

Nembe Greek (G Amit up) winner of the Racing Officials Trophy (Div-I)

Milwalkee (N S Parmar up) winner of the Goodbye Plate

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