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Dandi March wins the feature on a day of upsets

By: Frankel   December 30 , 2018

Shiraz Sunderji trained Dandi March showed vast improvement when beating the field with disdain in the 1200 meters Usha Stud Million, a terms race for two-year-olds, the feature event of Sunday`s Mumbai races. Punters suffered immensely as the form did not hold good and horses sprouted wings as it were to produce shock results while the fancied ones played truant.

Royal Crystal who had recorded a runaway win in his last effort and Hyderabad challenger Mon General were considered to have strong credentials to win the race. Arabesque who had won on debut at Pune was also on the radar. Very few had reckoned that Dandi March who had finished about seven lengths behind Royal Crystal would produce a stunning performance. The start of the race was delayed with a couple of horses being withdrawn at the gates. Mon General played up at the gates and was brought out and was subjected to a veterinary check before being certified fit to race. Even as the start was being given, the progeny of Arazan played up and with that whatever chances the second favourite had of winning the race evaporated. Across The Sea did the pace-setting before Arabesque took the charge inside the final 300 meters. Dandi March who was lying in wait then pounced on the fancied runner and asserted his supremacy in the final stages of the race to win with a measure of comfort. Royal Crystal failed to produce the speed of his last effort and plodded home to be a tame third. Mon General could never recover from the traumatic start.

Rehanullah Khan trained Safdar who had been running fair races but had disappointed in the last essay, won the 1400 metres Jehangir P Dubash Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66, in emphatic fashion. There was a change in the pattern of running, with Neeraj Rawal taking the lesser fancied runner to the front. Safdar enjoyed an uncontested lead and stayed out there. In fact, he skipped away beyond the reach of the rest in the final furlong to win with surprising ease. Questionable headed Finest Moment at the post to get the second position. Favourite Arashi who travelled in a handy position into the straight, failed to quicken when the race came to a boil and went down without a fight.

Karthik Ganapathy seems to have specialized this season in sending out longshot winners. Bold March who was once hailed as a classic prospect brought off a big upset in the 1600 metres Sir Rahimtoola Chinoy Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Ironically, the stablemate of Bold March, Angels Touch was strongly fancied to win along with Texas Gold. Bhawani Singh who held Bold March in the rear brought the progeny of Arazan with a well-timed run, finding spaces on the inside and staved off a strong challenge from Sagittarius. The latter who was ridden by five-kg claimer Niranjan Parmar had all the chances but the fact that the apprentice lacked experience went against him as also the fact that he did not have the use of the whip. Texas Gold had his chances but flattered to deceive. Angels Touch was not spotted at the busy end.

Another long shot, Artus from the stables of trainer Noshir Cama won the 2000 metres Kusumben Dhirubhai Shah Cup, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Favourite Patriots Day travelled well into the straight but had nothing in the tank when under pressure from other contestants. Artus shot ahead inside the final furlong and held off the strong bid of another long shot Momentum and prevailed by a neck. Benevolence necked out Gdansk to save place money.

Shazaan Shah trained Steppenwolf brought off a quietly fancied touch in the 1200 metres Damodardas C Shah Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Apprentice jockey Malam Singh had Steppenwolf ahead of the pack and the novice held his nerve despite a strong challenge essayed by favourite Pablo to win the race by a whisker. Mount Olympus was third. Anatevka who was also a strongly fancied runner missed the kick and finished in the ruck. Adhiraj Singh Jodha trained Hodson`s Horse who was making a belated debut, gave a big shock to the punters when winning the lower division of the race in impressive fashion. Anniversary Girl necked out favourite Flammeus to get the runner-up berth.

The lone favourite to win was Pesi Shroff-trained Eagleinthesky who won the last race of the day, the 1600 metres Astral Flash Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Jockey Leigh Roche drove out the favourite to stave off a strong bid from lesser fancied Sylvester to land the spoils. Bakhtawar who missed the kick came from a long way back to snatch the third place from the fancied Ponderosa.


Bold March (Bhawani Singh up) winner of the SIR RAHIMTOOLA CHINOY TROPHY

Hodson`s Horse (S S Baria up) winner of the DAMODARDAS C SHAH TROPHY (DIV-II)

Safdar (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the JEHANGIR P DUBASH TROPHY

Artus (P S Chouhan up) winner of the KUSUMBEN DHIRUBHAI SHAH CUP

Dandi March (C S Jodha up) winner of the USHA STUD MILLION

Steppenwolf (Malam Singh up) winner of the DAMODARDAS C SHAH TROPHY (DIV- I)

Eagleinthesky (Leigh Roche up) winner of the ASTRAL FLASH PLATE

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