Leo D`Silva trained Corfe Castle decimated the opposition in the Gr 2 Dr S C Jain Sprinters Championship, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the traditional lead-up race for the national sprinters` cup championship, the feature event of races held at Mumbai on Sunday. Corfe Castle who had won the last year`s Sprinters Cup hadn`t run for a long time and his two runs at Chennai had him very sharp for the race.
Thought the local horses had performed creditably, they hadn`t taken on classy horses. As such, the point of interest was whether they would be any match to the two outstation challengers Corfe Castle and Cavallo Veloce who had impressive credentials to boast of. As it panned out, the local champions simply could not match up and it was left to Corfe Castle to assert his supremacy over Cavallo Veloce in the process also avenging the last defeat at Chennai when conceding weight.
Kildare who had been in sublime form was made the favourite ahead of Iron Age who had blotted his copybook with a dismal performance that had everyone wondering whether something had gone wrong with him. There was good support for Corfe Castle who first came into national prominence with his win in the Gr 1 Poonawalla Breeders` Multi-Million. Srinath took Iron Age on a start to finish mission with Kildare in close proximity along with Hyderabad challenger Smashing Blue. Corfe Castle was settled in the penultimate position by Trevor Patel with Augustus Caesar for company.
Iron Age held the lead till approaching the final furlong. It was clear at this stage that Corfe Castle who was unleashed on the wide outside would swamp those in front. Corfe Castle breezed past the front-runners with amazing ease to record an impressive win over his old adversary Cavallo Veloce. Gazino ran on to take the third position ahead of Leopard Rock. Iron Age did not look the force that he was once. Kildare found the company too hot to handle and finished last. Going by the zest shown by Corfe Castle, he should be a hot horse for the Sprinters Cup along with another emerging contender Golden Oaks. The Sprinters Cup is scheduled to be held in Mumbai on April 18.
After two runner-up efforts, Shiraz Sunderji trained Flying Scotsman appeared to be ready to break the maidens` ranks over the extended trip of seven furlongs in the Lt Col Govind Singh (VRC) Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Flying Scotsman accompanied Euphoric into the straight before storming ahead and comfortably seeing off the challenge of Zuccarelli and Johannesburg. Zuccarelli finished on very impressively despite a lethargic beginning.
There was a mishap in the stretch, with Johannesburg veering out from the rails and going across dangerously in front of Supreme Angel which caused the latter to clip the heels, resulting in jockey Neeraj Rawal having a bad fall. Selena G who was coming behind ran into the fallen horse and jockey Nazil too had a nasty fall. Both the jockeys were reported to be safe and kept under observation in the hospital. Surprisingly there was no Stewards enquiry into the mishap where a horse which had placed had been responsible for the accident.
Another Shiraz Sunderji trainee Maplewood had recorded a runaway win over Socrates in his last effort and the latter had gone on to win impressively, flanking the form. Though Maplewood was not the favourite, there were enough indications that he was very much fancied to win. Pesi Shroff trained Theon who had won a race at Kolkata was made the favourite. Jockey C S Jodha brought Maplewood from way off the pace in the stretch with a well-timed run and the progeny of China Visit had the race sewn up comfortably. La Teste held off Flaming Lamborgini to get the runner-up berth. Theon was a poor fifth.
Pesi Shroff trained Theodora recorded an encore in tremendous fashion in the 1200 metres Mayor`s Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Pepper had the lead inside the final 300 metres but it was short-lived once apprentice Kritish Bhagat asked for an effort from Theodora. The progeny of Leitir Mor picked up speed in amazing fashion and bounced clear to win by a widening margin of five lengths over favourite Birkin Blower who plodded on. Percivale came up with a late bid to edge out Pepper to save place money. Shazaan Shah trained Superleggera who was running for the second time in his career, had no problem in obliging huge expectation with a powerful run down the final furlong to win the race as he pleased. Sufiyah was second ahead of Stick To The Plan.
Imtiaz Sait trained Circle of Love had twice run below expectations at Pune but perhaps relished the Mumbai race track when coming up with a late run in the stretch to slam the opposition to win the 1600 metres S A Wahid Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Another fancied runner Iron Throne lacked the speed and was at the rear end before running on in the stretch to take the second position ahead of Irish Eyes who raced prominently from the start.
Titanium was sharpened by the run benefit and also by a better-quality rider declared as he chalked out his maiden win as a five-year-old in the 1200 metres Forest Flair Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 4 to 30. On Va Danser held the lead till the final moments of the race but a strongly ridden Titanium obliged in the hands of jockey Imran Khan by pulling off a narrow win to provide trainer Shiraz Sunderji with his third win of the season. The market fancies Luminosity and Grand Architect filled up the frame. Rehanullah Khan trained Stars For You was withdrawn from the fray last time out as a firm favourite and this time out, in place of P S Chouhan, Bhawani Singh was declared to ride. Tristar, ridden by Chouhan was the second favourite. Stars For You led from the start for a comfortable win over Tristar in the lower division of the race. Honourable Eyes was third.
Stars For You (Bhawani Singh up) winner of the Forest Flair Plate (Div-II)
Circle Of Love (Trevor Patel up) winner of the S A Wahid Plate
Superleggera (H Zeeshan up) winner of the Mayor`S Trophy (Div-II)
Theodora (Kirtish Bhagat up) winner of the Mayor`S Trophy (Div-I)
Maplewood (C S Jodha up) winner of the Jayaramdas Patel Gold Trophy
Corfe Castle (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Dr. S. C. Jain Sprinters` Championship (Gr.2)
Flying Scotsman (C S Jodha up) winner of the Lt. Col. Govind Singh (Vrc) Trophy
Titanium (A Imran Khan up) winner of the Forest Flair Plate (Div-I)