Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Bellator had no problem in tackling the three other horses that were in the fray en route to claiming the 1600 metres Sonny Brar Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 85, the feature event of races held on Saturday at Mumbai. The card framed for the Derby eve racing was lacklustre with lower category races dominating the nine-event card. There was little imagination in structuring a card, a day before an important race was scheduled.
Bellator had won impressively at Bangalore though he had blotted his copybook with a poor effort as a favourite in the early prior to that. After Majestic Warrior set the pace and led deep into the straight, Trevor Patel alerted Bellator who easily overhauled the front-runner to win the race by a widening margin of three lengths. Bakhtawar was faraway third while Excellent Gold ran way below, finishing a poor last.
Vishal Gaikwad trained Baby Bazooka had recorded an impressive win in her previous outing and the flow of money was on the right horses in the 1200 metres Jimmy Bharucha Trophy, a race for three-year-olds. Alastair was expected to go one better and shared favouritism with the eventual winner. Baby Bazooka showed immense speed to take charge from the word `go` and jockey Zervan had very little to worry about thereafter. When he asked the daughter of Kingda Ka to quicken in the stretch, she did so willingly and stretched away from her opponents to win by a margin of five lengths. Alastair was hard-ridden to get the better of Viktorina by a neck to get the second spot.
Sanjay Kolse trained Tasman had won more than a year ago, one day before the Indian Derby. Now back in the same category and well prepared with a forward run, Tasman overwhelmed the field in the 1600 metres Spaniards Inn Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Trevor had Tasman race up with the front-bunch and Tasman assumed control of the race early in the stretch to win by a margin of over three lengths. Ron chased without hope taking the second slot ahead of Pride`s Angel while Black Cherry who came in for good support, finishing a tame fourth.
Karthik Ganapathy trained Rubik Star brought off an upset in the 1400 metres Osman Chotani Plate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category. The horse had run nine times and the trainer had tried him in varying distances including in the South India Derby, without success. After running listlessly over 2000 metres, he was pitched in a seven-furlong trip and was not reckoned to have any chance by the racegoers as the debutant from the Pesi Shroff stable Immeasurable was backed to the exclusion of the rest. After Fassbinder led the field into the straight and weakened, Rubik Star quickly overhauled the front-runner with two furlongs left in the race and bounced clear for an easy win by a margin of four lengths. Hioctane edged out favourite and stablemate Immeasurable to snatch the second position. Apprentice jockey Kritish Bhagat brought Minx with a well-timed run and the favourite measured the runaway leader Irish Eyes close to home for a comfortable win in the lower division of the race. Aira ran on from the rear to end up third.
Sandesh guided the fancied Vincenzo to victory over favourite Gilt Edge in the 1400 metres Behram A Engineer Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Gilt Edge came in for big support to end up as a strong favourite. Blazing Bay led the field into the stretch before being overhauled by Vincenzo who then fought on resolutely to win with a measure of comfort. Gilt Edge was ridden hard to bridge the gap but he could only succeed in taking the second spot ahead of late rallying Arabian Phoenix.
Veteran jockey Pradeep Chouhan had to work hard to get Moon River to measure the front-running Shadows in the closing strides of the race to win the 2000 metres Monet Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Shadows led from the start and refused to give up easily. The short-priced favourite Moon River struggled to pick up the pace and eventually managed to get the better of the front-runner by half a length. Kamaria ran on to take the third position.
Rehanullah Khan had a nice priced double through Rising Brave and Safdar in both the divisions of the Washington Irvine Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Rising Brave who hadn`t won for more than 1000 days was running in the lowest class was made the favourite despite no-win record because the others seemed to be worse in comparison! Rising Brave who raced in a handy position, quickly assumed control in the homestretch, to win in the hands of jockey Bhawani Singh by a margin of three lengths. Dowsabel was second ahead of Seniority. Safdar was another who hadn`t won for a long time. The eight-year-old proved too good for the field in the lower division of the race to provide apprentice jockey Shahrukh Khan with a rare win. Thea`s Pet took the second position ahead of Forever Free who did the early running before weakening.
Safdar (Shahrukh Khan up) winner of the Washington Irvine Plate (Div-II)
Bellator (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Sonny Brar Trophy
Rising Brave (Bhawani Singh up) winner of the Washington Irvine Plate (Div-I)
Moon River (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Monet Plate
Vincenzo (A Sandesh up) winner of the Behram A Engineer Trophy
Minx (Kirtish Bhagat up) winner of the Osman Chotani Plate (Div-II)
Tasman (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Spaniards Inn Plate
Baby Bazooka (S Zervan up) winner of the Jimmy Bharucha Trophy