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Your Royal Majesty, it is by a whisker

By: Frankel   September 23 , 2017

The 1400 metres Nirmal Ruia Gold Trophy produced an absorbing finish thanks to the presence of four distinguished performers. Pesi Shroff-trained Your Royal Majesty who had just one win to his credit on the Pune track achieved three-years ago broke that jinx when barely staving off the challenge of Phoenix Tiger to win the feature event of the day.

Your Royal Majesty has been a consistent performer in his career though in the last one year, he was successful on just two occasions and both wins had come outside his home centre. Your Royal Majesty had gone down by a whisker to stablemate Accolade and he was bettered placed in scales this time out to overcome that deficit. Phoenix Tiger who was an outstanding performer up to a mile but facing physical niggles in recent times had given an indication of bouncing back as evidenced not so much by his previous run but by his workouts. Colombiana was repeatedly being campaigned at longer trips thus blunting his effectiveness over this seven-furlong trip.

With none of the runners keen to make the pace, Neeraj Rawal on Your Royal Majesty was allowed the luxury of enjoying an uncontested lead which was to prove as his advantage. Phoenix Tiger, Colombiana and Accolade raced in close order. Approaching the final furlong, Your Royal Majesty was hard-pressed to retain the lead from Phoenix Tiger while the battle for the third and fourth places was as intense. Accolade sorely missed his regular jockey Trevor Patel who knew the wayward ways of the horse and thus Imran Khan could not induce that bit extra from this rousing performer of the past. Your Royal Majesty survived by the skin of the teeth to land the spoils while Colombiana got the third place by a similar margin over Accolade. The timing of one minute 25.98 second itself indicated the slow pace of the race.

If one ignored the last run of Odessa as an aberration, this long shot had as much a chance as any other horse in the fray in the 1600 metres Change of Luck Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Freedom of Speech had scored an impressive win at Bangalore but the lack of enthusiastic support in the ring perhaps was an indicator that something was amiss with this horse. Mount Mckinley received strong support to oblige though his last run did not give scope for such enthusiasm. In the event, Brabourne shaped to pull it off but Odessa who covered a lot of ground in the final 100 metres, just managed to put his neck in front at the all-important end. Zanzibar was a close third. Freedom of Speech finished down the field and one could not ascertain the reasons for such a poor performance from this got abroad filly.

Pesi Shroff-trained Costa Brave had the benefit of a good forward run and that run was good enough for punters to back the progeny of Phoenix Tower to have a bold show in the 1400 metres Dancing Glances Plate, a race for horses rated 14 to 40. Jockey Suraj Narredu had an armchair ride to victory on the favourite who led from the start and skipped clear in the straight with none of the runners making an impression on the winner. Gentillesse gathered steam from the rear to finish second best ahead of Lilibeth who was faraway third.

Imtiaz Sait trained Raees was left to tackle horses which had evidently lost form in the 2400 metres In The Spotlight Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. Al Shamsheer led on sufferance till approaching the final bend. Raees who was chasing the front-runner easily overtook the pacesetter in the homestretch and sped away for an easy win over Square Moon and Al Shamsheer. Remember Me who was sluggish at the start, finished down the field. The seven-year-old gelding has seen better days and he doesn`t seem to have any enthusiasm for racing.

The horses which had the benefit of a race run in the 1000 metres Radio One Run, a race for maiden three-year-olds had performed poorly and only Arc Shine among the lot had a decent run to her credit. It came as no surprise when first-timer Invictus Maneo grabbed the lead in the final furlong and sped away for an easy win over late-rallying Arc of Passion. Fancied Nembe Creek found nothing in the tank under pressure and faded out to be third ahead of Epiphany.

Dallas Todywalla trained Zanara stood out among the three-year-olds that lined up for the 2000 metres Sweet Memories Plate. Suraj Narredu had Zanara lead from the front and the progeny of Arazan bounced clear of the rest in the homestretch to win by a widening margin of Baby Face. Massimo was third some distance from the runner-up.

S Waheed trained Jarama weaved her way in the centre of the track to come into strong contention in the final furlong and managed to storm clear close home to win the 1200 metres Menorah Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46 from Rare Silver and Sumaaq. Vijay Kasbekar trained Winds of Change was guided to victory by apprentice Nazil in the lower division of the race. Isinit, Asahi and Sail Past disputed for the minor placings and finished in the order mentioned behind the winner.

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