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Castlebridge swamps opposition in style

By: Frankel   November 26 , 2017

Bharath Singh trained Castlebridge swamped the opposition in the 1400 metres Maharaja of Morvi Trophy, a terms race for three-year-olds, the feature event of Sunday`s Mumbai races. Castlebridge was expected to win the way he did, and it is hard to see any of his opponents capable of beating him in the Guineas. The day was also marred by a poor decision by the Stewards to uphold a questionable objection.

Castlebridge is the easily best three-year-old colt in the country. The progeny of Burden of Proof is blessed with an amazing turn of foot as also high cruising speed which itself is enough to demolish the opposition. Jockey Trevor Patel took Castlebridge on a start to finish mission and the favourite was travelling so well in the straight that he could afford to look back to see how far he is ahead of the opposition without having to move a muscle. Castlebridge won pulling by a margin of three lengths over strongly ridden Pure Zinc and Bateleur. Caprisca who finished third in the Pune Derby surprisingly gave a poor account of himself and finished last.

Trevor managed to win the race on favourite Cambridge in the 1400 metres Stylecracker Classics, a race for horses rated 40 to 66, in the Stewards room. Inside the final 300 metres, Trevor chose to bring Cambridge along the rails where there was an insufficient gap. Trevor first went for the gap on the outside of Star Comrade but with Spiridon closing it, he tried his luck along the rails though there was insufficient room. He managed to get through but with Bottega Louie racing closer to the rails, he was squeezed out. The quarters of Bottega Louie touched Cambridge but then the contact as the Stewards were to rule later, was only accidental. It was more the mistake of Trevor to have persisted along the rails when there was insufficient space and nobody would create space for him to push through. The obliging Stewards accepted all the exaggerated claims of Trevor that he was bumped, he could have won easily, and all the blame has to be apportioned on Jodha, decided to uphold the objection.

Jockey C S Jodha could not put across his point of view effectively. The inexperienced Milan Luthria was in the Chair as the other elected Stewards were not present to hear the objection. The interference was accidental with Trevor to be blamed more for his plight than Jodha and it made no material difference to the outcome of the race as the margin of victory was close to two lengths. Cambridge showed no flourish even after he broke free and he just about held on to the second position by a nose from Bunting. What was more surprising was that the Stipes gave an opinion like punters. The opinion expressed by them didn`t have the finesse of an expert and looked more like that of an ordinary punter. There must be reasoned explanation for recommending their decision instead of a blunt one-liner: upheld and then disappear. There are too many stipes than is required and they seem to share the sheep mentality if one were to be harsh on them because they have allowed themselves to become an unthinking, unquestioning blob of conformity and uniformity. They are totally dependent on the TV replay and one wonders whether they watch the race live through their binoculars.

Jodha who lost the winner in the Stewards room booted home Stallone to a resolute win in the very next race over Hopelicious in the 1000 metres Stylecracker Borough Stakes, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Stallone produced a good finishing burst inside the final 200 metres to get the better of Hopelicious. Gold Field headed Stunner and Art O War to get the third place.

After a couple of encouraging efforts, Rehanullah Khan trained Champagne found the rhythm to win the 1200 metres Bangalore Turf Club Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. After Dancing Phoenix led the way and weakened going into the final furlong, Nascar held sway for some time before Champagne unleashed a powerful run from behind. Champagne swept past the front-runners to record an easy win. Harvey rallied late to snatch the runner-up berth from Nascar by a whisker.

Sanjay Kolse trained Big Sur was well backed to win the 1800 metres Gateway of India Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66 as he had the right credentials as well. Trevor drove out Big Sur to get the better of front-running Daughterofthesun in the straight and then had no problem in keeping the challenge of Drogo at bay.

Jockey A Imran Khan was at his aggressive best on Samarjeet as he forced a passage on the inside of favourite Baby Face and drove out resolutely to keep the challenge of Srinath on Baby Face at bay in the 1800 metres M H Ahmedbhoy Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The battle which started in the final furlong lasted all the way up to the wire with Samarjeet putting his head in front at the all-important end. Komandant had a good forward run while finishing third.

Favourite Ame was withdrawn at the gates in the 1000 metres Secret Star Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. The onus of being the favourite then fell on Sia who however was not up fulfilling the expectations. The race was won by Kasbekar trained Make It Shine who shot ahead with 200 metres left in the race and had no problem in steering clear of late rallying Royal Blood. Sia was a well-beaten third.


Samarjeet (A Imran Khan up) winner of the M H Ahmedbhoy Trophy

Big Sur (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Gateway Of India Plate

Champagne (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Bangalore Turf Club Trophy

Castlebridge (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Maharaja Of Morvi Trophy

Stallone (C S Jodha up) winner of the Stylecracker Borough Stakes

Make It Shine (Prasad up) winner of the Secret Star Plate

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