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Castlebridge completes formalities with ease

By: Frankel   December 17 , 2017

The superiority of Bharath Singh trained Castlebridge was never in doubt and the progeny of Burden of Proof who had only to go through the formalities of going through with the motions of completing the mile-long trip to claim the rich prize of the Gr 1 Jacqueline 2000 Guineas, the second classic of the season, did so in his usual splendid fashion on Sunday.

The bookmakers were not prepared to offer any odds on Castlebridge who had already built up an imposing reputation. There was none in the field who could test him to the hilt. Jockey Trevor Patel took Castlebridge on a start to finish mission and the favourite stayed put there to win capably. The only hiccup was the fact that he had to be driven out with the aid of the whip towards the closing stages of the race which was not exactly an encouraging sign when he tackles the longer trips. Though Rotterdam and Perfect Star made valiant attempts to catch up with Castlebridge, the fact that they finished not far from him must be considered as good efforts.

Castlebridge will now have to step out of his comfort zone and go over longer trips where things will not be easy. The mile and quarter trip should not pose a problem if the Ruia Cup is used as the lead up race, but his real test will come in the mile and half trip Derby trip where his front-running tactics could come under strain if there is a spoiler in the race. But then Castlebridge has shown so much class that he could handle the situation when the time comes. He may have some limitation but over a trip up to a mile, very few in the country can match strides with him. Trainer Bharath Singh has done a wonderful job of getting excellent results from him in the all-India circuit.

The 1200 metres Satinello Trophy, a race for two-year-olds posed a difficult puzzle for punters if only because of the fact that it was hard to predict how the debutants would shape up. The track work was not of much help and by default, Firebird ended up being a favourite. Lesser fancied Fundamental Right led from the start and had the lead going into the final furlong, but the filly began to falter in the final 100 metres Silver Locket began to gain ground and closer home, easily overhauled the front-runner to bring off an upset win if only because of the odds quoted on her success. Masar was third. The fancied duo of Stormy Atlantic and Firebird performed way below expectations.

Sanjay Kolse trained Big Sur recorded an encore when easily accounting for the opposition in the 2000 metres Nawabzada Rashiduzzafar Khan Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Dashrath Singh relaxed Big Sur in the rear even as Bold March, Vulcan and Frivolous raced in close proximity in front. Rounding the final turn, Dashrath brought Big Sur along the shortest way and the progeny of Win Legend measured the front-runners quite easily. Big Sur had no problem staving off the late surge of In My Dream. Favourite Frivolous struggled to change gear at a crucial stage of the race and had to settle for the third position.

Jockey Zervan who had been laid low because of a bad accident suffered at Kolkata last year, had a morale-boosting win through Holy Smoke in the 1200 metres RWITC Ltd Sprint Challenge, a terms race for three-year-olds and over. The withdrawal of Dancing Prances on veterinary grounds resulted in the race having no identifiable favourite. Denny Crane was more supported than the rest though being available at nourishing odds. The speedy Dancing Phoenix showed the way followed by Denny Crane, Siobhan and Holy Smoke while the others were spaced out behind. With about 300 metres left in the race, Holy Smoke poked through in the gap between the front-running Dancing Phoenix and the battling Siobhan to got storming ahead. Though Siobhan closed with a big rush, Holy Smoke held on to win by a long neck. Captain Courage who made significant progress along the rails was hemmed up for a clear run was another neck behind Siobhan in third position while St Andrews was fourth.

Narendra Lagad trained Excellent Gold maintained his winning form when completing a hat-trick in the 1200 metres P M Rungta Golden Sprint Stakes, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Excellent Gold moved up swiftly from the wide outside draw and was relaxed in third position as Slam Dunk went about in his customary running fashion. Inside the final furlong, Excellent Gold was not unduly extended to go ahead and win from An Jolie and Miss Moneypenny. Favourite Beshkitash struggled to get a prominent position right from the start and looked incapable of justifying public expectations.

The one-sided betting on Shiraz Sunderji trained Yutaka was a clear indication that the three-year-old gelding could prove better than the rest. Trevor Patel had an arm-chair ride on the favourite as progeny of Verenar kicked clear in the straight to win by a commanding margin. Ame and Smart Visio occupied the next two slots on the frame. The lower division of the race saw two horses with credentials fighting it out till the finish. Milwalkee who had finished behind Moonshine on the last occasion, had no problem in getting the better of favourite Royal Ace closer home. Magic Dust was a close third.

There was a couple of debutants in the race for the 1600 metres Ghulamhusein Essaji Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46 but what was surprising was the fact that last start winner Albareto was not as strongly supported as his form warranted. Srinath had Albareto at the wrong end of the field but the progeny of Western Aristocrat had no problem in walking past the front-runners and win quite capably from Gloriosus who struggled hard along the rails to make a mark but fell short. Marveilleuse was third. Shangri La was the favourite for no reason and the dismal performance came as no surprise.

Apprentice jockey R Ashinkya guided Shiraz Sunderji trained Ascension to get the better of Rishabs Pet in the 1000 metres Director General of Police Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Sporty returned rich dividends on place money when finishing third.

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Total Comments : 1
Posted by Horselover on ( December 18 , 2017 )
Excellent analysis I feel this year a filly is likely to win Indian Derby there is a minor error in your srticle it is ROCHESTER
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