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Manifold swamps field in Oaks in impressive fashion

By: Frankel   January 21 , 2018

There was no doubt about the undoubted supremacy of Pesi Shroff trained Manifold in the field that was in the fray for the Gr 1 Villoo Poonawalla Indian Oaks, a terms race for four-year-old fillies, which over 2400 metres either about the favourite`s ability to get the gruelling trip or her class. Faced with a modest opposition, Manifold was not hard-pressed to win in the hands of visiting English jockey David Probert. The emphatic win surely makes Manifold as a frontline contender for the Indian Derby to be run on the first Sunday of February as the filly cut a good timing.

The daughter of Multidimensional had won the Bangalore Derby in July last year and as such, she towered over the group of non-achievers that lined up for the prestigious race. Manifold was quoted at very cramped odds. Stablemate Daffodil provided a nice pace in front with Take Five, Merveilleuse, Selfie Star racing in close proximity while Manifold was relaxed in about the fifth or sixth position. Themis, Auburn and Angels Touch were in the rear group.

Rounding the final turn, Daffodil was easily overhauled by Selfie Star who shot ahead. David Probert was in a spot of bother for a moment when he could not get a clear run on the inside. But once he shifted the filly to the outside to get a clear run, Manifold devoured ground with giant strides and was stretching away from Themis by a margin of over four lengths for a noteworthy win. Selfie Star took the third place another four lengths adrift of the runner-up.

The small made Manifold has proved to be a gutsy performer and displayed her fighting qualities in ample measure. Manifold has demonstrated the mile anda half trip is not an issue by winning without showing any signs of fatigue at the finish. Though she will be running in two weeks-time, Manifold should be the horse to beat. Prevalent Force has already established his claims by winning the South India Derby and he will be a strong presence in the Derby along with Lady In Lace who skipped this event following an infection and preferred to have a mock race later in the day for the build-up to the mega event.

Pesi Shroff trained Riquewihr who had recorded an easy win over Star Inspiration went to the post as money back for the 1200 metres Gr 3 Gool S Poonawalla Million, a terms race for three-year-olds as the other two in the race had not been impressive in their workouts. Suraj Narredu took Star Inspiration to the front and the progeny of Win Legend kept on expanding the lead in the straight to eventually win by seven lengths over Riquewihr who raced green and found the front-runner too difficult to handle. It is hard to explain such form fluctuations though Riquewihr was conceding weight. Whitewalker and Lambretta were far from ready and they finished down the field. One is surprised at the lack of quality of first season runners that have run thus far in the season.

The RWITC honoured legendary trainer Rashid Byramji who last year retired from the profession after more than 50-year stint by framing a race. Albareto who had won back to back races was quoted at short odds while the others hadn`t shown intent during the season. Sussex Pride had some credentials but then there is always a question mark about these horses being seen in serious business on a consistent basis. Harmony set the pace with Albareto racing up with the front-runner but was the first one beat when Samarjeet applied pressure in the final two furlongs. Albareto receded into the background with Samarjeet surging ahead. Sussex Pride warmed up to the task in the final furlong and had no problem in collaring Samarjeet and then stretching away for a facile win. Byramji gave away the trophies. The Western Indian Trainers Association also honoured Byramji on the occasion.

The run benefit helped Vishal Gaikwad trained Hope And Glory in the 1400 metres Lt Col Govind (VRC) Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. First-timer Augustus Caesar was the betting rage. August Caesar had the initiative going into the final furlong. Indian jockeys tend to wait with horses when they should be riding all out as they believe that they can switch gears any time they want. When Hope And Glory made a strong rally along the rails, Neeraj Rawal was perhaps caught napping as he had to shake the horse to produce that bit extra when the challenger had already warmed up. The result was the favourite got beaten by a neck in a close duel.

Another jockey to make a similar mistake was Pradeep Chouhan on Gazino in the 1200 metres P D Avasia Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Gazino cruised up alongside Summer Rays who was under pressure to retain the lead but instead of riding out at this stage, Chouhan preferred to wait for a fraction longer. Summer Rays fought back and in the stiff battle for supremacy, the younger Trevor Patel was able to get the fancied runner to win in the bobbing of heads.

David Allan is not somebody who will such mistakes as he brought favourite Chaplin into contention with a furlong left in the 1200 metres Tricumdas Dwarkadas Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46 and then scooted with the horse to ensure a comfortable win for the Dallas Todywalla trainee. Gloriana chased the eventual winner without hope. Sporto stayed on to take the third position.

After a couple of disappointing efforts, Pesi Shroff trained Arashi found the opposition too meek for comfort in the 1600 metres Rhythm Trophy (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category and won as she pleased from late rallying Royal Éclair and Highland Wind. The lower division of the race posed a big problem as none of the horses inspired confidence as their credentials were very poor. In the event, the hitherto maiden, Abu Al Bukhoosh finally found his winning mark as a five-year-old prevailing over Sir Song in the tight finish to provide jockey Amyn Merchant with a welcome win.


Hope And Glory (David Probert up) winner of the Lt. Col. Govind Singh (Vrc) Trophy

Sussex Pride (Trevor Patel up) winner of the R R Byramji Trophy

Arashi (H Zeeshan up) winner of the Rhythm Trophy (Div-I)

Star Inspiration (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Gool S. Poonawalla Million (Gr.3)

Summer Rays (Trevor Patel up) winner of the P D Avasia Trophy

Chaplin (David Allan up) winner of the Tricumdas Dwarkadas Trophy

Manifold (David Probert up) winner of the Villoo Poonawalla Indian Oaks (Gr.1)

Abu Al Bukhoosh (Amyn Merchant up) winner of the Rhythm Trophy (Div-II)

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