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Square Moon records decisive win

By: Frankel   February 18 , 2018

Adhiraj Jodha trained Square Moon recorded a decisive win in the 2400 metres Velvet Rope Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of Sunday`s Mumbai races. While favourite Palatial was lethargic at the gates and continued to be so during the race as well, Square Moon enjoyed an uncontested lead and was safely home ahead of stablemate Vulcan.

Palatial who had won last time was considered to have the merit to win again but then as it happens, in handicap races, horses rarely repeat unless they are three-year-olds. Palatial did not get a good start and thereafter did not show the needed zest and jockey Trevor had to resign himself to the inevitable. Square Moon led from the start followed by Phenomenal Memory, Vulcan and Palatial. The only change in the order happened in the straight when Phenomenal Memory faded out and ended up a dismal last. Vulcan tried to make a match of it but found the front-runner having enough reserves to stay clear. Palatial covered some ground under a relentless effort by the jockey and ended up a poor third.

One cannot understand the planning of races by the club which had two million races for first-season runners programmed for the day especially since the biggest race for juveniles, the Gr 1 Poonawalla Multi-Million is slated to be run next Sunday. The importance of the events and the sponsorship money was wasted in having a small field of inconsequential runners in the fray. Star Inspiration who had won decisively last time out against Riquewihr flopped miserably this time out, finishing a dismal last. One could not understand the inconsistency of performance of the favourite. First-timer Madagascar who was time eight lengths adrift of the two-runners in the front eventually won by a margin of close to two lengths itself speaks volumes for the quality of the two horses who had a win to their credit. While Star Inspiration was the first one beat when the heat was on, Riquewihr too faltered when stablemate Madagascar began to cover ground. Somehow the confounding nature of the form fluctuations and the presence of horses of identical connections, favourites playing truant are not a good advertisement for the sport when the attendance is dwindling because of the negativity of the happenings at the races.

The 1400 metres Y M Chaudhary Memorial Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds saw Pesi Shroff-trained Spitfire who had put in a timid performance last time out, show a sea change in performance capability. The progeny of Phoenix Tower simply left his opponents stranded in the final furlong to provide English jockey David Probert with an easy win. First-timer Shae was second ahead of Iron Age while Chosen One made no improvement over his previous performance and finished poorly.

Shroff trained Adonijah continued to attract favouritism despite failing three times during the season if only because the others in the fray for the 2000 metres Le Gris Cheval Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46, did not inspire confidence because of their repeated failed efforts. Owner-mate of Adonijah, Goshawk had proved to be an expensive failure but this time out was seen in a different frame of mind and won the race at the expense of the favourite quite impressively. Jockey Sandesh held Goshawk in the rear and even in the straight, he waited with the got-abroad till the final furlong before unleashing the horse to challenge those in front. Goshawk came home with a big effort and collared Adonijah and recorded a long overdue win. Grand Accord who was lazily off from the gates, challenged Adonijah in the final furlong before being overhauled by the eventual winner.

Mansoor Shah trained Locarno had let down expectations last time out and as such was allowed to run at nourishing odds in the1000 metres Fedora Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Under the same apprentice jockey Zeeshan, the seven-year-old mare showed greater zest and won start to finish, easily keeping the challenge of El Tycoon at bay. Favourite Gloriana came into contention in the final furlong but did not find anything extra to make a difference to the outcome of the race and had to settle for the third slot.

Shroff trained Brainstorm recorded an encore when the got-abroad staved off the strong challenge of Brabourne to win the 1600 metres Dr Govind R Gurbaxani Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Brabourne who was at the wrong end of the field, came through the shortest way to essay her challenge but the favourite had more on hand and eventually won with a measure of comfort in the hands of David Probert.

There was inspired support for M K Jadhav trained Till End of Time in the 1400 metres Secret Halo Plate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category. The favourite did not get a fluent start and had the arduous task of wading through the field from way off the pace in order to get a chance to win. The second favourite Dixie Land was sluggish at the start but Sandesh who normally prefers to wait his horses, rushed the fancied runner to the front on the wide outside to take over the running within the first furlong. Dixie Land had a good cushion going into the final furlong but began to slow down close home. Under a relentless ride by jockey T S Jodha, Till End of Time got up in time to edge past the second favourite. Angel`s Harmony was third. Lesser fancied Ricardus from trainer Shiraz Sunderji`s yard, Ricardus shot clear of the pace in the final furlong and won the lower division of the race quite easily from Whoopsidaisy and Advance To Contact.


Square Moon (S A Amit up) winner of the Velvet Rope Trophy

Ricardus (C S Jodha up) winner of the Secret Halo Plate (Div-II)

Brainstorm (David Probert up) winner of the Dr Govind R Gurbaxani Memorial Trophy

Madagascar (S Zervan up) winner of the Gracias Saldanha Memorial Million

Spitfire (David Probert up) winner of the Y M Chaudhry Memorial Trophy

Goshawk (A Sandesh up) winner of the Le Gris Cheval Plate

Locarno (H Zeeshan up) winner of the Fedora Plate

Till End Of Time (T S Jodha up) winner of the Secret Halo Plate (Div-I)

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