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New England wins the feature in record time

By: Frankel   March 25 , 2018

Imtiaz Sait trained New England smashed the opposition in the 1400 metres R M & Rukmani Goculdas Million, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the feature event of Sunday`s Mumbai races in a new record timing of one minute 21.4 seconds. The progeny of Arazan whizzed past the opposition in the homestretch to win easily from late rallying Yanna Rascala.

New England had the best credentials and was confidently backed to win. Sandesh eased New England in the penultimate position ahead of Yanna Rascala as Congressional set a fast pace. Rounding the final turn, New England moved with raking strides on the wide outside and measured all the horses in front with Sandesh hardly having to move a muscle. New England went away for an easy win. Yanna Rascala who warmed up to the task late produced a good effort from way off the pace to be a length of the winner. Veteran Dancing Prances ran on to finish a tame third. The others were simply outclassed.

Neeraj Rawal drove Gold Bond to a resolute win in the 2400 metres Jayant M Shah Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Last start winner Gdansk was widely expected to record an encore though in a race of this nature in the lower class, horses don`t repeat unless they belong to the higher class but not moved up in scales due to one reason or the other. Neeraj had no hesitation in taking Gold Bond to the front and he dictated the pace cleverly and increased the tempo in the straight to make a full profit from the lead that he enjoyed. Gdansk who chased the front-runner was the first one beat in the straight. Happy Birthday produced an enthusiastic challenge but fell short in the end. Ventura too showed some flourish but was not good enough as he reportedly came back sour from the race.

The 2000 metres Quasar Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, produced an absorbing finish. Frivolous came in for spirited betting even as odds-on Daffodils eased. Eternal Sunshine cornered some betting. Midway through the race, Vulcan took over the running and headed the field followed by Eternal Sunshine, Frivolous, Uncle Scrooge and Daffodils who unlike the customary front-running role, was held back in the rear. Vulcan battled on resolutely in front with Eternal Sunshine applying relentless pressure. Frivolous stayed in contention but was unable to change gears as it were. Daffodils showed up on the wide outside. It was difficult to predict who could pull through in the end, but Eternal Sunshine produced that bit extra to get past Vulcan who nosed out Daffodils for the runner-up berth. Frivolous was fourth while Uncle Scrooge was last.

The presence of two horses from the same stable is always a confusing scenario for punters especially when it happens to belong to a top trainer. Both horses are meant to be on job, but it becomes difficult to decide on the merit of the horse especially when one has had a run-of-the-mill debut run while the other is in the fray for the first time. This confusion perhaps resulted in first-timer Noble Man being backed strongly resulting in the odds-on Kanchenjunga drifting out. Those who went by the betting trend were to rue their decision as soon as the race unfolded. Kanchenjunga held the lead entering the homestretch with Nobleman making his bid, but it was clear within the next furlong that the punters had got a dummy in the favourite. Kanchenjunga kicked away for an easy win by five lengths over the stablemate. Winner-picking has become so difficult in Mumbai and big stables are making things even more difficult because the number of horses they have in their yard which results in more than one horse running in the same race resulting in confusion of intent. You can never expect the professionals to be helpful to hapless punters. For the record, Grand Chieftain was third.

Faisal Abbas trained Clymene recorded her third straight win by the skin of her teeth in the 1000 metres K M Munshi Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. The victory of Clymene was considered a formality and the bookmakers were very stingy in their quote. The way Clymene took over the rest approaching the final furlong, it looked as though the filly would canter home. And this was the expectation of the commentator who got excited and started to scream as if he had seen a spectacular horse striding. Clymene began to falter close home as Double Nine closed with a rush only to miss the berth by a whisker. Shamwari edged out Wild Fire to get the third place.

Mansoor Shah trained Alyaties recorded a hat-trick of wins by easily accounting for Beshiktash in the 1200 metres Shaman Motors Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. After Slam Dunk led the field into the final furlong, Alyaties smoothly cruised ahead and was not hard-pressed to win from Beshiktash who chased the eventual winner without hope. Zanzibar ran on from behind to snatch the third position.

In a race which looked like a minefield, lesser fancied Fencing edged out specialist trainer Mansoor Shah`s Lorraine in the final moments of the race to land the spoils in the 1400 metres Raza Ali Pate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category. Star Scholar ran on to finish third. The lower division of the race, however, was won by specialist trainer Mansoor Shah whose ward Flower Dust broke clear from the opposition at the top of the straight and won by a widening margin of eight lengths. Spontaneous Eddie ran on to take the second position ahead of favourite Nathan who attracted heavy betting only to finish 15 lengths behind the winner! Flower Dust had finished more than 10 lengths behind the winner in her last two runs, but this reversal of form perhaps will not attract critical scrutiny but wholesome praise from the authorities because it was a good gamble landed for the person who has a commanding presence in the committee.

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