Trained by Narendra Lagad, Son Of A Gun faced a stiff challenge from Amazonia in the 1200 meters Bangalore Turf Club Trophy, the highlight of a lacklustre Sunday race card in Mumbai featuring only seven events. Following the excitement of the Indian Derby weekend, the racing program appeared rather uninspiring, with just a handful of participants in the first three races, including the feature event.
Son Of A Gun was anticipated to dominate the small field of three, given his superior performance on the local track compared to Amazonia, who had primarily raced in Chennai. Despite not having won in over 360 days, Son Of A Gun was the clear favourite. Jockey Mustakim Alam adopted a front-running strategy, leading Son Of A Gun from start to finish, while Amazonia chased closely throughout the seven-furlong trip. The third contender, Wall Street, had mostly competed in longer races.
In the final furlong, Amazonia relentlessly pressured Son Of A Gun, appearing poised to overtake the favourite. However, Son Of A Gun displayed great determination, summoning reserves of energy to secure victory by half a length at the wire. Despite Neeraj Rawal`s valiant efforts on Amazonia, the six-year-old mare fell short in the end. Wall Street finished third, unable to challenge the top two contenders.
The 2400-meter Rajcoomar Gujadhur Memorial Trophy, designated for horses in the lowest category, seemed tailored to secure valuable stake money for Malesh Narredu`s trained contender, Eaton Square. Last time, Eaton Square was withdrawn as his left foreshoe had come off, squandering its winning chances. For this recent encounter against a lacklustre field of just four horses over the long distance, Eaton Square merely needed to go through the motions, as none of its competitors appeared capable of even remotely challenging its dominance. Leo The Lion led until the home stretch, at which point Neeraj Rawal asked Eaton Square to seize control. The progeny of Multidimensional effortlessly asserted his superiority. The only suspense lay in the margin of victory. Ultimately, Eaton Square triumphed by approximately 14 lengths, leaving the pacesetter far behind, who in turn maintained a notable lead over Marlboro Man. It unfolded as a veritable procession, highlighting Eaton Square`s undisputed prowess in this company.
Trained by Noshir Cama, Scaramanga entered the 2000 meters Sportsbet.io Longstride Classic as a favourite, seeking redemption after a mishap in the previous race where jockey Srinath fell soon after the start. The five-year-old Scaramanga was heavily backed to deliver this time around in a race catering to horses rated 40 to 66. True to expectations, Scaramanga didn`t disappoint. Jockey C S Jodha kept Scaramanga relaxed towards the rear as Finch dictated the pace, leading the field into the home stretch. As they turned for home, Golden Glow, positioned well in second place, made a spirited charge for the lead. However, Scaramanga smoothly closed the gap when urged on by Jodha, asserting control by the final furlong. Golden Glow secured second place, while Regal Command, rallying from the rear, could only manage third.
In the 1400 meters N M Irani Trophy, a race tailored for maiden three-year-olds, those who relied on racing form and performance stood to gain an advantage. However, those who placed their bets solely on reputation, particularly on the son of Indian Triple Crown winning wonder mare Jacqueline namely Tiepolo, were quickly disappointed once the race began. Among the contenders were two horses from Pesi Shroff`s stables, namely Picasso and Tiepolo, who ranked second and third in betting preferences. Picasso was a non-starter on veterinary grounds. The favourite, Break Point, trained by Shiraz Sunderji, had earned favouritism due to a promising previous run, despite finishing far behind Running Star.
Unfortunately for Tiepolo`s backers, the horse was slow off the mark and appeared unprepared, lacking the necessary speed to compete effectively. Meanwhile, N S Parmar confidently guided Break Point to take an early lead, surging ahead of the competition. Although there was some competition from Antia`s Expedite, who showed determination in pursuit, Break Point maintained a comfortable lead, winning by about two and a half lengths. The remaining runners, led by Serengeti, trailed significantly, finishing more than seven lengths behind the runner-up. Equilateral was another who too lost significant ground at the start.
In the Amazing Mauritius Cup, a race designed for horses rated 20 to 46, Imtiaz Sait trained Big Red showcased an impressive encore victory. Despite losing ground at the start, Big Red steadily advanced throughout the race, positioning himself strikingly midway through the stretch. With a remarkable burst of speed, Big Red surged ahead, leaving behind Lion King and Metzinger who were engaged in their duel, ultimately clinching victory by an impressive five-length margin in the hands of jockey Mustakim Alam. This marked the third career triumph for the offspring of Speaking Of Which.
Behind the clear winner, a tightly contested battle ensued for the minor placings, with three horses finishing almost simultaneously. Despite strong backing, the favourite, Alexandros, failed to meet expectations and was relegated to third place, narrowly missing out on the second spot claimed by Metzinger. Lions King, maintaining a brisk pace throughout the race, weakened to finish fourth.
In the 1000 meters Ahmed I Rahimtoola Trophy, a race tailored for horses rated 20 to 46, Dallas Todywalla trained Portofino Bay defied previous indifferent form to stage an impressive comeback. Despite not having secured a victory in over 390 days and finishing 14th in her last outing, Portofino Bay surprised many by emerging as a strong contender, backed by significant support in the betting market.
Against all expectations, Portofino Bay displayed remarkable agility, swiftly keeping pace with the field before making a decisive move in the final furlong. With a burst of speed, Portofino Bay surged ahead, securing victory by an impressive four-length margin. Trinket claimed second place, edging out the favourite, Goddess of Dawn, and Khaleesi, who finished in close order behind the winner. Pure and Koenig, despite some betting interest, failed to make an impact in the race.
There was a moment of concern for the Malesh Narredu trained New Dimension in the 1200 meters Sportsbet.io Trophy, a race designed for horses rated 40 to 66, as Haridas Gore looking for a run along the rails saw his passage blocked. Gore was in two minds, whether to drop back and make his run or persist with the run along the rails. He chose the latter and had room when Lazarus went ahead by a few lengths. New Dimension came home with a big effort to overhaul the front-running Lazarus and won with a measure of comfort.
New Dimension had shown resilience in its previous outing over a slightly shorter distance, where she had fought bravely but ultimately fell short. In this race, Lazarus, also a previous favourite, led from the start, closely followed by Nolan, while New Dimension navigated along the rails. Negotiating the tight space along the rails proved challenging, but Gore managed to guide the horse through, showcasing New Dimension`s class and determination to surpass Lazarus and secure victory comfortably. Despite a late surge from Misty, Lazarus held on to secure the runner-up position.