Darius Byramji trained Multifaceted confirmed the fact that he is one of the best sprinters on the Indian circuit by the ease with which he decimated the opposition in the Gr 1 Zavaray S Poonawalla Sprinters` Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the highlight of the first day of the two-day Indian Turf Invitation Cup weekend races held on Saturday at Chennai.
Pesi Shroff trained Theon was invincible in the Gr 1 Farmfields Stayers Cup, the other highlight of the day. Incidentally, both Multifaceted and Theon were bred at the Usha Stud Farm, both being the progeny of Multidimensional. The domination of Usha Stud Farm bred horses in the Sprinters Cup is unprecedented with a tally of 17 winners. The race could well be renamed as Usha Stud Sprinters Cup in the future years!
One rarely sees the horse of the calibre of Multifaceted. Barring the surprise defeat in the Mysore edition of the Sprinters Cup, Multifaceted has generally been a very reliable horse, having won the last year`s Sprinters Cup at Mumbai with a resolute effort. The familiarity of the Madras Race Track and the short straight were surely factors that suited the son of Multidimensional. As such, the odds of over even money offered by the bookmakers were to be considered as being very generous. One did not see any threat to Multifaceted though he was going into the race without a race run for 76 days as the Bangalore Turf Club rather unwisely declared the Sprinters Trial Stakes as null and void because of only a handful of acceptors. Corfe Castle who had run a close second to Multifaceted was expected to be a threat but the Chennai track was not definitely suitable for his style of running.
No hoper Wakeful led the field as long as he was allowed to do so. Iron Age raced in the second position ahead of Multifaceted while the rest were spread out behind, with Corfe Castle sticking to the rear as is his wont. Rounding the final bend, Iron Age spurted ahead and enjoyed a lead for a brief while before Trevor Patel let the favourite Multifaceted get into his rhythm. In a trice, Multifaceted changed gears and collared the front runner with a minimum of effort and stormed away from the opposition to record a facile win over Iron Age who stayed on to take the second position ahead of late rallying Ashwa Bravo. Multifaceted is slated to run again on Sunday over seven furlongs where he can assert his supremacy despite a mandatory penalty for this win.
Pesi Shroff trained Theon has been a transformed horse after relocating from Kolkata. He had shown his mettle while going down narrowly to My Opinion in the last edition of the Stayers Cup. Since then, Theon had gone on to win the Indian St Leger and shown further improvement. He was a short-priced favourite to win the Gr 1 Stayers` Cup. Jockey Pradeep Chouhan rode a confident race on the favourite, keeping the horse with the front bunch and had the confidence to take over the running at the final bend. Theon went storming clear and had no problem in thwarting the bid of late rallying Speedster and Faith of Success who flattered to deceive. My Opinion who was raced over varying trips thus affecting his effectiveness was a spent force and made no show. Salazaar has seen better days and was a pale shadow of his former self.
One of the most impressive winners of the day was Padmanabhan trained Lord Frankel who toyed with the opposition en route to a record-breaking win in the 2000 metres Bangalore Turf Club Million, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Lord Frankel who is bred and owned by Padmanabhan with Mrs Sherne P Vazifdar, celebrated lawyer Aryama Sundaram and Vikram Bachhawat, had been laid low by a setback. Nursed back to fitness after a longish absence, Lord Frankel had recorded a smashing win back home at Bangalore and has been given a stiff penalty for that win. That penalty was not a deterrent considering the fact that Lord Frankel was expected to have a big say in the classics and the setback had prevented him from reaching the handicap mark that he was capable of reaching. Backed confidently to win the race, Lord Frankel was kept in a striking second position by jockey Stephen Gray. The jockey did not hesitate to push Lord Frankel to take charge approaching the final bend. The progeny of Makfi sailed clear in the homestretch and won by a widening margin of nine lengths in a record timing of two minutes 04.15 seconds, bettering the existing mark of two minutes 4.2 seconds which stood in the name of Elusive Pimpernel. Winmylove nosed out Aries to take the second spot.
Bangalore based horses dominated the proceedings, winning six of the eight races of the day, Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Pink Jasmine proved immensely superior to the opposition in the 1800 metres Delhi Race Club Million, a race for horses rated 20 to 45 with a start to finish affair, bolting clear in the straight to win by a margin of more than five lengths. Gangster ran second ahead of Key To The Mint.
Neil Devaney brought off a good gamble in the 1200 metres Mysore Race Club Million, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Devils Magic who raced in a handy second position, easily collared the front-running Magic Circle in the homestretch to record a fluent win. Flying Quest was third.
Prasanna Kumar trained Obsidian readily justified the strong favouritism with an assertive performance in the 1200 metres Hyderabad Race Club Million, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Obsidian had the race sewn up a long way from home. The Inheritor, with a late charge, took the second position ahead of Black Coffee. The Awakening was a disappointing third.
Victory Parade from the stables of trainer Donald Netto had all the credentials to win the 1400 metres Royal Western India Turf Club Million, a race for horses rated 80 and above but was allowed to run at fancy odds as Rajesh Narredu trained Knight N Hooves was widely expected to maintain his winning streak. It was not to be as the long shot Victory Parade got the better of Sea of Cortez easily and had no problem in staving off the late bid o Electra. Knight N Hoovers ran way below expectations.