Narendra Lagad trained Son Of A Gun produced a big upset when he beat the classic performed horses with disdain in the 1400 metres A Campbell Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 85, the feature event of races held on Sunday at Mumbai.
Bangalore Derby winner Supernatural did not have an ideal lead-up to the race as he had missed the entire Pune racing season but the defeat of Gr 1 Bangalore Colts Champion Stakes winner Mojito came as a shock as both these two were tamed by the eventual winner with ease which was a surprise. The day`s races did not run kindly for punters as long shots were up to their riot act!
Mojito had won his race at Pune and hence the benefit of a race run was expected to aid his cause. Bangalore Derby winner Supernatural was running after July and was expected to be short on fitness for this race, besides finding the seven furlongs trip sharp for his comfort. Poonawalla Multi-Million winner Dexa had a setback during the summer season at Bangalore and was not expected to have a say at the finish. Though a decent performer, Son Of A Gun was not reckoned to cause an upset in this exalted set but he defied expectations and the ease with which he achieved the victory came as a big surprise.
Things fell into place for Son Of A Gun who went to the front and was not troubled by any of the runners all through the race. Dexa and Mojito were handily placed while Supernatural was at the rear end. Son Of A Gun kicked on merrily and showed no signs of weakening and eventually checked in by a widening margin of four lengths. The progeny of Top Class surely appears to belong to the highest class. Supernatural ran on from behind to nose out Mojito from the runner-up berth while consistent performer Raffaello was not far behind in the fourth position.
The Malesh-trained New Dimension who had been subjected to extensive preparation was expected to make a winning debut in the 1000 metres Gracias Saldanha Memorial Million, a race for maiden two-year-olds. The progeny of Multidimensional had no problem in justifying the expectations, taking control of the proceedings within the first two furlongs and thereafter it was a smooth ride home in the hands of jockey Suraj Narredu. The filly was under no pressure to go past the winning post clear of the late rallying Portofino Bay and Irish Gold who battled on to stay in the third position. Miranda stayed in touch with the front-runners till the final furlong before losing steam to end up in the fourth position.
The day`s proceedings started on an ominous note for the punters as the unheralded Flashing Famous from the stables of trainer Antia brought off a stunning upset in the 1200 metres Captain G Hall Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The race had a tricky look about it as none of the contenders had any form that could be considered good enough to win the race. It was no surprise that Pesi Shroff trained Nostalgic was a default favourite with support for Golden Lioness and Goldiva alternating. The odds reflected the confusion of both the bookmakers and the punters and it was in the fitness of things that Flashing Famous won in the hands of jockey Prasad whose last win is difficult to recall. Dragonlord who was withdrawn at the gates last time out due to unruly behaviour ran much better than stablemate Nostalgic who lacked the speed to stay in touch with the front-runners and was a goner well before the final turn. Champagne Smile showed speed to lead from the start deep into the stretch before Flashing Famous who raced in about the third position, overtook the front-runner inside the final furlong to win with a measure of comfort. Dragonlord ran on strongly to edge past the long-time pacemaker Champagne Smile to get the runner-up berth. The market fancies fought for fourth place with Golden Lioness getting that spot ahead of Nostalgic. Goldiva was lost in the crowd. Dragonlord should strike before long.
The outcome of the 1000 metres D W Redi Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46, depended on how well or badly Dragon took a start. Dragoness was a cut above the rest and even a slow start was good enough for the four-year-old filly to win. Among the others in the fray, Antia trained Dilbar had a fair chance. The mock race of Dragoness indicated that the filly had been readied well. Though Dragoness took a slow start, jockey N S Parmar was not perturbed as he swiftly improved Dragoness from the wide outside draw. By the final turn, Dragoness had covered all the horses and was within striking distance of the front-running Dilbar, the second favourite. Dragoness easily overtook the front-runner in the stretch and stormed clear to win by a widening margin of five lengths. Dilbar fought tenaciously to keep second place from Hela.
Shock number two of the day came through Karthik Ganapathy trained Kimiko who came from the clouds to nose out Hagibis to win the 1400 metres G A Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The odds indicated that it was difficult to point out any horse as being outstanding. Longshot Hagibis from the stables of Antia was set to cause the second successive upset of the day win for the trainer but Kimiko who was a tailed off last at the final bend after a slow beginning, covered acres of ground on the wide outside to go past the past locked together. Kimiko had indeed prevailed by the shortest of margins. Last start winner Finch too had made a good rally in the stretch and was moving threateningly but narrowly failed to do so. A nose and a short head were the verdicts between the first three placed horses. Those who were in the betting including Kings Best, Lord Fencia and Sweet Emotion was not up to the mark and struggled to make an impression.
The trend of upsets continued with Dallas Todywalla trained Twelfth Earl who had finished 20 lengths behind Galloping Star bringing off an upset in the 1600 metres Bejan Bharucha Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Pesi Shroff trained Eleos was strongly backed to win. After Shadows led well into the straight, Willy Wonka came into contention along with Mysterious Girl who improved places along the inside with Eleos also showing out. The complexion of the race changed when Twelfth Earl charged home on the wide outside in the hands of jockey Vinod and managed to neck out Willy Wonka in the closing stride of the race. Willy Wonka had lost by a neck to Galloping Star in his last run while Twelfth Earl was more than lengths behind the same horse. This itself highlighted how there was a topsy-turvy result. Last start winner Mysterious Girl held off favourite Elios to get the third slot.
The day`s proceedings concluded with the way they had begun. Waheed trained Dalasan won at long odds from 10-year-old gelding Ame. Favourite Periwinkle was third. This was the first win for Dalasan from 15 outings. Dalasan moved from the rear group with a smooth run in the hands of jockey Amyn Merchant and had a winning lead going into the final 100 metres. All that Ame could do was to bridge the gap. Dagger`s Strike came in for some spirited support in the betting ring but ran without hope.