The CN Wadia Gold Million (Gr 2) went to the wire and jockey Prakash must surely have heaved a sigh of relief at the sight of the winning post, as he barely managed to counter a strong challenge from the heavily fancied Gruezi (Neeraj). Neeraj will rue the fact that he lost a certain race and should take a cue from the way Prakash, his senior, improved his position and got the best out his mount. Poor Gruezi seems to be jinxed right after her first start victory. With the Wadia Million, she has had to run 2nd best thrice in as many starts and on very occasion she missed out narrowly. She has had her reasons for not pulling it off and justifiably so. Neeraj kept her off the pace despite a slow run race until they turned for home. He did not make a quick enough move and improve her position as did Prakash. By the time Gruezi was switched to the outside, Personified had seen daylight and Prakash gleefully accelerated ahead while Gruezi was pressing the panic button. When Neeraj finally got her wide for clear passage, Personified had established a handy distance between the two. Gruezi began to cover ground briskly and was the fastest moving horse in the final 150 m but the winning post came much too soon for the favorite. Gruezi thus lost yet another race, which she could have well won with wiser assistance from the saddle.
The CN Wadia Gold Million Day had it’s own flavor and there was a lot of entertainment for all at the race course. The Gladrags Mega Models cat-walked their way in the paddock. Little Children danced with zest and energy to some crispy Bollywood numbers. Cine Stars Salman Khan and Preity Zinta had the Camera crew working overtime but neither Star attempted to address the crowd with any interesting bytes. Salman was somber and was not even dressed for the occasion. He gave away the Bravery Awards to some gutsy children facing extreme adversity amidst encouraging cheers from the crowd. A certain Mr. Kabir Khan won the Zen Estilo car for correctly nominating the first three placing of the Wadia Million. The whole show was admirably organized and Maureen Wadia once exhibited her professional approach in making her event thoroughly successful and enjoyable.
The Punters received a drubbing as only two favorites obliged in the nine-event card. The Boss (Riyaz), who garnered much support in the first race failed to nail the second-in-demand Quaoar (Belose) in the first race. Emerging Power who led the field ‘in’ fought until the distance post where from Quaoar took over. A busy Belose rode out forcefully to successfully negate the challenge from The Boss and the the late finishers Lovely Feelings and Binee. The last named covered good ground and it would pay to note her over an extended trip.
Blue Daffodils was the favorite from trainer Narendra Lagad’s yard and scoffing at the grouse that the trainer’s favorites seldom oblige, the on money favorite made every post a winning one and won the Nadia Mary Homi Wadia Trophy with ease. Aegina who chased the winner all through ended doing so while Victory Star (Srinath) who was last from early on, covered good ground to run into place money. A good educative outing like this one will result in many positives and Victory Star should be taken more seriously in her next outing.
Rejuvenite made most of the opportunity of running with horses with lesser-known reputation than the ones he has been pitted against so far. His stable mate Royal Flash garnered all the attention in the ring and Rejuvenite headed the field all through the race. The 7/1 shot confounded the general impression that the 1400 m distance would be a furlong too much for him. The Mansoor Shah trainee kicked on impressively and easily warded off the late challenge from Nanjing and Englehart. Royal Flash was prominent only till the 300 meters and while attempting to make his bid from the inside he just could not find his speed and caved in without causing any threat whatsoever. Nanjing came from a long way back to upset the ‘runner up’ hopes of Englehart.
Giannatassio (Siphon – Peurto Plan) made a fashionable debut to score an easy victory in the Division 1 of the Homi Wadia Trophy. Sitting as far back as seventh until the final 2 furlongs, Ruzaan blazed past the front runners which included the hot favorite Rohans Glory (Suraj Narredu). Mypethoney was refusing to surrender her lead to Rohans Glory when Giannatassio burst on the scene and spurted ahead within a blink of the eye. The Shroff ward flashed past them all to post a facile victory implying that she is bound to win more races in her career. It was a remarkable debut and she will only improve further. Rohans Glory just found her too good and had to settle for the next best placing. Mypethoney rigidly held on to the third while Touch Of Land also made considerable headway in the homestretch to get into the frame.
Fantasy Lake (M.Narredu) stopped many a heart before unleashing a dazzling run in the final say to snatch victory in the final few strides in the fiercely fought race. Although the margin of victory was a good 2 ¾ lengths, it was only the experience of Malesh and his perfect reading of the pace that got the optimum out of the popular choice. Nearing the home turn Fantasy Lake was being pushed and was passed by the horses in the rear and it looked an uphill task for him to come out and win as Rage Of Angels, Sangoma and Urban Warrior were engaged in a pitched battle. Uruj too came in to join the fight, however, past the distance post, Malesh propelled Fantasy Lake who put in a devastating run to clobber the opposition to submission and throwing the crowds in an ecstasy. Rage Of Angels ran a good race as well.
A lot of hopes were pinned on IL Divo after his good second in his last outing. Tromos too attracted strong support and some smart money did come on Pretty Commission. As they jumped out, Pretty Commission soon led the field with both Tromos and IL Divo in close attendance. In the straight, Pretty Commission kept going further early on, Tromos just could not gain momentum while IL Divo started to bridge the gap. However, all he could manage was to get only a little bit closer as Pretty Commission showed no signs of relenting and returned a clear winner. Tromos disappointed, IL Divo will fight another day and Liberty Speaks will need more time. Absolute Reality retained the third spot but failed to make an impression on the first two.
Precision! That’s how jockey Ashish timed his run. This race was the shocker of the day! War Of Attrition who hitherto had been consistent and impressive suddenly had a bad day when he was most fancied. In the straight, he veered out alarmingly and kept drifting even further. Jockey Kishore Kadam did little to control the favorite and what was appalling was the fact that he continued to use his whip with the right hand, which would make him an accomplice. Whatever chances War Of Attrition had, were squandered away by this mindless use of whip. Consequently, the Mansoor Shah horse failed to hit the board. Well, that’s nothing to take away from Precision though, who found his feet at the right time to clinch the verdict precisely on the post. Precision came from nowhere, breezed past the likes of Almarina, Terre Blanche, Axiology readily and managed to surprise even the free galloping Appreciate literally on the last stride. This was the proverbial ‘bolt from the blue’ and a true bookie’s delight!
Schnell was the last nail in the coffin for the followers of favorites. The heavily backed gelding was right there as they turned for home but just fizzled out of contention confounding all calculations. Schnell was just beginning to mount his challenge when he got to The Brave Heart but found nothing in the tank when Carlos pressed him on the outside. Carlos simply cruised past the front running duo and past the distance post encountered a double challenge on either side from Generalissiomo and Call To Arms. Dasharath Singh was equal to the task and the Nina Lalvani schooled Vijay Mallya owned gelding warded off the duo to scrape through in a nail biting finish. Wafadar ended to be in the frame.
Owner Harish Mehta had a lucrative day leading in three winners two of them saddled by Mansoor Shah in combination with jockey Suraj Narredu in Rejuvenite and Pretty Commission and Fantasy Lake from trainer Katrak’s yard partnered by M. Narredu.
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