The five and half month season in Mumbai finally concluded RWITC pulling off another successful season.
The extended two weeks though were nothing to write home about as the race cards on the four days of racing that were added, lacked the excitement and competitive edge usually seen at this venue.
Dallas Todywalla trained Excellent (Excellent Art – Skyelady, Villoo’s Greenfield Farm) opened hs account as expected after missing out on his debut. He looked a lot more focussed this time and settled quickly in the third position behind Jetfire and Retained Asset, the others following in a closely herded bunch.
Jetfire led them into the straight and soon Excellent started to catch up without really having to go at top speed. Jockey Zervan eased him ahead and once they were in charge, Zervan ensured that he didn’t have to press Excellent more than required to coast away for an easy victory. Awesome One was in the mid-bunch at the turn and switched out soon on turning for home and progressed steadily to finish two lengths behind the winner. This was a good educative outing for Awesome one and he should not take too long to achieve his personal maiden success. Pandarosa also showed good paces towards the finish and did well to finish in the money.
Apprentice Jockey had a morale boosting weekend as he followed up his double on Saturday with an even better performance on Sundaybagging a fine treble. He took off brilliantly with back to back wins at the start of the evening piloting Raise a Grand (Ravel – Lothian Lass, Highgrove Stud) in the day’s opener.
Shakin Stevens darted in to the lead with Raise a Grand in second well ahead of the rest all the way into the homestretch. Raise a Grand soon cruised past the leader and accelerated extremely well to outpace her rivals and stretch out further away to secure her maiden win long way from home. There was no competition in sight as she romped away with a healthy margin. Angel Coin, who was following the pair in front, improved slightly to claim the runner up berth.
G Amit picked up the next race partnering Narendra Lagad trained Star of Thea (Excellent Art – Lady Angharad, Villoo’s Greenfield Farm) but this one was a close one with four horses clambering in to challenge Star of Thea close home.
Star of Thea had a handy lead coming into the straight, with Arc Shine and Domination a couple of lengths away. Celestial Light started to draw closer and Zanzibaar too started improving on the outside, coming up from the last position.
Star of Thea kept the momentum going and jockey G Amit rode him out hands and heals showing a lot of confidence. He has finished the season on a high and that just goes to show how quickly things change for the positive with a few victories under the belt for these young lads. Even though Arc Shine and Celestial light were closing in, Amit didn’t go for the whip in the final furlong even once, relying on strong pushing to get him past the line. Arc Shine ended a good second just ahead of Celestial Light and Zanzibaar.
G Amit added one more later in the evening guiding Faisal Abbas ward Nembe Greek (Surfrider – Anodyne, Ruia Stud) to a comfortable victory. I fact I got the feeling he may have been toying with Hopeilicious for a few strides making it appear a fight was on!
Knights Quest led them into the stretch and soon Hopeilicious made a forward surge to account for the leader. Nembe Greek soon arrived with a fast gallop and joined Hopeilicious who was fighting hard to stay ahead. Nembe Greek was certainly moving the better of the two and stretched out ahead in the last fifty meters to win by two lengths. Hopeilicious ended a good second while Huzzah’s Grace finished in the money.
Kimberella (Western Aristocrat – Catherine Linton, Highgrove Stud) galloped gamely in the final furlong and picked up her dipping fortunes with a hard fought win. Sandalphon brought the field home and galloped with grit never letting go even as Cupido and Kimberella were applying pressure on him with their constant presence. Kimberella got a shade ahead of the two when Momentum started to make his presence felt. He showed a quick but short burst to catch the eye, but Kimberella was up to the task and held her ground to gallop away and score by just over a length. Momentum may have needed the run and surely should enjoy his moment when he next wears the saddle. Sandalphon held on to edge out Cupido for place money. A line has to be mentioned about Arrecife as she covered a lot of ground to end one off the frame, not a bad finish for one who was the last to turn for home yet finishing within two lengths of the winner.
Make It Shine (Noverre – La Genereuse, Sohna Stud) proved a tough customer as the seven year old mare fought bravely to keep her lead and notch up her third career win. She swung into action on coming into the straight and sped past a tiring Yutaka to take charge. Once in the lead, apprentice jockey Raghuveer Singh got her going and the Vijay Kasbekar trainee showed guts and gumption to keep the fast approaching Royal Mews at bay. Lorraine got stuck for a couple of strides midway up the straight but rallied well in the end. However that cost her dearly as although she seemed the fastest finishing of the trio, she didn’t have enough ground to make the kill. Make It Shine won it by a neck from Royal Mews, Lorraine falling short by less than a length.
The concluding race of the season went Milwalkee’s way in yet another close finish. Abraxas squandered a sizable lead as he was leading by a handy margin right into the final furlong. MIlwalkee (Diffident – Cozumel, Yerawada Stud) galloped persistently to get past Abraxas but had to contend with Arc of Passion and Golden Tower posing a challenge from either side. Jockey NS Parmar was up to the task as he added the finishing touches with skill and held on to win narrowly from Arc of Passion and Golden Tower.
The closing day of the Mumbai racing season was a busy one, as along with the action on the turf, the season’s champions were also awarded for their commendable achievements.
Champions of the Season:
Champion Owner and Stud Farm – Manjri Stud
Champion Trainer – Pesi Shroff
Champion jockey – P Trevor
Champion Jockey Claiming Allowance – H Zeeshan
Leading Bookmaker – Banarasidas (Mumbai) Latif Associates (Pune)
Credit: Mahendra Mallya @IndiaRace