That was an imperious display by Costa Del Sol in Mumbai on Sunday. It was a five-horse field. The only worthwhile adversary was Bullrun, the Pune Derby winner. Trevor Patel stayed several lengths off the lead, made headway with 800 metres left, pounced on Bullrun who had taken over in the lane and drew away. Costa Del Sol’s record speaks for itself.
At this point, Phoenix Tiger and Costa Del Sol, in my opinion, sit atop the pecking order in the ‘Classic’ division. The Indian Derby is about four weeks away.
Dancing Prances made mincemeat of his rivals in the Bookmakers’ Association Million over 1200 metres. The six year-old gelding by Ace has struck a purple patch. Gold Bag, reunited with Suraj Narredu, had a large following. Jockey Sandesh elected to hold Dancing Prances up. He angled out straightening for home and swept past the front runners in effortless fashion. It was an awesome performance. Gold Bag was outclassed and outpaced.
Intelligence had won in Hyderabad and failed in her next start in Bangalore. She carried top weight in the 1400-metre Squanderer Double Stakes for horses rated 60-86. Trevor Patel got Intelligence alertly away from the gate. Intelligence set a ‘friendly’ pace and had enough left when a bunch of challengers made their bids.
Personify came out of stall 12 in the 1600-metre Bright Hanover Double Stakes. Excolence and Angelic Aria were in a duel in the final 300 metres and the former was emerging the winner. Neeraj Rawal, on Excolence, was hoping the wire would come to his rescue. It was not to be. An energy-drained Excolence was passed by Personify and jockey Sandesh. The Dr MAM Trust-owned Personify unleashed a sparkling turn of foot. I will put Personify in my notebook for an encore.
In the Greater Mumbai Police Cup, Schiehaillon had what appeared to be a winning lead but suffered a life-threatening injury and came to a halt. Advance To Contact landed the generous odds offered on him.
Cavalia and Dasrath Singh grabbed the lead leaving from post 12 in the 12-horse field in the 1600-metre Pradeep Vijayakar Cup. Cavalia was so well rated by Dasrath Singh that the Chevalier filly kept finding more in the stretch. She ran out an easy winner. It has to be borne in mind that Cavalia won in 1-26 company. Given the manner of winning, she may have a chance on promotion.
In Chennai on Sunday, the Hyderabad betting ring was large enough. The Mumbai ring was congested. You cannot move around. You get pushed. My suggestion is that the entire ring be used. It will give fans much needed breathing room.
There is more wagering on Chennai races and more than one bookmaker told me that the Chennai races are attracting more attention. It is a positive development.