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From the Horses Mouth - Race form Analysis Guide for Friday, 21st December 2018 - By Cyrus Naterwalla

Posted on - 20 Dec 2018

From the Horse’s Mouth - Race form Analysis Guide for Friday, 21st December 2018
- By Cyrus Naterwalla
Race No. 1 :- The Clinton Plate – Class III & IV – Distance :- 2000M
ROBERTA :- Beautifully bred 3 year old filly trained by Pesi Shroff who is already being touted by many as being the possible future winner of the Indian Oaks but appears to be a fragile type and is being nursed along by her master Trainer. Making her debut over a mile in a hot race in the Bangalore Summer she was seen making good late headway to finish 4th behind Indian Pharoah in what looked a particularly strong contest. Coming to Pune, she scored a facile maiden win over 2000M in spite of getting left at the start, winning by 7 lengths without coming off the bridle. She then took on Class III opposition again over 2000M and had to be shaken up this time but still won quite comfortably from Gloriosus who went on to win 2 races subsequently. She was not all that impressive in a Mock Race with Hope and Glory a month ago but her subsequent work has been much better suggesting that she has improved. She looks too good for this opposition and is expected to win this comfortably with Leigh Roche in the saddle.
SMASHER :- Stable companion, owner mate and work partner of Roberta who has a smart pedigree in his own right and is a winner of 2 of his 7 starts, scoring back to back wins over 2400M last season and did not race for the rest of the year. He had a lung opener over a mile when finishing 4th to Sacred Roman which was his first run in 9 ½ months so he was understandably rusty that day and is expected to improve. He is still quite unexposed and although the stable choice is clearly Roberta, he looks second best in this field and could upset if Roberta is slightly off her game.
JAGER BOMB :- Aged and fully exposed 7 year old gelding trained by Imtiaz Sait who is a veteran of 39 starts having won on 3 previous occasions. He was well beaten by Roberta on their last meeting in Pune and although there is a substantial difference in the weights, there is no obvious reason for him to reverse the form with the younger horse who is likely to improve. C. S. Jodha has been booked to ride and in this small field he stands a decent chance to place as he stays well but is unlikely to trouble Roberta much and hard to see him winning this.
ADMO :- Sparingly raced 4 year old gelding trained by Nosher Cama who has run 11 times so far and has managed to win once, over 1400M back in September 2017. He has raced quite sparingly since then, running a couple of decent placed races like a close 2nd to In It To Win It over a mile. He made a promising start to the season when finishing on nicely to be a good 3rd to Awesome One over 7 furlongs and should improve for that effort. He is tackling this 2000M for the first time but his style of racing suggests that he should get it and off the low weight and with S. Zervan replacing B. Nikhil in the saddle, he appears to be the main danger if Roberta is not 100%.
CONCLUSION :- Hard to oppose the potentially classic Roberta and she is expected to win this comfortably in her lead up to the Indian Oaks. Bottom weight Admo should be the main and possibly only danger.
Race No. 2 :- The Polish Patriot Plate – Class IV & V – Distance :- 1600M
ASTRAL FLARE :- Lightly raced and improving filly from the in form yard of Vishal Gaikwad who has won 1 of her 7 starts till date and appears to be on an upward curve at present. After needing her first few runs to come to hand, she showed she was getting ready when a close 2nd to Tar Heel over a mile last February and just failed to score over an inadequate 6 furlongs in Pune when runner up to Grey Flannel in the blanket finish. She went on to claim the Independence Million in great style, beating some useful types and looked like she was in need of her reappearance run this season when beaten 2 lengths by Tasawwur over 1800M. That form looks strong as runner up Tar Heel has gone on to win subsequently although the switch from Leigh Roche to H. Zeeshan is a negative. However, she appears to hold strong form claims and appears to be the most likely winner in this field.
FLYING DRAGON :- Aged and exposed 6 year old gelding trained by S.S. Shah who does not seem to have that many winners nowadays, he is a winner of 2 of his 35 starts so far although he has managed to place on 14 occasions for a decent overall record. We have to go back over 2 years for his last win which came over 2000M in September 2016 and he has come back down to the same mark at present. He showed that he can still raise a gallop when runner up to Zanara over 1800 in Pune but appears vulnerable against the younger horses. He has had a lung opener this season so should be fit enough and improving apprentice M. Ayyar takes the ride. He looks to have a small upset chance and could throw a spanner in the works.
MOMENTUM :- Potentially very smart but yet to show it on the track, this half brother to Tiger Tops who is in the care of Pesi Shroff appears to be a late maturing type has had only 3 runs so far and has yet to produce anything significant. He ran twice over a mile during the last Mumbai season, showing some promise on his 2nd start when runner up over a mile to Kimberella where he has Sandalphon just a neck away in 3rd but was withdrawn on both his intended runs in Pune and finally reappeared 10 days ago when clearly looking in need of the run and finishing 5th behind Golden Hind with Akshay in the saddle. The switch to Leigh Roche clearly suggests that he is given a stronger chance today and should improve for the lung opener but one would like to see a little more from him on the race track and he looks more of a place prospect for today. Can be involved.
SANDALPHON :- 4 year old maiden from the small stable of trainer Himmat Singh, he has run 11 times so far without success but has been quite consistent since entering handicaps and has been placing on a regular basis in similar contests. 3rd to Arc Shine on his handicap debut last season, he went on to finish alongside Momentum over a mile and his solitary effort in Pune was a good 2nd to Angels Touch over 1400M. He found the 6 furlong trip to be too sharp on his seasonal reappearance when 4th behind Arabia but will be better suited with more galloping ground. He is another who does not particularly inspire from a win standpoint but Neeraj Rawal has been booked to ride and he merits each way consideration.
EMOTIONLESS :- Well bred 4 year old filly who had plummeted down the weights with a string of poor efforts when in the care of C.D. Katrak but seems to have found her groove once switching to Nosher Cama’s stable and seems to be at the top of her game at present. Scoring a fluent maiden success over this trip on her penultimate run in Pune in the lower class, easily beating Solo Mission by 5 lengths, she showed she had improved for that run when running Patriot’s Day very close last time out, finishing on strongly and going down by a whisker. She has been upped in grade now but takes a drop in weight as a result and P. Trevor is an eye catching jockey booking. She seems to be progressing the right way at present and looks a strong fancy to earn another bracket now.
HONOURABLE EYES :- 4 year old maiden trained by Imtiaz Sait, he has run 9 times so far over varying trips and has performed quite disappointingly overall, his best performance coming over this trip when a close 2nd to Massimo last season but he has been inconsistent since then. He is returning from a 3 month break having last raced in September finishing 3rd to Excellent Ella over this trip. Robbie Downey gets a leg up for the first time today and although likely to need this run after the break, he looks an interesting outsider.
CONCLUSION :- Astral Flare and Emotionless appear to be the pair to concentrate on with  preference for the former who seems to have just the stronger form and needed the run last time out. Momentum is capable of improvement and can be involved with Leigh Roche up
Race No. 3 :- The Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy (VI Bart) Trophy – Terms, Maiden 2 Year Olds – Distance :- 1000M
CLIFFS OF CAPRI :- One of 3 runners for the yard in this race and appears to be the more forward of the Manjri owned duo with P. Trevor in the saddle. The dam First at Summer has a smart American Pedigree, by Forestry out of an alleged mare and this will be her first foal in India. He seems to have performed quite well in his couple of pieces of work and his gate jump and has been drawn in the middle of the pack in Stall 6. A paddock check is advised, as would be the case with most of these but he looks an interesting contender and is expected to run well first time out.
SALTBAE :- Comes from the yard of Deepesh Narredu and will be ridden by Yash Narredu and also has the benefit of prior experience which is a huge positive. Contesting the inaugural 2 year old race in Pune and running modestly to finish 4th behind Arabesque he is sure to have improved for that run and stripped fitter. His recent track work has been average so he may still need a little more time to reach his full potential but he is capable of being involved in the frame and merits each way consideration.
TOMMASO :- Highly regarded got abroad trained by M.K. Jadhav, he has also had a run earlier in the season, making his debut over 6 furlongs and running a forward race before retiring to finish a close 4th behind Royal Crystal and should have learnt plenty from that run. He was prominent for quite a long way that day so the shorter trip should be to his advantage and his work since the run suggests he has improved. A. Sandesh takes the ride today replacing Leigh Roche who is on board Copper Queen and with the benefit of experience, he looks one of the leading contenders to score.
CELESTIA :- Debutant from the Dallas Todywalla stable who’s juveniles are usually in forward condition she has shown a fair amount of speed in her 3 workouts so far  and has bagged a good draw in Stall 2. The first foal of modest handicapper Celsius, Saamidd juveniles tend to show speed and if looking fit and ready to go, she looks to have each way claims with Neeraj Rawal booked to ride.
COPPER QUEEN :- Arguably the most fancied of the Shroff trained trio with Leigh Roche keeping the ride on this daughter of Zoffany who has an unusual Australian pedigree which is very rare in India at the present time. She did not seem to show speed on her debut run when chasing home Namaqua and finished last of the 4 runners so it is interesting that her trained has opted to keep her at this trip yet. She too is likely to have improved significantly for the run and is expected to run a much better race today and looks a strong fancy.
MIAMI :- Another interesting debutant, a daughter of Win Legend trained by Narendra Lagad, who is a full sister to Bhumi BhumiBhumi who is unplaced in 2 runs till date but has been showing out quite well in the morning trials and has shown good speed in her last couple of workouts. It is interesting that the stable has asked for Robbie Downey to ride which suggests that connections are quite strong and she looks another who is worthy of consideration and looks primed for a big run first time out.
CONCLUSION :- With none of the debutantes looking particularly exciting, Tommaso is selected to get off the mark after having shown good speed on debut when 4th over 1200M. Copper Queen appears to be the main danger although she may not ideally prefer this minimum trip while Cliffs of Capri and Miami appeal among the debutantes.
Race No. 4 :- The Set Alight Plate – Class III & IV – Distance :- 1200M
QUEEN CREDIBLE :- Versatile 5 year old mare trained by Rehanullah Khan, she has finished runner up on as many as 6 occasions but has only managed to 3 of her 25 starts till date and has been running quite consistently off her current mark. She is usually ridden well off the pace and is doing her best work in the closing stages so needs the gaps to appear at the right time. She was well fancied on her reappearance run in a similar contest 2 weeks ago but Y.S. Srinath was unfamiliar with her quirks, she missed the kick and did not give her true running thereafter. P. Trevor who takes over in the saddle today is likely to know her better and although she is conceding weight all around in what looks a fighting race, she is expected to leave that last run behind and should be involved.
TAKE FIVE :- Another very interesting runner, this 4 year old Excellent Art filly is trained by MaleshNarredu and has managed to win 1 of her 10 starts till date but is still relatively unexposed. Bloodless winner of her maiden over 7 furlongs in the 2017 Pune season, she was trained for the Oaks after finished a close 2nd to Turning Point over a mile and she went on to finish 3rd in the South India Oaks to Masquerade but finished well beaten in the Indian Oaks. Reverting back to 7 furlongs, she ran poorly when favourite but only able to finish 4th of 5 to Carnival over a mile but showed freshness after the summer break when running a cracker on her only start in Pune, when a fast finishing 2nd to Star of Thea over this trip. She did not race again in Pune so returns from a 5 month absence and looks likely to need this run. Neeraj Rawal takes the ride today and she may just need the run but could spring a surprise if fit and well.
KILKARRY BRIDGE :- Speedy half brother to Hidden Soul who has won 2of his 3 starts till date, going down narrowly to Riquewihr in his only other start which looks strong form. Very impressive when trouncing the opposition on debut, he found Riquewihr too speedy when dropped to 5 furlongs next time out and making his handicap debut back up at 6 furlongs, had to work hard to hold off the late finishing Timeless Deeds eventually scrambling home by a neck. He has been rested and well prepared since that run, looks to be working extremely well at present and has his regular rider C.S. Jodha back to partner him. He looks a leading fancy to continue his progress and should continue his winning vein.
MISS MONEYPENNY :- 4 year old handicapper in the care of Imtiaz Sait, she appears to be in the grip of the handicapper at present, having failed to earn a bracket in her last 10 starts although she has managed to go close on a couple of occasions. She ran thrice during the recent Pune campaign and looked to be coming back to form on the last of those runs when ending up a good 3rd to La Magnifique with Queen Credible a length ahead of her in 2nd. She had a lung opener earlier in the season to blow away the cobwebs and A. Sandesh who rode her to her last victory returns to ride replacing Robbie Downey. She is expected to give a good account of herself today and looks a strong each way player.
LORRAINE :- Well bred and lightly raced 4 year old filly trained by NosherCama who just seems to be coming into her own an scored a decisive maiden win over 1400M on her last start in Pune. The drop in trip does not appear to be ideal but she has the scope to improve further and is still relatively unexposed. The booking of B. Nikhil suggests that she may be out for an airing but she seems to have maintained form and fitness since the win and is dangerous to ignore.
CONCLUSION :- Kilkarry Bridge is selected to make a winning first appearance on the Mumbai track and continue his progression. Lorraine may not be fully wound up today and a greater danger could be Take Five who is also returning from a substantial break.
Race No. 5 :- The White Metal Plate – Class V – Jockeys will not be permitted the use of whip – Distance :- 1400M
EIGER’S TIGER :- Aged and fully exposed 5 year old handicapper who is one of 2 runners from the yard but appears to be the more fancied of the pair with 5 kilo claimer Aniket Karande in the saddle. He has been knocking at the door for some time now without success but has come down considerably in the weights and finished 3rd both starts this term. He finished a very close 3rd behind It’s A Deal last time out and if running upto that level again, looks to have a strong chance to score.
SAMURAI :- 7 year old gelding from the M.K. Jadhav yard who has managed just 1 win from 33 tries so far but has managed to place on 11 occasions so although he does not inspire from a win perspective, he appears to have a good chance to place. He has been woefully out of form for some time now, his last good effort coming when runner up to Eiger’s Tiger over a mile last October. He is effective over this trip, had 2 runs late in the Pune season to regain some fitness and Vishal Bunde appears one of the better riders in this field. He looks well placed on the scales and can upset if fit and well.
GRAND EYES :- One of the younger and relatively unexposed horses in this field at age 4, this son of Multidimensional began his career with C.D. Katrak before moving to the yard of Imtiaz Sait and has done nothing noteworthy in 7 runs till date. He is running after a short break so may have been freshened up and sharpened since his last start in September and has dropped down considerably in the scales. Raghuveer Singh has been booked to ride and plenty is to be taken on trust but if looking well in the paddock then he does have the scope to score in this company and comes into consideration.
STORMBORN :- 3 year old from the S. K. Sunderji yard who is a maiden after 5 starts but did show some promise on his 2nd run when finishing a decent 3rd over 1000M to Frieze. However, his 3 runs in Pune were most disappointing and he needs to show some spark to be a factor. P. Shinde is yet to win a race which also appears to be a negative but being a 3 year old, he seems to have the scope to improve. He may just need this run but is worth considering in a race lacking strength in depth.
VITESSE :- Well handicapped grey mare from the yard of H.J. Antia who likes to dominate or race very prominently when in a serious mood and is another who looks nicely placed on the scales on the pick of her form. She has won 2 of her 40 starts till date but her last run did come over this trip with the same rider up back in September 2017. She has been running very poorly of late and needs to show that she retains her old ability but if running upto her best, she looks to have an each way shout and could make the finish interesting.
ALLEGRIA :- Maiden 5 year old trained by Zadmal Singh, she is winless in 17 starts till date but has given a little encouragement in her last 2 runs, finishing 4th on both occasions. She was not beaten a long way when 4th to Brave over 1000M on her final run in Pune and again ran a forward race last time out over 1200M when prominent throughout and finishing up a close 4th to Bourbon Princess. She appears to be well within herself at present although it is unsure whether this step up in trip will suit her. A.S. Peter who rode her the last twice is up again today and if appreciating more galloping ground, she could very well be a factor here.
CONCLUSION :- Barely any form to go by and clearly this race is best avoided from a betting standpoint. Eiger’s Tiger is but a tentative suggestion, having showed some current form
Race No. 6 :- The Maharaja Sir Pratapsingh Gaekwad Trophy – Class II & III – Distance :- 1400M
MASTEROFBALANTRAE :- Top quality 5 year old trained by Vishal Gaikwad, he has always been held in very high regard but appears to have had numerous injury problems which have given him a very stop start career but he has still managed to win 4 of his 6 starts, pipped on the post once and finishing a respectable 4th on the other occasion. He was a fluent winner of his last start back in October in Pune where he scored decisively from Star of Thea and Queen Credible and he has been working very well since that run. Leigh Roche replaces P. Trevor today in the saddle, he has been working well of late and looks to have an excellent chance to continue his fine record and is the most likely winner in spite of conceding weight all around.
FOREST FAIRY :- Well bred 4 year old filly who is one of the few horses yet trained by BezanChenoy and has a very good overall career record, having won 4 of her 10 starts and finished in the first three on all but one occasion. She seems to not be a weight carrier and was a facile winner over a mile on her penultimate start beating several of today’s rivals when upped in grade but dropped in weight and she ran quite well on her seasonal reappearance, ending up 3rd to Grand Accord. She appears to have maintained her condition well so it is a surprising that connections have opted for a 5kilo claimer today with P.S. Kaviraj replacing P. Trevor in the saddle. She should be fit after the last run and looks an each way contender.
TURNING POINT :- Consistent but moody 4 year old filly from the S.K. Sunderji yard who has won 4 of her 15 starts so far but appears to be handicapped upto the hilt at present and needs to find some more improvement to get back to winning ways. She has finished behind Forest Fairy the last couple of times that they have run together and was 5th behind her last time out. She has been working brilliantly as usual but does not look completely straightforward and is often slow to begin. C.S. Jodha returns to ride her replacing Neeraj Rawal who rode her last time out but she needs to unlock some more improvement before she can be considered again. Has a chance to upset.
CARBONARA :- Nicely bred 5 year old from the Imtiaz Sait yard who has won 5 races from 24 starts till date and has looked like he was returning to his best on the last couple of occasions. After a couple of indifferent efforts, he caught the eye when making late headway from the rear to finish a close 3rd to Flag Flying over this trip on his last run in Pune and again went on to take the 3rd spot on his seasonal reappearance albeit a long way behind Costa Brava and Excellent. Robbie Downey who rode him last time out keeps the ride and he should be fitter and sharper for the lung opener. He seems to be taking on mainly horses of his age group today and hence, looks to have each way claims if progressing again.
ZENON :- Very interesting 4 year old who is returning from a long absence and seems to have recently changed hands from Pesi Shroff to Narendra Lagad. A one time Derby hopeful, he ran poorly in both the Indian and Bangalore Derbies and was off the track for an extended period after finishing 6th in the Bangalore Derby. He reappeared for a solitary run over 9 furlongs in Pune where he was sent off favourite, set out to make all the running and then rapidly weakened to finish 5th behind Drogo. He has not raced since then so has fitness to prove and is having his first start for new connections dropped radically in trip. Both his previous wins have been over 2000M so he has to prove he is suited by the shorter trip but A. Sandesh who rode him the last several times keeps the ride and if managing to tackle this shorter trip, he looks capable of tackling this lot. Dark horse.
STAR COUNCILLOR :- Wellbred 5 year old gelding from the in form stable of Karthik G who was the winner of the Shapoorji Pallonji Colts Championship in his juvenile season which was his only career win and he has failed to add to that having run 17 times so far. He has been sparingly raced since then and run mainly over 1200 to 1400M not showing any consistency although he did manage to place on a couple of occasions. He had a lung opener earlier this season to blow away the cobwebs and with the yard firing in the winners at present, it would be no surprise if he were to try and win from end to end.  Could prove value at a long price.
TEXAS GOLD :- 4 year old colt from the Hosidar Daji yard who has a good record of 4 wins from his 15 starts and appears to be nicely placed at the weights. He too has been finishing behind Forest Fairy on the last couple of occasions that they have met including when 4th behind Grand Accord last time out. Neeraj Rawal takes over in the saddle replacing K. Nazil and he may be suited by the way the race is run as he likes to come from off the pace. He has been working well and looks an each way contender
CONCLUSION :- A tricky looking handicap with several chances. Masterofbalantrae has been in terrific form in his limited career and looks the obvious chance to continue his winning spree. With the Karthik G. stable firing on all cylinders, Star Councillor could be an interesting alternative at a long price. Zenon is also respected.
Race No. 7 :- The Conrad Pereira Trophy – Class IV & V, 5 Years & Over – Distance :- 1200M
LOCARNO :- Aged 7 year old mare from the Mansoor Shah yard who has won 3 of her 38 starts and still seems to retain the zest for racing, having finished 3rd on both her runs this term. She needed the lung opener when a faraway 3rd to Riquewihr on the opening day but ran a good race in defeat last time out in a similar contest when ending up a close 3rd to Romantic Warrior who reopposes today. She steps up a furlong but is capable of getting this far and H. Zeeshan keeps the ride. The draw has not been kind to her in Stall 14 but she is expected to give it a good go again and should be considered.
ROMANTIC WARRIOR :- Improving 5 year old gelding trained by H.J. Antia who has been quite a revelation since returning from a year off the track and appears to have come into his own at present. His form figures since returning read 2-1-6-1 with the unplaced effort coming over 7 furlongs which probably did not suit. He began the season with a telling victory over Philadelphia and Locarno and should not mind the additional furlong. Winner’s penalty may make life a little difficult but he seems to be progressing nicely at present and should make a bold bid to repeat with M. Ayyar in the saddle.
AURORA AUSTRALIS :- 5 year old mare trained by HosidarDaji who finally came into her own in the recent Pune season, scoring back to back wins over 1400M and then just failing to hold off Grand Tenton on her hattrick bid, going down by ¾ length and he has gone on to confirm the form. She appears to have maintained form and fitness judging from her recent workouts and Amyn Merchant, who rode her all 3 starts in Pune is in the saddle again today. She appears to have really come into her own at present and if the break has not interrupted her progress then she looks a very strong contender to return to winning ways.
PHILADELPHIA :- Consistent 5 year old mare trained by Dallas Todywalla who usually competes well at this level although her overall win percentage is uninspiring having managed to win just 1 of her 21 starts. She has been knocking at the door for some time now and has been runner up on her last 2 starts, finishing a length behind Scion on her penultimate run over this trip and then again runner up to Romantic Warrior last time out over 1000M and is weighted to gain revenge. She appears to be holding her form quite well, Neeraj Rawal keeps the ride and with the extra furlong likely to suit, she has strong each way claims and is sure to be involved.
DUSKY SIREN :- 5 year old mare who comes from the small stable of Subhag Singh and finally shed her maiden tag at the 18th attempt last time out over course and distance, finishing on strongly and fighting off Majestical to survive and score by a short head. That win should have given her some confidence and she may have some more room to progress. 4 ½ kilo penalty for the win seems fair, Bhawani Singh takes over from T.S. Jodha in the saddle and she looks to have a good chance to score a quick encore in this older horses contest.
RAIN DANCE :- Well bred 6 year old trained by AdhirajsinghJodha she has won 3 of her 32 starts and does not appear to be too high above her last winning mark. She is effective over this trip and scored an upset win in April last year beating Knight’s Quest by half a length in a similar contest. She has been given 3 unextended runs in Pune but seems to prefer the Mahalaxmi track and has been working quite well of late. S.A. Amit is a positive jockey booking replacing feeble 5 kilo claimer D.R. Shubham and if she is fit and ready, then she looks to have the ability to earn another bracket.
FURIOSA :- Speedy5 year old mare from the stable of Faisal Abbas, she has won 2 of her 26 starts so far and has been running forward races and working well since her last win. She has run twice already this season so should be fit enough and last time out, kicked on to finish up 4th behind Flying Visit. A.S. Peter takes over in the saddle today from Parbat Singh, she comes in at a feather weight and should make a bold bid to make all the running and win from end to end.
CONCLUSION :- Another race which is probably best enjoyed watching under the lights and is not worth trying to search for a winner as it looks highly competitive. Aurora Australis was in cracking form and if returning on this different track in the same mood, is put forward as a tentative selection. Romantic Warrior, Philadelphia and Dusky Siren are others worth considering.
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)

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