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UNRAVELLING THE CLASSIC CONUNDRUM - A Preview of the 2019 Poonawalla Breeders' Multi Million (Grade 1) - By Cyrus Naterwalla

Posted on - 23 Feb 2019

UNRAVELLING THE CLASSIC CONUNDRUM – A Preview of the 2019 Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi Million (Grade 1)
- By Cyrus Naterwalla
The Poonawalla Breeders Multi Million is one of the most eagerly awaited Juvenile races of the Mumbai Racing season and is affectionately known as the “Juvenile Derby”. The 30th running of this prestigious event will take place tomorrow to Crown the best Juvenile in the land and this year’s renewal has attracted a large field of 13 runners with an even match of colts and fillies with 7 colts and geldings taking on six fillies and 3 out station challengers in the fray. Although Corfe Castle came up trumps for Hyderabad last year, the record of out station runners in this race is not particularly encouraging with only 3 others claiming success in the last 15 years, two of those back in 2006 and 2007 when Dr. M.A.M. Ramaswamy and S. Ganapathy won back to back with Haunting Memories and Bourbon King. P. Trevor has been a dominant force in this race in recent times, claiming 3 of the last 4 renewals but he looks to be riding a relative no hoper in the form of Seventh Mile who is having her first start of the season and her first run since finishing runner up in Pune way back in October. Dr. M.A.M. Ramaswamy has been of the most successful owners in the race, winning it several times and he has two representatives in the fray in the form of Southern Ruler and Juliette.
A brief summary of the principal contenders is given below
HUNT FOR GOLD     (LeitirMor x Pleasure Hunt )
TRAINER :-Pesi Shroff                                 
WEIGHT:-   54.5kgs.
JOCKEY :-  Y. S. Srinath                                          
DRAW :-   6
STARTS :-2                                                               
WINS :- 2
Clearly the more fancied of the two fillies fielded by Pesi Shroff in this contest and the likely favourite, she is one of four unbeaten runners in the fray, appears to be the strongest of the home contingent and has already proven herself over the 7 furlong trip. She has won both her starts with a measure of comfort beating Trouvaille on both occasions and is expected to have improved again. Making her debut over this trip on the 6th of January, she was in the rear and being pushed along turning for home but got a lucky opening on the fence to come through and once she got the hang of things she began to extend well and was well on top close home, scoring by 2 ½ lengths in an excellent time of 1.23.52 which was faster than the 1.24.03 clocked by the brilliant Ruffina on the same day indicating she was indeed top drawer. Her next start came in The Breeders Produce Stakes 3 weeks ago and she looked vastly improved, jumping out smartly this time to race prominently and in spite of conceding a penalty, again got the better of Trouvaille by 1 ½ lengths. She appears to have a lovely pedigree with her dam Pleasure Hunt a multiple Group Race winner and her half brotherMoondancer a Champion Sprinter in Hyderabad winning 6 of his 12 starts over 6 and 7 furlongs including the Alcock Arabian Million (Grade 3). The other siblings include Alectar, Classerville and further back Our Excellence who finished 3rd in this race. She has been working very well since the run, seems to have ticks in all the right boxes and appears to be the most likely winner
MARINETTI      (Fast Company x MoynshaGirl )
TRAINER :-Laxman Singh                            
WEIGHT:-   56kgs.
JOCKEY :-Akshay Kumar                                        
DRAW :-   3
STARTS :-2                                                               
WINS :- 2
A very worthy out station challenger from Hyderabad running in the colours of Mr & Mrs. K. N. Dhunjibhoy, this colt is also unbeaten in both his starts although both runs have been over sprint trips and he is yet to tackle the 1400M trip which is a slight concern. Both his previous runs have been at his home centre in Hyderabad and he has looked impressive on both occasions. Making his debut over 1100M back in December, he was a fluent 3 length winner and the timing of 1.05.93 was extremely impressive. He followed that up with another fluent victory in the Darley Arabian Million (Grade 3) over 1200M and scored by 1 ¾ lengths from Consigliori and did not appear to be stopping that day either. He has come to Mumbai early to get acclimatized and was given an easy Mock Race last week to get a feel of the track. He appears to have a speedy American pedigree by Fast Company out of a Giant’s Causeway mare and looks a nice compact individual. He seems to have adjusted well to the new conditions and if the additional furlong does not prove to be a problem, he could be a very worthy adversary and possibly score back to back wins for Hyderabad following the success of Corfe Castle last year
FREE GOLD     (Arazan  x Free Radical)
TRAINER :-Imtiaz Sait                                   
WEIGHT:-   54.5 kgs.
JOCKEY :-  Robbie Downey                                    
DRAW :-   9
STARTS :-1                                                               
WINS :- 1
Another Poonawalla bred with a lovely pedigree, she is by Arazan out of 1000 Guineas winner Free Radical also trained by ImtiazSait and made her debut in the Gool S. Poonawalla Million over 1200M back in January, taking on winners but proving strong at the finish to reel in the runaway Tommaso close home with Dandi March back in 3rd. The win was all the more creditable as she played up in the gates beforehand and was in the rear turning for home but although taking her time to get going, picked up in great style and was motoring at the finish. She is sure to have learnt plenty from that experience and stripped fitter for the run and her style of racing suggests that the additional furlong will suit. She looks likely to improve a great deal and looks another strong contender to claim this rich prize. Imtiaz’s lone victory in this race came way back in 1991 with Ponta Delgado but he looks to have a very realistic contender here
ENID BLYTON     (Showcasing  x Passing Hour )
TRAINER :-Altamash A Ahmed                               
WEIGHT:-   54.5 kgs.
JOCKEY :-Neeraj Rawal                                           
DRAW :-   5
STARTS :-2                                                               
WINS :- 0
Interesting and well put together got abroad Chestnut filly who has had both her previous runs over 1000M and has finished on strongly from the rear on both occasions, indicating that she is crying out for more galloping ground. Looking soft on her debut over 1000M back in January, she flashed onto the scene from nowhere to be an eye catching runner up to Ms Boss and surprisingly was tried over 1000M again on Derby weekend where she was a red hot favourite but again got the hang of things very late in the day and was absolutely flying home and would have won in another 2-3 strides. It is difficult to draw parallels with the form but it is clear that she will be seen to much better effect over this longer trip and looks to be the proverbial dark horse in this field. The record of maidens in this race is very poor so she has that statistic to overcome and both Trainer and Jockey have yet to taste success in this race
TROUVAILLE     (Surfrider x Highly Fashionable )
TRAINER :-S.K. Sunderji                             
WEIGHT:-   56kgs.
JOCKEY :-  P.S. Chouhan                                         
DRAW :-   11
STARTS :-2                                                               
WINS :- 0
Has to make the short list as he has chased home Hunt for Gold on both previous occasions and had plausible excuses for both defeats and was seen closing on the filly towards the end. On their debut run, he was racing alongside Hunt for Gold turning for home but while she got a lovely opening on the inside rail, he had to come around the outside sacrificing ground and was impeded by the wayward Divine Glory just as he was hitting full stride and had to shift out and change his legs again. On the 2nd occasion he looked to be making his run along the inside and moving up when Silent Guardian and Malwa closed the door on him and he had to check and switch to the outside again costing him valuable time and he was again closing at the finish. P.S. Chouhan takes the ride today and if not having any hard luck stories, he should finish very close to Hunt for Gold and may prove to be a good value outsider.
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same)  

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