Costa Del Sol, racing in the silks of stockbroker Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, moved up with giant strides in the homestretch to sail away for a comfortable victory in the grade 1, Poonawalla Breeders' Multi-Million, the main attraction of Sunday's ten-race card at the Mahalaxmi racetrack. Jhunjhunwalla himself, however, was not present at the races yesterday, so Pallon Mistry, breeder of the colt who has also retained a share in him, led in the winner along with Pesi Shroff who trains the Phoenix Tower-Shining Glory colt.
Jockey Trevor Patel with Costa Del Sol at Mahalaxmi racecourse on Sunday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Manjri stud farm, where Costa Del Sol was bred, had four of their runners in the 14-horse line up, but two of them, Phoenix Tiger & Marine One, got withdrawn--the former on veterinary grounds on Sunday morning, and the latter barely a minute before the starter put the flag down as he was extremely fractious inside the starting gates.
Multitude, the Kolkata challenger who received all round support to emerge as a clear favourite at race time, stalked Golden Belle & Colombiana who fought for the lead, even as jockey Trevor Patel settled Costa Del Sol in mid-bunch. Golden Belle shot her bolt on soon turning for home, and Suraj Narredu astride Colombiana assumed command, but just when he looked like getting stronger, Costa Del Sol shuffled gears to come alongside, and after a brief tussle, overpowered Colombiana. After passing the final furlong marker, Costa Del Sol skipped away for a rather comfortable victory, in the process bagging a cool Rs 1.07 crore as prize money.
"He caught my eye when I went looking at the Manjri farm," Shroff told mid-day after the race, narrating how he spotted the champion juvenile, "he was a nice-looking colt with a good dam line, so I picked him up for Rakesh (Jhunjhunwala)." When asked if Costa Del Sol would run in the Colts Championship next month, the champion trainer said, "He is one of the best in my yard at present, but I think I will rest him for now and send to Bangalore for the summer."