Ishpingo claims MiD DAY Trophy honours

Abhishek Bachchan watches as MiD DAY Trophy is won in style

Ishpingo, who had narrowly missed the winner's circle in all three earlier attempts, seized the opportunity presented by the MiD DAY Trophy to post a sensational victory at the Mahalaxmi race track yesterday.

Horse power: Jockey Dashrath Singh rides Ishpingo to victory in the
MiD DAY Trophy at Mahalaxmi race course yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble

The Major Impact -- Speed Of Light three-year-old trained by Faisal Abbas unleashed a devastating turn of foot in the final furlong to swoop onto Sorrento (Malcolm Kharadi up) and waltzed away to a glorious victory.

Winning is no jock: Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan hands over
the winner's prize to jockey Dashrath Singh as Mid Day's Managing
Director Manajit Ghoshal (right) and RWITC chairman Vivek Jain
(left) look on.

There was high drama in the betting ring minutes before the race when the Pesi Shroff-trained Sorrento received an avalanche of money to become even money favourite, while Ishpingo, despite clearly having better credentials drifted to 7/4. 

Trainer gainer: Abhishek Bachchan presents winning-trainer his prize.
Winning-owner Shapoor Mistry's son Palan and  Mid Day's Managing Director
Manajit Ghoshal are delighted.

Sorrento ran true to his backers' confidence when Kharadi got him out of the gate smartly to set blazing pace. Ishpingo (Dashrath Singh up) chased him all the way, but seemed to be struggling when Kharadi pressed the gas pedal on Sorrento with two furlongs to go. "My heart skipped a beat when Sorrento skipped away from me mid-way in the straight," said winning jockey Dashrath Singh.

Horsing around: Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan pets a horse
after the MiD DAY Trophy at Mahalaxmi race course yesterday. 
Pics/SatyaJit Desai

"I was worried we might finish second once again, but when I persisted, Ishpingo started devouring ground so fast I knew it was only a matter of time before I would pass Sorrento," he added.

When MiD DAY asked if Ishpingo's three consecutive second place finishes weighed on his mind before the race, Dashrath Singh admitted: "Yes, of course, it would have been a matter of shame. Because he is a good horse and this race was his big chance to prove that. I am happy he won it convincingly."

Shapoor Mistry, owner of Ishpingo, and his Manjri stud farm where the MiD DAY Trophy winner was bred, continued their lucky run this Sunday too, having won the Casino Royale Indian 2000 Guineas (Gr 1) on Dec 18 with Pronto Pronto.

Tips 'em right!
Our racing correspondent, Prakash Gosavi used the MiD DAY Trophy occasion to sweep not only the MiD DAY trophy predictions by accurately forecasting the first three finishers, Ishpingo, Sorrento and Unknown Rebel, but he also swept the entire eight-race card yesterday by tipping all the eight winners, six of them --Greatness (4/1), Bling (5/2), Nefyn (11/10), Onassis (12/10), Ishpingo (17/10) & Sharaarat (3/1) -- as outright first choices, and Ranthambhore (9/2) & Augustus (16/10) which were tipped as second nominations

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