Top Bracket edges out Majestic near the wire

Exactly as predicted in this column yesterday, Top Bracket owned by Kishore Dhingra in partnership with Sultan Singh made a decisive surge in the hands of Sandesh to swoop onto public choice Majestic to win the Vallabhdas H Adwalia Trophy at Mahalaxmi race track on Thursday.

Suraj Narredu in fact rode a great race on Majestic, and despite getting squeezed at the start did well to quickly recover and stalk Simona who set the pace until brining the field in view after the final turn. Majestic soon assumed command and looked like pulling it off under Suraj's hard riding even as Sandesh was forced to waste precious time in wondering which side of Majestic he should make his final assault.

Things heated up further as even Miracle Of Love with Trevor Patel up moved up from the rear to join the issue, and all the three scrambled for the wire in a desparate bid. However, Sandesh managed to extract a timely response from Top Bracket who put his elegant neck ahead of Majestic to catch the judge's eye first. Miracle Of Love finished a further neck away behind Majestic.

Trainer Pesi Shroff continued his successful run with another yet another double on the card with The Unicorn (NS Parmar up) posting a smashing victory in the Mystical Trophy, the feature event of the race; and Heather, after looking squarely beaten in the homestretch, shocking hot favourite Starry Brook only 20 meters from the winning post, thanks mainly to jockey P S Chouhan's dogged determination and never say die spriit.

However, Shroff had to share the day's honours with the unlikeliest of candidates--small time trainer Vijay Kasbekar, who saddled two winners at lucrative prices to perhaps score the first ever double of his career.

During this calendar year (2015) Kasbekar, who has only a handful horses (five older horses and two juveniles) under his care, had won only two races from his small string--El Wonder had won on January 8 and Cut Diamond had obliged only two weeks ago, on November 26 on this track.

Interstingly, it was the same two horses that he sent out to win their respective races today: Cut Diamond with Shrikant Kamble won the upper division of the Snow PLate, while El Wonder (S J Sunil up) made a successful wire-to-wire bid in the Venus De Milo Plate.

The followers of money encountered yet another bad day as first favourites bit the dust in six of the seven races of the card, the sole clear favourite to win being the Pesi Shroff-trained Unicorn, winner of the feature race.

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