Mr & Mrs Vijay B. Shirke & trainer M K Jadhav leading Brunello (A Sandesh Up), winner of The PRA Independence Million
“I always believed that Brunello would stay the distance. I feel vindicated now,” said the jubilant trainer MK Jadhav after his ward Brunello, owned by Mr Vijay Shirke & family and bred at the Poonawalla Stud, thumped the opposition out of sight. The good looking chestnut struck early form in Pune and was coming into the PRA Independence Million with a victory just a couple of days before. He made heavy weather of that nine-furlong victory, and looked under pressure in the final few meters, hence was ignored in the betting over this extended trip. However, he was at his super best this time showing immense stamina and speed to match.
The tightly packed bunch of front-runners was headed by Royal Crest who was sent on a start to finish mission. Roesti, Carpe Diem, Brunello were all rubbing shoulders with the rest of the pack snapping at their tails. Brunello was galloping on the rails but switched out at the right moment when Roesti moved out. At the turn, Royal Crest looked comfortable but Brunello made rapid progress and came charging in as they straightened for home.
Once in the straight, Brunello took off and left the others far away. He added turf with commendable speed and looked the winner the moment he made his early charge. He galloped fluently and jockey Sandesh could afford to relax well before the winning post arrived. Tara lunged forward to beat Lorelei for the second spot.
“This is my fifth triumph in the Independence Cup and I am happy to have emulated my father who too had won it equal number of times,” said MK Jadhav. Brunello certainly is at his peak and should roll out another couple of wins this season. Tara, like her stable mate who too ran second to Brunello last week, ran a good second.
The Governor’s Gold Cup Div I was claimed by Brynhill (Noverre – Chain Reaction) coming from the yard of trainer Ms Nazak Chenoy, who also owned the gelding in partnership with Mr Dilip Thomas. The Sohna Stud bred bay gelding scorched the turf in the final furlong to pull away and win the race in a scintillating fashion.
It didn’t look as easy for Brynhill at the turn when Ice Empire the hot favourite seemed going well with Windsor Queen attached to him. Brynhill came up smoothly and passed the fighting duo effortlessly and then marched on ahead leaving the rest to mop up the minor placing. Dashrath Singh had Brynhill tearing ahead and Brynhill was on fire and they stretched away from the rest with ease. Rembrandt warmed up late to make his presence felt on debut and ran a good second warding off an equally enthusiastic Woven Dreams finishing alongside. Ice Empire crashed to the fourth after being at the helm until into the straight. Rembrandt and Woven Dreams need watching next time out, the former in particular should give a winning performance sooner than later.
Marengo (Warrshan – Princess Helen) owned by Mr Laxmikumar Goculdas and bred by Southern Paradise Stud put in an aggressive performance to beat a determined lot. Barringo entered the straight with prime fancy Sariska looming large in the middle and Marengo brushed up to tackle the two. Bucharest was a length away, with the rest making the numbers.
After a brief tussle Marengo worked up nice momentum and shook off Barringo and Sariska approaching the distance post. Sariska failed to quicken and dropped out of contention. Marengo managed to finish on well and looked solid approaching the winning post. Bucharest grew stronger at the finish and managed to peg back Barringo for the second spot. Bucharest warmed up late and bears watching in his next outing. He just may have needed this outing. Sariska seemed a little rusty and this run ought to be ignored.
The Dr MAM Ramaswamy camp had a lot to cheer about as two from the stables returned victorious claiming both divisions of the Pune Sub-Area Trophy. In the upper division, Forest Legion (Rebuttal – Noorain) bred at the Hazara Stud Farm, shot into the lead soon on settling down and never looked back. He set up a fast pace and once in the homestretch, shot further ahead leaving nothing to chance and looked the winner long way from home. Relic Hunter tried hard but could not match the brilliance. Favourite Mzima was no match and finished a face saving fourth. He did not make any impact on the race and went without a whimper, raising no hope at any stage and took a lot of money down the drain.
The lower division saw the odds drifting alarmingly on Mable and true to the trend the ante-post favourite received a drubbing. There were a number of fancied runners in the race and all of them were in the front group promising a fight to finish. The fight panned out alright but was confined to two – Sterling Silver and Angels Tern. The rest, Mable included got a pounding. Sterling Silver too charge soon on turning for home and built what looked a handy lead of over two lengths with less than a furlong and half to go. Angels Tern bulldozed her way through a wall of horses and surged to chase down the leader. She caught up with up Sterling Silver in front of the stands and pushed for the kill to snatch the lead and post a well-fought victory by a length. Mable was a good six lengths away to run a disappointing third.
Ishpingo (Major Impact – Speed of Light) broke the shackles of playing bride’s maid and came into his own scoring a roaring victory and justifying the faith pinned on him. He settled fifth behind a bunch of horses in front comprising the leader Greatness along with Fortuner Irresistible Hunk, and Albuurz. Into the straight, Greatness showed the way and while Irresistible Hunk and Fortuner were trying hard to keep up, Ishpingo after being switched out, pounced on the leaders and bolted ahead with a fearsome pace. None in front questioned his authority and Ishpingo galloped strongly to register an impressive victory. Emerald Star narrowed the margin somewhat but more impressive was Emerald Valley who rallied from a long way back at the turn to run a notable third. This Ones For You ran too far back and this run may well be discounted.
Narendra lagad’s Queens Kiss (King’s Best – Your Welcome) owned by the Vidhate family and bred at the Nanoli Stud was confidently ridden by Srikanth Kamble to an emphatic victory. Kamble was unperturbed being surrounded by horses in the big 18-horse field and made his forward charge only when they had straightened for home. Justerini and Cuba were grappling for the lead when Miracle of Mercy slipped through the rails to be in striking position. Queens Kiss gathered pace and made for a flying finish. She got past all those in front with ease and encountered a very brief resistance from miracle of Mercy before dashing past the winning post a comfortable winner. Miracle of Mercy was a notable second. Domain Anna too ran very well to end earning place money.
The Day’s opening race saw Star Goddess (Alnasr Alwasheek – Palazzio) win the race in a canter making a mockery of the market trends that saw the odds on her shoot inexplicably high, from on money ante-post to 9/4 against at race time.
National Glory led them early with Star Goddess, Dictator and Daffodils following him homewards. Once in the straight, Dallas Todywalla trained Star Goddess shifted gears and pulverized her three rivals and scored a no-sweat victory in style. Nation Glory did not let the other two to pass him and took the runner up berth for his decent effort. Star Goddess in owned by the Wadhawan Group and bred at the Poonawalla Stud Farm.
Cent Per Cent and Amadeus (Choisir – Anise) provided a great fight and a thrilling finish to dash past the winning post locked together. Nefyn carrying a back breaking load brought the field home and soon Cent Per Cent charged past him. Pepe Junior flattered to deceive and fell back, giving Amadeus the room to poke through at just the right moment. Cent Per Cent was looking good for a win when Amadeus came with a rush at him. They fought out the final few meters and Amadeus finally won by the bob of the head. Amadeus is bred at the Usha Stud and trained by Pesi Shroff was ridden with panache by seasoned champion jockey B Prakash. Cent Per Cent was a tad unlucky and ought to be given another chance. Amadeus was simply brilliant and should be persisted with, particularly over the shorter sprint.
In the last race of the day, trainer Damodaran Pillay’s That’s My Master lived up to the promise he had shown in his last outing. Favourite Oriental Sapphire yet again disappointed an even larger following by running a forgettable race. Oriental Sapphire hit the front and tried the runaway tactics, taking a longish lead right from early on. The rest called his bluff and in the final standing, he was relegated to the second last spot. That’s My Master (Sussex – Khorkina) was unperturbed even as he had a huge deficit to clear passing the 800 m mark. He started at that point to surge forward and didn’t take long to be prominent at the turn. As they entered the straight, That’s My Master produced his best and sailed off ahead on full steam to outpace them all and post a facile victory. The Badal Stud produce, owned by Mr Rajesh Adhikari, was ably ridden by young Zervan.
For the professionals, trainers Narendra Lagad and Karthik saddled a double each while B Sreekanth was the lone jockey to score a double.