• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Mahendra Mallya
Sunday 15 Apr 2018
Trainer C Rajendra Leading Pricelessgirl (S A Amit UP) Winner OF The Dady Adenwalla Cup

Fancied runners ran true to form through the day and most winners had good support in the betting ring, barring Pricelessgirl (12/1) in the feature race of the day.

Pricelessgirl (Noverre – A Girl, Bhaktawar Stud) proved a late bloomer as she had not tasted victory until she turned five and on her seventh outing, which was during the last Pune season. That win seems to have given her the boost and she added three more wins to her tally this season. This one was perhaps her toughest win amongst a bunch of good sprinters. Trainer C Rajendra deserves a pat on the back for persevering with Pricelessgirl and nurturing her to optimum fitness and form to achieve such commendable results.

Pricelessgirl hit the front as she always does and took off at a ripping pace. Juggernaut, Undisputed, Gran Paradiso and Miss Moneypenny were closely huddled with Beneficial on the wider out.

Pricelessgirl stepped on it on turning for home and darted further ahead leading by just over a length. Juggernaut tried his best but made no impact on the leader. Miss Moneypenny chose the rail run, but had to wait a while before she got the clearance in front, which was just past the distance post. She sped through to challenge Pricelessgirl and the duo was in full flight, Miss Moneypenny gaining considerable ground to close in on Pricelessgirl.  They zipped past the post together and Pricelessgirl had his nostrils flaring at the finish to touch the wire a split-second earlier than Miss Moneypenny. Juggernaut saved place money.

Jockey A Sandesh has been in supreme touch particularly this weekend and followed up his treble on Saturday with another sweet triple-triumph on Sunday. Only this time it was a remarkable hat-trick.

He started his successful run astride Vishal Gaikwad’s ward Checkmate (Canford Cliffs – Sparkling Crystal, Highgrove Stud), the gelding living up to his name the way he won it.

Star of Thea looked good coming into the final furlong enjoying a handy lead and galloping at a good clip too. Harmony of the Sea was trying to catch up and show some sort of a challenge when Checkmate started to gain on the two in front. It was in the last fifty meters or so that Checkmate surged towards them and managed to quicken just in time to spoil the party for Star of Thea. It was a Checkmate indeed for Star of Thea!

Sandesh once again played to the galleries with another late entry at the business end with Pesi Shroff’s Counsellor (Mull of Kintyre – My Giddy Aunt, Bhaktawar Stud) in the very next race. This time he accounted for We Break The Rules and Honourable Eyes.

Honourable Eyes led the field into the straight with Happy Birthday ready to pounce on him. Soon enough, Happy Birthday surged ahead to grab the lead but failed to sustain. Even Honourable Eyes got past him and WE Break The Rules arrived after switching lanes to just about put his nose in front. At this juncture, Counsellor and Sandesh swooped upon the pair and sped ahead to pull off a dramatic, but a comfortable victory. The late dash was what made it look dramatic!

Sandesh brought about the hat-trick atop Gnostic Eyes (Multidimensional – Ave Maria, Greentree Stud) the Rehanullah Khan trainee achieving his maiden victory on his ninth start.

Bay of Love led them into the homestretch and soon faded out. Forever Free showed good paces to grab the lead heading towards the distance post. Allegria also shaped well but they were all floored when Sandesh got Gnostic Eyes going in the final furlong. Forever Free showed a bit of resistance, however, Gnostic Eyes was overbearing on his rivals and sped past easily to earn his first winning bracket. Forever Free ended a good second ahead of Allegria and Bay of Love.

Lucky Luciano (Rebuttal – Aksinya, Mehra Stud) was the shortest priced runner of the day and he won without causing any anxiety to his large number of supporters. The only glitch perhaps was that he was last at the jump but not too far back, which is okay over the 2000m distance.

He made gradual progress along the journey the pace for which was set by Whoopsidaisy who led them all the way until well into the homestretch.

Whoopsidaisy galloped on gamely once into the straight, however could not stand up to the challenge once Lucky Luciano came upon the scene. Jockey CS Jodha got the Adhirajsingh trainee going at full steam and shot into the lead to stretch further away and outclassing his opponents.

Nirad Karanjawalla trained Sia (Ace – Shaduf, Manju Stud) brought about her maiden success on her seventh attempt. Up with the front bunch, Sia took over from Vitesse soon on turning for home and strode ahead nicely to dominate the length of the homestretch. Once in charge, Sia never looked in any danger as she galloped fluently with jockey SG Prasad guiding her smoothly to ensure she had a good lead going towards the winning post. She won well with something to spare; Saffron Flower ran on to take the second place ahead of Cecelia.  

Queen Ria (Ontario – Queen Rania, Sehgal Stud) added to the list of victories trainer Mansoor Shah and apprentice Zeeshan have combined to produce. She was confidently backed and as it often happens, the connections pulled off a good gamble.  

Setting off at a good pace from the start Queen Ria entered the straight with a handy lead and steadily built on that advantage. Favourite El Tycoon though prominent, failed miserably to make this one count putting up a feeble show. Bidstone Hill kept his chances alive for the longest while, but just could not pick up on the speed good enough to tackle Queen Ria and he ended second best. Speed of Sound was in the last position coming into the straight and improved considerably to beat El Tycoon for place money.

For the professionals, jockey A Sandesh scored a prolific treble.