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Blackjack Sparkles On Her Debut

By Mahendra Mallya | 29 Aug 2010 | PUNE

Blackjack (P Kamlesh Up), winner of The Saarrthi Maiden Million

Mr Jaydev Modi’s Blackjack (Alnasr Alwasheek – Academy) from trainer Bezan’s yard won the Saarrthi Maiden Million in an impressive manner showing solid temperament and surprising maturity. Sitting a handy fourth behind Flashing Sword, Elizabeth and Ocean Princess, Blackjack made her presence felt just as Elizabeth had taken over the running in the straight. Jockey Kamlesh was very confident as was evident by the smooth way he eased the debutante alongside the hard-ridden Elizabeth.

Blackjack ranged along and needed just one crack from Kamlesh to stretch further away from Elizabeth to coast to a very convincing victory. Blackjack certainly showed that she was far superior and also showed a lot of promise in her first outing. She is very talented and is the one to keep a close watch on. Elizabeth too looks a good type and is bound to improve. Light My Way was far too back, but improved in the straight to run into place money. Blackjack was the one to impress most.

Ocean Legacy (Diffident – Raziya) lived up to the pre-race expectations and returned an easy winner in the Principal Director DE, SC Trophy. Galloping well with the pace, Ocean Legacy got past the leader Marigold soon on turning for home. It was apparent at that point that Ocean Legacy would race away from the rest. Tamarai tried hard to catch up but made no progress with the winner. Starry Glow and Tamarai fought out for the runner-up berth and the former did well to finish second.

None from the rear made any significant progress and Fallen Angel, who was up with leaders, held on to complete the frame. Ocean Legacy’s victory too was impressive and can win again. Jockey A Sandesh had a memorable day scoring twice to compile a lucrative double. Dancing Money (Mr. Mellon–Shirley Valentine) was at longer odds with the betting revolving around Nurai, Chingari, Victor Ivanov and Arabian Empire.

Nurai was a little slow in the stride and Chingari after jumping out well, got sluggish to fall back to last. Paris Hilton, Arabain Empire and The First Lady were at the front and Dancing Money was close behind keeping company with Victor Ivanov. Chingari was constantly egged on from early on and Ladjadj even had to give her a crack or two to keep her from loafing. Dancing Money was quick to take charge, coming in through the shortest way and went ahead. While the front-runners bowed out, Chingari came with a good gallop to challenge. Victor Ivanov covered ground on the inner rails but both the challengers were well thwarted as Sandesh kept Dancing Money going all the way to the winning post.

Uproar (Don Micheletto –Grand Start) provided a successful coup for the connections and trainer Rehenullah Khan had the gelding fit for the occasion. The trio in the betting, Tattenhoe, Mypethoney and Uproar, quickly took vantage spots and shut the others out of contention with their blazing early speed. Mypethoney had barely led them homewards and Uproar readily shot into the lead. Once ahead, there was no looking back and the whipless Sandesh made full use of his hands and heels. Tattenhoe went all out in chase but the huge difference in weight told on him. He only managed to stay ahead of Mypethoney. Floods Of Fortune disappointed a large following more due to jockey NS Parmar’s inability to get a firm grip on his mount.

Floods Of Fortune entered the straight full of steam and looked like pulling off an almost start-to-finish attempt. He was well in front up to midway up the straight, but just when his supporters were about to cheer their fancy, Floods Of Fortune, he started to drift out alarmingly. Tara, who had improved to third by the time they straightened for home, was not going to miss this opportunity and raced with vigour on the rails. She sailed through the clear ground and got past Floods Of Fortune across the stands and won well. Saddlers Rule ran on to finish third ahead of Oriental Magic.

Flaming Arrow disappointed yet again but was not too far from the winner if that is any consolation. Highland Music darted to the lead and brought the field home. Lyrical Lass (Diffident–Spectacular Blood) set about in chase with Estevez and Flaming Arrow in close proximity. Approaching the distance post, Lyrical Lass gained momentum and headed Highland Music. Flaming Arrow tried to cover ground but there was very little for him as the winning post was just in sight.

Imran Khan did well to keep Lyrical Lass going and won with a narrow margin with both, Highland Music and Flaming Arrow breathing down her neck. Silver Screen (Diffident – Silver Academy) caused a minor upset to topple hot favourite Sea Bucaneer with a sustained gallop in the straight. Sea Bucaneer led the field into the straight with Torcello and Silver Screen close behind. Nearing the distance post, Silver Screen quickened to join Sea Bucaneer and there was no other danger in sight. Silver Screen put Sea Bucaneer under pressure and the later buckled. Silver Screen finished on strongly to run away from the favourite.

Torcello ran a good third while Confederation ran on to finish a tame fourth. Wings Of Angels (Diffident – Moot) seemed to have a pair of ‘wings’ as she zipped past leader Brave Gun while turning the bend. The Nana Raghunath trainee surged ahead to work up a sizable lead soon on turning for home. Even past the distance post, Wings Of Angels never looked in trouble and appeared to coast to a runaway victory until Hi Dolly woke up late with an electrifying run.

Hi Dolly finished on fastest to run surprisingly close to Wings Of Angels and is one for the notebooks. Sparkler ended a sedate third to save place money. Bonny Light (Placerville - I’m A Nine Plus) improved on his last start fourth to Manitou Splendour and notched up a well thought out victory under Imran Chisty. Hitting the front soon on start, Bonny Light made every post a winning one. Bonny Light entered the straight and sped away to a sizable lead which proved handy at the finish.

Culcrieff warmed up far too late but covered ground at great speed in the final furlong. Had Bonny Light not secured the early lead, Culcrieff might well have gone past. However, Bonny Light had just about enough to make it in the end. Note Culcrieff over the same distance next time out. Fluent Victory was always behind Bonny Light and only allowed Culcrieff to get past him. Highland Warrior (Alnasr Alwasheek – Endorsement) registered a flawless start-to-finish victory in the last race. Sepia Tone reared up as the gates flung open and there ended her chances.

Highland Warrior was the first to come into view and soon began to accelerate well getting further from the opposition with each stride. He looked the winner long way from home. Silver Soul and Hammerhead tried their best but made no impression on the Sunderji ward ridden by Trevor and ended earning just the place money. For the professionals, trainer SK Sunderji and jockey A Sandesh scored a double each.