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Heavyweight Mr Greedy Deals a Knock-out Punch

By Mahendra Mallya | 28 Aug 2010 | PUNE

Mr Vijay B Shirke & trainer M K Jadhav leading Mr Greedy (P Trevor Up), winner of The Odds On Trophy

True to predictions, Mr Greedy (Placerville-Angel Heights) triumphed in the Odds On Trophy despite the chunk of weight he carried. Jockey Trevor rode a well-judged race to scamper home in a thrilling stretch run drama. Pepe Junior, who ironically was the senior most among the main contenders, ran away to a huge lead in an attempt to pull a fast one on his rivals. Mr Greedy was kept in second and the bunch behind were closely knitted.

Entering the straight, Pepe Junior was still well clear, his lead measuring in meters rather than lengths. Trevor could have easily come under pressure but proved he had nerves of steel as he waited just for the right moment before pressing the accelerator. Mr Greedy quickened with his known alacrity that has seen him fight out issues with some of the top names in the game. Mr Greedy started to close in on the leader nearing the distance post.

Trevor would have been more worried about his nearest rival, Misschevious Trot breathing down his neck that Pepe Junior’s lead. In the last 100 metres, Mr Greedy had the measure of Pepe Junior, but Misschevious Trot was still a threat. Trevor rode with purpose and determination as Misschevious Trot, carrying the lowest weight (13 kilos lesser), was huffing and puffing alongside. However, with an all-out effort, Mr Greedy let the huffing get only to his ears or maybe just a fraction beyond at the wire.

This was a truly enthralling race and the finish breathtaking! Strelitzia (Razeen-Hablitzia) notched up what looked like a hard race for her but jockey Zervan never felt the need to use his whip. Not even when Doi Moi and Oh Calcutta seemed to be too close for comfort. Zervan was extremely confident and gave an impression that he knew his filly well. He brought Strelitzia to the front entering the straight, and then concentrated on pushing her hands and heels all the way home. Oh Calcutta was prominent along the inner rails but failed to make any impression on the winner.

Doi Moi looked more of a threat but he too found it hard to sustain his challenge and Strelitzia returned a comfortable winner in the end. Star Empire once again caught a tartar, this time in Zaracha. The Rajendra-ridden gelding shot ahead soon on turning for home. Zaracha got past initial leader Petra and Delphi who looked listless. Approaching the distance post, Star Empire was still leading by two, when Malesh Narredu got Zaracha to move with purpose. Zaracha quickened at the right time and put in a menacing gallop in the final furlong.

It was vintage Malesh who rode in a brilliant manner to zip past the favourite in the last few strides. Star Emppire did nothing wrong but was unfortunate to confront a zealous Malesh atop an equally intense Zaracha. Starrer (Senure-Anmol) produced another electrifying gallop in the final furlong just like he did last time with the same effect - a second successive triumph! Sitting close alongside the favourite Moon Farer and behind initial leader Jalsa and Super King, Starrer produced a superlative acceleration just at the right moment.

Super King had taken the lead and was working hard to remain in the thick of action as Moon Farer was gaining momentum. The pair dashed past the distance post almost together with Moon Farer appearing to have an edge. Starrer started to quicken well and joined the issue, fought briefly and bounded ahead closer to the winning post. Starrer was ridden out by Srinath and won with conviction. Moon Farer and Super King fought gallantly and ended close second and third respectively.

Srinath, however, failed to repeat the success with Bullet who was the firm favourite to win his event. Hunter Bay spurted into the lead soon on start, with Bright Future and Bullet close behind. Then came Always Smile and Blazing Spectacle. Turning for home, Bright Future slipped into the lead and soon Bullet came alongside. The two tussled for a while when Always Smile (Bee’s Prospector-Rustle Of Spring) came in with a sustained gallop to zip past the fighting duo, with Imran Chisty completing a fine double.

NS Parmar, the rider of Bright Future lodged an unsuccessful objection against Srinath for bumping him around 100m from home. The objection, however, was overruled. Srinath did manage to score again in the last race partnering Royal Highness (Royal Kingdom-Romantic Heights). Settling in the mid-bunch, Royal Highness improved along the rails to be one behind the leader River Gem.

Favourite came under pressure and Prakash was vigorous with his pushing but in vain. Royal Highness sailed ahead and kicked on at good speed. Midsummer Knight came with a late bid but was far too late. Srinath had the race all sewn up sparing two lengths at the wire, thus scoring a good double.

Imran Chisty too, had earlier scored a hard-earned win in the first race goading a well-backed National Ikon (Warrshan-Tempering) to surge past Lord of Killaney in the final furlong. Lord Of Killarney shot into the lead and kept a good clip going and almost pulled it through. National Ikon improved in the straight and gained on the leader with ever stride. National Ikon caught up and went past Lord Of Killarney in the last 100m to win well. Aston Martin failed to quicken and ended a tame third just ahead of the hard-ridden Emerald Valley. The rest were never in the picture.

Superior Quest (Diffident-Days Of Glory) posted a handsome start-to-finish victory under the guidance of Imran Khan who rode with abundant confidence. Setting up a good initial pace, Superior Quest led the field homeward with main challenger Serenity in hot pursuit. Imran Khan, however, had different ideas and when he pressed the button on Superior Quest, the Karthik ward obliged with greater acceleration and bounded forward to win drawing away.

Serenity ended a tame second while Suraj ran on to finish third. Flying Jewel (Flitch-Heavenly Sound) scored a gem of a victory coming from behind and zipping past a bunch of fighting rivals. Scintillatin Star and Enchanted led the front bunch which was huddled together followed by Pound Foolish, Razmadan, Starlit Princess, Frost Fair and Black Phantom. Flying Jewel had just Pharoah behind her. Entering the straight, Enchanted took charge but soon faded.

Pound Foolish shot ahead but was confronted by Starlit Princess, Razmadan and Frost Frost Fair all scampering towards the finish. Flying Jewel came from the wide outside and blazed past them all to score an authoritative win. Frost Fairy was given a hard ride to end runner-up, while Pound Foolish managed to grab the third place. Showstopper (Namid-La Pieta) scored an emphatic victory pulling off a clinical start-to-finish triumph.

Hitting the front soon on start, Showstopper increased her lead in the straight to march on regardless to post facile win without being extended. She looked the winner even as the field turned for home. Proud Star, Royal Prothcawl and Ocean Of Faith failed to even cut the margin. While Royal Prothcawl could only manage the runner-up berth, Ocean of Faith managed to end third.

Walk of Life, who was languishing at the wrong end of the field all through, came in with a good burst to end almost abreast of Ocean Of Faith. Jockey Suraj Narredu scored with his sole ride for the day astride Beyond Stars (Stardan - Naivement).

Attempting the mile for the first time, Beyond Stars went for it from the word go and won untroubled. Deep Purple chased the leader all the time. Snow Queen began to look as if she would make a race of it, but failed to get going. Noble Salute too looked listless and fell back when it mattered. Aristocratic improved just a bit more due to Noble Salute’s poor run. Beyond Stars looks good for an encore.