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Highland Crown Wins Paranjape Eve Champion Trophy

By Mahendra Mallya | 14 Aug 2010 | PUNE

Mr. Prem Tharani & trainer C D Katrak leading Highland Crown (P Kamlesh Up), winner of The Paranjape Eve Champion Trophy Gr-3

Highland Crown announced that he loves his home turf by showing a stunning return to form, snatching victory with a terrific final flourish to land the Paranjape Eve Champion Trophy (GR3) in a thrilling three pronged finish. Maseeha made the initial pace with Youre So Beautiful in close attendance. Jockey Kamlesh kept the Katrak ward well off the pace until the final turn.

In the straight, favourite Native Knight shot ahead but soon Youre So Beautiful slipped through the inner rails. The Bangalore challenger galloped gamely and Native Knight was going all out not letting her get too far. Native Knight stuck it out but just wasn’t able to get past Youre So Beautiful who looked like making it until into the final furlong. Highland Crown timed his assault to perfection and accelerated under good riding from Kamlesh and made the final impact across the grand stands.

Highland Crown (Royal Kingdom-Rahy’s Serenade) pulled out the extra resolve to shock the frightening duo and clinched the issue a couple of strides before the winning post. Youre SoBeautiful ran a commendable race as well, more so considering she was a first-timer at Pune. Native Knight too ran a good race and ended alongside the winner, narrowly losing the runner-up berth.

The Governor’s Gold Trophy, the other attractive race of the day, went Naren’s way, making it a memorable day for trainer Narendra Lagad who returned with four winners on the day. Mighty Crusader (Placerville- La Bonne Vie) brought the smile back on Naren’s face after the narrow loss of Native Knight a race earlier. Might Crusader settled into the third position, not too far from Absolute Reality and Amore Mio.

On turning for home, Mighty Crusader surged ahead and worked up a fine momentum to run away from the rest who finished in a cluster fighting for the minor placing. Living The Dream ended a good second and Cloud Cover showed a lot of resolve to end in the money. Starfall faltered at the start and couldn’t really make an impact. This run is best ignored. Amore Mio probably needed the run and seems to be getting into form. Naren started off on a wrong foot with his charge Bemisal falling close home in the first race.

Bemisal took charge early in the straight but when asked serious questions by Houdini first, was found wanting. Final Attack (Brave Hunter - Bruges) came from a long way back showing tremendous acceleration to zip past the front-runners in the final fifty. Naren, however, had a dream run thereafter, but for the hiccup in Eve Champion.

Eye of the Storm (Hawkeye-Storm River) came around full of running and sailed past the front-runners to post a comfortable victory. Benedictus ran an impressive race to come from the rear to clinch the second spot beating Ijlal to it. Tell Me More (Tirol-Ask Me All) lived up to his top billing with a facile victory. Prince Cyrus had barely taken charge from Fish Pilot in the straight, and Tell Me More swooped upon him and bounded forward going further away with each stride.

Tell Me More won handsomely and can repeat. Prince Cyrus found one better but held on to the second easily warding off Strauss who came into the reckoning far too late. Titleist (Emerald Cat- Noble Anchor) was up in front soon on start with the two other fancied runners, Persian Lily and Ocean Storm. Persian Lily garnered heavy betting and was backed down to even money at race time. The trio led the field home and soon Persian Lilygot past Ocean Strom who was struggling to keep abreast.

Titleist took the turn slightly wide but was gaining on Persian Lily. The duo was engaged in a brief tussle before Titleist stretched away past the distance post. Venus Rosewater, who was in the scattered second bunch, produced a powerful burst to finish an eye-catching second relegating Persian Lily to third. She looks a good type who could score sooner than later. Native Lady too finished on well and ended just a neck behind Persian Lily to clinch a place in the frame. Flaming Arrow just doesn’t seem to hit the ’bulls eye’.

After running second on three occasions in his recent assignments, Flaming Arrow faltered again at the business end. Leading all the way into the straight, Flaming Arrow was travelling comfortably and there seemed no threat in the vicinity. Flaming Arrow had a clear break and the rest were going all out. Past the distance post, Misschevious Trot, who had made rapid progress along the rails came alive with a strong finish.

The Imtiaz ward covered ground briskly and easily got past Flaming Arrow relegating the favourite to the second spot for the fourth successive time. Lago Medio ran on third and Generalissimo yet again arrived from the rear to catch a place in the frame. Imtiaz Sait scored again in the following race with the friendless Silver Soul. Highland Warrior, the overwhelming favourite, started of well from his wide draw (14) and soon settled one behind Ran Banka.

Silver Soul came in next not too far away with Shabdeez and Fiama in tow. Tattenhoe was further behind as they turned for the final showdown. Ran Banka entered the straight first but was hotly chased by Highland Warrior who took the turn slightly wide. This provided a welcome pass for Silver Soul who quickly grabbed the opportunity and poked through.

Silver Soul accelerated well and for a moment Highland Warrior showed some zest and looked like catching up. However, Silver Soul kicked on relentlessly to hold his fort. Tattenhoe was the best of the beaten lot and managed to snatch the runner-up berth from Highland Warrior. Ran Banka ended a tame fourth. Ibis (Puerto Maredo-Royal Troon) from trainer Zadmal’s yard improved on his last performance and scored a facile victory in the Zypher Bay Plate.

Settling at the tail end at the start, Ibis made unhurried progress through the rails and gradually switched on the outside to be prominently poised at the turn. Meanwhile, Arabian Power, the long time leader, was not getting any better and Silver Screen took over early in the straight. Enchanted soon joined the grey and matched strides. Celtic Manor opted for the rail run but was not really firing.

Ibis was the one who came with a scorching run to sail past the fighting pair. Silver Screen just managed to get the nod right for the second spot edging out Enchanted. Celtic Manor ended fourth. Gamba (Royal Kingdom-Sea Nymph) pulled off a coup for her connections. Available in the eights, Gamba bid his time initially in fourth behind Daffodils who took charge from the half-way stage from Admirals Quest and Super King.

On entering the straight, Daffodils faded out as quickly as he had darted into the lead. Gamba readily surged forward and ably thwarted the challenge from Super King and Admirals Quest. Narendra Lagad was the star professional of the day while Imtaiz Sait and jockeys Dashrat Singh and Ladjadj Stephane scored a brace each.