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Starrer Stuns Opposition to Bag Jalnawala Million

By Mahendra Mallya | 08 Aug 2010 | PUNE

Trainer Imtiaz A Sait leading Starrer (Dashrath Singh Up), winner of The Havovi Khusro Jalnawala Memorial Juvenile Million

Starrer (Senure-Anmol), from the stables of Imtiaz Sait, stunned the opposition and the followers of money with a spirited gallop which helped clinch the Havovi Khusro Jalnawala Memorial Juvenile Million for his owner Mr Shapoor Mistry. A tight field of 18 jumped out of the gates and Ocean Trail hit the front with Palazzo Grazioli in tow. Ocean Odyssey was in close attendance with Supreme Force hugging the inner rails alongside Ashwa Prerna, Crystal and Star of Deccan.

Starrer was up next with Ocean Princess with the rest not too far behind. Palazzio Grazioli entered the straight ahead of the rest and looked good. Soon Starrer sprung from the mid-bunch and started to cover ground at a brisk pace. Starrer collared Palazzio Grazioli inside the final furlong and shot ahead to win in style. Both Ocean Princess and C’est La Vie made steady progress to come from a long way back to finish third and fourth respectively.

Starrer definitely looks a good type and Palazzio Grazioli too should give a good account of himself sooner than later. At the presentation podium, Mr Khushro Jalnawala said, ”This is the first time that I have sponsored a Million race in memory of my mother. I am thrilled at the response I received and I wish to state that next year it would be a Muilti-Million race.”

Just before the presentation began, he had in a unique gesture honoured Starrer by putting a medallion around the horse’s neck. When asked about this Khusro replied,”The horses are the real champions, the supreme athletes who do all the hard work and win the races. Hence they are the truly deserving candidates for this honour. The medallion is in recognition of his glorious feat,” he added.

The combine of owner Haresh Mehta, trainer Mansoor Shah and Bangalore-based Champion Jockey Suraj Narredu was in sizzling form reaping three winners that included a back-to-back double in the first two races of the day. Golden Grace (Ontario-Arctic Snow) showed good fitness and drive as he stalked the leader Fasination until the turn. Once into the straight, Suraj guided Golden Grace to the front and the Masoor Shah trainee accelerated ably to snuff out any possible challenge.

Golden Grace won the opening race gracefully sparing over two lengths to the fast finishing Tommy Carmaichael. Saddlers Rule ran on from the rear end of the field and probably needed this run. Culcrieff ended a tame fourth. Fire Vault, in the very next race, fought back gallantly to thwart a sustained challenge from Living The Dream as the duo fought out every inch of the final furlong.

Fire Vault went for it from the start with Deep Purple, Ariane, Living The Dream and Forever Amber following in a single file. Living The Dream improved as they galloped along to run just one behind Fire Vault at the turn. Into the straight, it was clear that the duo in front was far ahead as they began to fight for supremacy. Living The Dream got past Fire Vault for a stride or two but could not sustain for too long.

Fire Vault never really let Living The Dream out of sight and Suraj relentlessly kept him going. Even with less than 50 metres to go, it looked even Stevens for the pair but in the last couple of strides Fire Vault went all for broke and surged ahead to emerge victorious in a hard-fought battle. If the Mehta camp had their money on a treble culminating on Dream Talk, then it was like the kind of stuff a punter’s dreams are made of! Dream Talk sat unperturbed even as Grey Phantom marched on to a runaway lead.

Grey Phantom was well clear into the straight and Dream Talk was still third in the running. Dream Talk unhurriedly set about cutting down the lead and within split seconds had not only gone past the leader but stormed ahead for a ridiculously easy victory. Grey Phantom, in turn, ended second just under four lengths ahead of The First Lady, with Lampard managing to finish in the frame.

Hormuz Antia’s Manitou Splendour somewhat spoiled the Haresh Mehta juggernaut beating Perpetuation, another fancied runner from that camp in the last race. Manitou Splendour charged into the lead soon on straightening for home. Perpetuation quickly set about in chase but even before they hit the distance post it was clear that the chase was a futile effort.

Manitou Splendour pulled off yet another well-backed victory for Antia and looks good for an encore as well. Suzy Wong showed glimpses of promise and could have a good day soon over a slightly longer distance. El Tropico (Juniper-Nature’s Miracle) was perhaps the most impressive winner of the day. Trainer Sunderji has done a great job in nursing this gelding who looked a picture of fitness.

Schnell grabbed the lead soon on start with El Tropico, Forever Young and Agha following close behind. As they turned for home, Schnell kept the momentum going but soon El Tropico flexed his muscles and shot ahead unleashing a powerful gallop leaving no chance for any of his rivals to make a race of it. El Tropico romped home demolishing the opposition to lift the Her Majesty Trophy justifying the cramped odds the bookmakers offered.

Forever young was prominent until the turn but finished poorly. Forever Young might just have had a bad day in office and this run may best be ignored. The Mayor’s Trophy was touted as a two-horse contest and certainly lived up to that billing. Only Constantina (King’s Best-Polenta) won a lot more easily than the pre-race speculations.

Reinstate made the initial running with Tintoretto, Zillionaire, Constantina, Fire Spark and Adams Prince following closely. Into the straight, Zillionaire went ahead quickly past Reinsitate, but did not have an answer when Constantina started to apply pressure. Constantina gained smoothly to get past Zillionaire and surged further ahead to win the Mayor’s Cup in an impressive manner.

Suraj (Major Impact-Zienelle) came under some real hard ridding from DS Rathore to scamper home thwarting a serious challenge from favourite Suavemente. After tracking the leader Golden Kingdom most of the way, Suraj went past the leader soon on straightening up. In doing so, Suraj did tighten Golden Kingdom. Soon Suavemente made his final move and started to reduce the lead set by Suraj.

The chasers included Suavemente and Golden Kingdom too who renewed his charge but the gritty Suraj just about managed to reach the winning post in time. Tyumen never really made an impact but the top three finished closely.