- india's first & foremost horse racing portal

Star of Killarney Cruises to Victory

By Mahendra Mallya | 16 Jul 2010 | PUNE

Mr. Prem Tharani & Trainer Adil Dajee leading Star Of Killarney (Imran Chisty Up), winner of The Velvet Rope Trophy

Star of Killarney, ridden by Imran Chisty, justified the trust reposed in him by a majority of race goers, while claiming the Velvet Rope Trophy, the feature of Friday’s racing at Pune. One could hear a few voices from the Grand Stand in support of Titleist, when Star of Killarney started to drift out in the final run in but the hardliners were convinced that the race was in control of the ‘Star’. Frenchman Ladjadj Stephane, who had ridden Showstopper to victory on Thursday, turned out to be one himself on the second day, booting home three winners.

All the three were schooled by Narender Lagad. Stephane started the day by steering Blush to the front from the word ‘go’ to score an encore. The well-backed Pound Foolish was in futile chase throughout. Tequila was sighted a winner as she took charge near the Club House, in the higher division of the Nectar Queen Plate. The favourite, Wilna, warmed up late and could only get to the runner-up berth while Ariane and Bluebird filled the frame.

The lower division was won by Forward Charge with Stephane opting to ride in ‘copy book’ style. Settling behind the early leader, Fish Pilot, the Frenchman made a ‘Forward Charge’ on entering the home stretch. All that Admiral’s Quest could do was to chase the winner to the winning post. Pesi Shroff, who ruled over Mumbai, led in only one winner in the day but that turned out to be one of the most smashing victors.

Flaming Arrow had a five-length lead when the heads turned for home and the Pune straight being relatively short, Suraj Narredu’s victory on the ‘Arrow’ looked to be the final outcome. The young lad, Zervan, who is fresh from his stint at Bangalore brought Strelitzia from way off the pace with a sparkling turn of foot to get the nod in his favour at the wire that probably left the ‘Flaming’ camp dumbfounded.

While Strelitzia’s win was evident to the naked eye, it was difficult even for the digital camera to separate Untouched and Calypso Dancer, in the higher division of the Wiggles Plate. The judge had to call for a photo and after an agonizing wait of almost five minutes, ‘Luck’ favoured Untouched. Going into the race, Secret Talk was sighted first on the straight but was quickly overtaken by Untouched and The Right Man.

As the duo set out on a fight, Calypso Dancer made a valiant bid in between but failed to get the verdict in his favour. San Rafael set a cracking pace followed by Caramel, Serenity and Sun Elegance in tow, in the lower division of the Sweet Memories Plate. Prakash had no difficulty in steering Serenity to the front on entering the straight and the filly responded with a clean pair of heels.

The second in demand at the betting ring, Sun Elegance, could only admire Serenity’s galloping action from the runner-up berth. Sea Value claimed the higher division with an impressive performance. The public choice Illuminate started to come under pressure from Sea Warrior in the last 300 metres.

Sea Value, travelling last till the top of the straight, came up with a sparkling acceleration to overhaul the fighting duo with ease. The manner in which Sea Value decimated the opposition suggests an early win in the near future. The heavily fancied Highland Bounty made it a pillar-to-post victory in the concluding race of the day under the handling of apprentice P. Trevor.