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Lake Winnipeg Wins The Potential Champion Trophy

By Mahendra Mallya | 06 Aug 2011 | PUNE

Mr Prem Tharani & trainer Dallas Todywalla leading Lake Winnipeg (Suraj Narredu Up) winner of The Potential Champion Trophy

Lake Winnipeg (China Visit – All Spice) with Suraj Narredu on board made most of the last-minute withdrawal of hot favourite Botswana and how! The Dallas Todywalla-trainee jumped out well and settled into the third position, close behind early leaders Borderline and Prize Fighter. He made his move soon on turning for home taking charge from Prize Fighter past the 400. Lake Winnipeg started to gather momentum and once in the lead, he accelerated well to ensure he reigned supreme all the way to the winning post. Although Lake Winnipeg looked big in the paddock yet won with a measure of comfort. This half-brother to Red Romeo romped to a no-sweat victory and looks a good prospect to add a few more as he matures.

Moments earlier, the highly thought-of Botswana dislodged her jockey B Prakash while being led into the gates. She then turned around bolted anti-clock-wise to run through the backstretch. Prakash escaped unhurt. He was, however, taken to hospital where he was advised to be kept under observation. Red Sensation too, slipped out of the gates in front and bolted. Both horses were duly withdrawn.

The August Handicap, once the favourite race of the ‘ladies’ man’ erstwhile trainer Uttam Singh, provided a double for Suraj Narredu and the Wadhawan camp. The lead kept changing with Athos giving way to Charlie Cool, who in turn surrendered it to Good Looking coming into the straight. Skyway lost position early in the race as the inside draw (2) left her stuck closer to the rails and the horses from the outside draw rushed inwards. Srinath had to weave his way around horses to make his bid from wide outside. Meanwhile, Suraj Narredu made steady progress gaining positions with each furlong to be a prominent second entering the straight.

Good Looking could not match the power-striding of Mountain Warrior (Senure – Lone Star) who shot ahead past the 400. Lake Michigan and Gossip were fighting hard to be in the reckoning but neither could make an impact on either of the top two finishers. Skyway did reduce the margin towards the finish and went down fighting, by a length. Lake Michigan ended third just under three lengths while Gossip edged out Good Looking for a place in the frame.

Su Chaliyo (Royal Kingdom – Bajo Grande) scored a fluent victory in the Great Strides Plate and did he produce some ‘great strides’ himself! Settling behind the leader Star Of Roses, Su Chaliyo got into a fine rhythm and travelled beautifully. Camacho, Solor and Dancing Dame followed in a file. Su Chaliyo mounted his challenge early in the straight and sailed into the lead past Star Of Roses. Once in the lead, Su Chaliyo looked impressive and in no danger. He zipped further away and even the late effort from Dancing Dame made no impact on the winner. Dancing Dame, however, had a good lung opener and should do well. Camacho ended a short-head behind Dancing Dame and would do well over the extended trip. Star Of Roses too had a good lung-opener and it would pay to keep an eye on Star of Roses as well.

Royal Highness (Royal Kingdom – Romantic Heights) impressed yet again with a scintillating stretch-run. She was not too prominent until the final run-in though. It was Alexus, who was fighting gamely with Bold Dancer for the lead with 400 to go. Tell Me More was desperately stuck for room and Shirkant Kamble was dilly-dallying for too long at crucial stage and could not ride out freely for an agonisingly prolonged period. Royal Highness charged forward in the final furlong just as Tell Me More was being switched to the outside. Roushan had Royal Highness in full flow charging towards the winning post while Tell Me More just began to put his best foot forward. This glitch proved fatal for Tell Me More and he had to be content with the runner-up berth. Royal Highness won by a narrow margin. Tell Me More will live to fight another day.

Sledgehammer disappointed in the last race of the day. Alford showed surprising keenness to urge the top weight to the front, niggling and goading the colt even before the turn. At the business end, Sledgehammer had little left and petered out of the scene and could not even figure in the frame. Rigel (Glory of Dancer – Twin Star), on the other hand, was ridden astutely by Rajendra who substituted for Prakash. Rajendra allowed Rigel to settle well and then made gradual progress. Rajendra brought the Shroff gelding into striking distance at the top of the straight without spending much, and finished on full of steam. Rigel won handsomely by a good four lengths. Agni Baan was ridden hard to beat Ocean Admiral for the runner-up berth.

Malischka was strongly fancied to win the day’s opener. However, Ocean Of Faith and Blush too had their fair share of supporters. It turned out that the three prime contenders slugged it out in the straight. Ocean Of Faith looked good coming into the straight, still on a tight rein even as Malischka was off the bridle. Ocean of Faith held his ground when confronted by Malischka but the final assault from Blush (Fasliyev – Eastern Sky) did him in. Blush arrived late on the scene and was resolute in her finish. She caught up with the fighting duo and easily surged past them to post a convincing victory.

Awesomeness (Juniper – Nature’s Miracle) proved that she did not belong to the lowest class and dished out a facile victory under the handling of apprentice whip-less jockey Kavraj Singh. Hitting the front soon on start, Awesomeness galloped on with complete disregard to the field behind. She got stronger in the straight and stretched away to accomplish her immediate task on hand, dishing out the most impressive victory of the day. Jen’s Glory found the winner too good and ended next best yet again. Etiquette improved from the mid-field to end in the money.

Sheriff (Key Of Luck – Hygirl) pulled off the biggest upset of the day with an almost start-to-finish victory over the mile-and-quarter The Star Comrade Plate. Taking over from Apache Indian in the back-stretch, Sheriff never let off his steel-like grip on the race all through the race. Moneybags lost a distance at the start and was completely out of the reckoning. Money For Nothing, one of the prime fancies, languished in the rear and made her bid very late and ended a noteworthy third. Apache Indian showed consistency and finished on to run a good second.

For the professionals, trainer Narendra Lagad scored a double and jockeys Suraj Narredu and C Rajendra scored a double each.