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“Enlightenment is The Special One for Me” - Malesh

By Mahendra Mallya | 15 Aug 2011 | PUNE

Mr Jaydev M Mody & trainer M Narredu leading Enlightenment (Y S Srinath Up), winner of The Pra Independence Million

Jaydev Mody’s Enlightenment (Razeen – Forest Treasure) romped home to an easy victory in contrast to what was expected to be a closely fought race. The Malesh Narredu-trained gelding won the PRA Independence Million with awesome authority, practically unchallenged!

Settling into the third spot behind Ashwa Parvez and Solar Angel, Enlightenment moved at a steady gallop and looked formidable soon on turning for home. The entire field of 15 runners were racing in close order and it looked anybody’s race when they went past the 800 m mark. However, Enlightenment accelerated powerfully soon on straightening up and pulled away with a majestic turn of foot. The big fella, ridden by jockey YS Srinath dashed every opponent’s hope well and truly even before coming into the final furlong. All along the mile and quarter journey, Srinath seemed confident in every move he made. He took charge while still taking the final bend, tackling Azul who threatened to surge ahead. Srinath did not allow that and piloted Enlightenment to a decisive lead and Enlightenment, thereafter, never looked in danger. It was indeed victory achieved with surprising ease.

“Enlightenment is showing remarkable improvement with every run. He is a big strong horse with a heart to match. He has had his share of problems and has taken it well. I am happy the kind of progress he has shown. He will remain special to me since he gave me rousing start to my new career as trainer,” said Malesh Narredu.

The trophy for the PRA Independence Million was an attractive one, conspicuous by its size, almost as large as the diminutive frame of the former jockey. Fortunately, it was the powerfully built Mr Jaydev Mody who received the gigantic trophy.

Botswana (Inspiring Spirit – Kerataka) kept the trends of flying starts that jockeys wearing the Green silks with red sash, partnering the juveniles from the Shroff yards are now producing for owners’ combine of Shirke, Dhunjibhoy and Berjis Desai with their debutantes. Apprehensions about Botswana, if any, were when she was being loaded. She had to be withdrawn last time when she dropped her rider and bolted away, hence there was a collective sigh of relief when the promising filly entered the gates after minimum fuss. Thereafter, it was smooth sailing for Botswana save a little anxiety when Follow The Dream was at the helm of affairs with a furlong to go.

Botswana, who was quick at start, raced in the third position and made her move in the final 350 m. Follow The Dream looked good in the first half of the straight and when jockey Malcolm Kharadi went for the stick, a few hearts must have been thumping. But not for long! Botswana, took a split second to warm up and when she did, she converged upon the two in front – Follow the Dream and Arctic Minstrel and shot ahead. If there was more ground, the margin of victory would have been a lot more than the length and half verdict. Follow The Dream and Arctic Minstrel were both beaten by a better horse and both can hope for better results soon.

The Pune Sub-Area Trophy went to the Wadhawan camp, Star Zone from the Katrak yard bringing home the trophy. Sterling Silver was the first to enter the straight and it was only until here that she held charge. Star Zone (Ontario – Dead End) swooped on the leader and darted ahead to establish a handy lead which proved decisive in the end. At the distance post, Star Zone was well clear, which is when Zaracha found a fast rhythm. Zaracha began to gain ground at a good rate but Star Zone had enough in the kitty to last out up to the winning post. Zaracha ran a close second while Sterling Silver held on to finish in the money, a length ahead of Crowned Princess.

Su Chaliyo (Royal Kingdom – Bajo Grande) with Rajendra astride won the Highland Rule Trophy but not in as facile manner as he did in his previous triumph. He took a while before surging past the friendless Clarion Call who called the shots until past the final furlong. Su Chaliyo was galloping alongside White Knight all the way until the turn. He made his move soon on coming into the straight but did not pass Clarion Call as expected. The duo grappled for a couple of strides before Su Chaliyo surged ahead closer home. White Knight was a little inconvenienced but was quick to finish on well to beat Clarion Call for the second spot. The three others were simply not up to it.

Matilda (Diffident – Persa) came good after she disappointed her followers in her last start. This time there was no anxiety as she caused no fear in the minds of her backers and scored an emphatic victory going clear once in the straight. Zeki, the other well-fancied runner and the main challenger to the favourite came with a late flourish but only when all was over. Matilda was well in control throughout the race, and it won’t be surprising if she would provide an encore.

Capitano (Major Impact – Trace Of Magic) created a flutter with a solid display to win on debut. The Narendra Lagad ward shared the lead role with Divine Splendor all the way into the straight. However, once in the homestretch, Capitano quickened very well and sailed ahead at a fair clip to outpace the rest. He looked the winner long way from home. Blessed toiled hard to pick up the runner-up berth while Mountain Fairy criss-crossed her way and managed to finish alongside Blessed a shade ahead of Divine Splendor.

Running Sun (Alnasr Alwasheek – Radiate) gave a scintillating display and hacked the opposition in The Eau De Vie Plate. Chasing Sea Shower for the most part of the mile trip, Running Sun powered his way to the front and won with ridiculous ease. There was no challenge whatsoever at any point and he was all by himself in the final furlong. Running Sun blazed away impressively and an encore is not ruled out. Tora Bora bled and could not raise a gallop in the straight. Go Guzzi Go disappointed and finished an insignificant fourth. Halo Of Fame was the only one to improve in the straight and rightly deserved the second spot.

Batista (Glory Of Dancer – Kilshannig) adapted to Naren’s stable’s major tactic of going for it from the word go and reaped rich rewards. Jockey Akash Agarwal sent Batista to the front soon on jumping out of the gates. The well-backed Ocean Legacy and Bullet were hot on his trail while Saints N Sinners and Highland Flame were never in serious contention. Batista kept the scorching pace going and was solid right through not cowering to constant threats coming chiefly from the favourite Ocean Legacy, with Bullet only making noise but no bite from the rails. Batista easily managed to stay ahead sparing a length-and-a-half to Ocean Legacy thus dishing out a good show.

Ashwa Prahar (Serious Spender – Sweet Memento) had to fight his way to the winning post and did encounter stiff resistance in the straight. Stylish Strokes, Tag Along Tommy, Wild Imagination and Ashwa Prahar was the prominent quartet at the helm. Of these, only Stylish Strokes dropped out of contention. Tag Along Tommy had hardly taken over when Ashwa Prahar came alongside to match strides. Wild Imagination, who was stuck for room, soon joined the tussle and made the finish interesting. The trio were hard at it but it was again the efforts of Dashrath Singh that tilted the scales in Ashwa Prahar’s favour. Dashrath has been in sublime form and is riding with aplomb. Tag Along Tommy was again subjected to a narrow loss which must be quite frustrating. He has gone so close yet not managed to add the finishing touch on so many occasions. Wild Imagination surely lost an opportunity but has it in him to make a telling comeback.

Constanza (Ontario – Constantia) pulled off the biggest upset of the day with a blazing start-to-finish victory. Favourite Warrior Prince broke a blood vessel and was out of it. However, Constanza made it up for owner Haresh Mehta, by ensuring he led-in a winner. Constanza hit the front soon at start and went at a brisk pace and stole a march, leading by a huge margin entering the straight. That lead proved too much for the rest to cover and Constanza put that comfort to good use to score untroubled. Ocean Touch could only manage to finish on closer and reduce the margin. Magical Mantra galloped on and ended third while Ashwa Prayag improved well to end a close fourth.

For the professionals, trainers Narendra Lagad and Faisal Abbas saddled a double each while C Rajendra was the sole jockey to score a brace.