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Lake Michigan Scores Authoritative Victory

By Mahendra Mallya | 25 Sep 2011 | PUNE

Mr Prem Tharani & trainer Dallas Todywalla leading Lake Michigan (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Sweet Memories Trophy

Lake Michigan (Mr. Mellon – Pacific Fleet) was the strong fancy to return victorious with the Sweet Memories Trophy and the half-money favourite obliged in a convincing fashion. Settling into the second position behind early leader Gatravat, Lake Michigan improved nearing the 600 m maker and surged past the leader as they turned for home. Combined Operation also moved up and tried to match strides. He gained a bit initially but never was a cause of worry to the favourite. Celestial Call who also had his share of followers, was stuck on the rails, and had to be switched out to make his final bid. In the final furlong, Lake Michigan although shifting out under pressure, galloped on ahead to win comfortably. Combined Operation managed to stave off Celestial Call in his bid to end runner-up.

Velocita (Ikhtyar – infinite) was available at nourishing odds as Mountain Prince garnered the maximum support with Bretton Woods also attracting a fair amount of betting interests. Then there was Mishri who had many takers as well.

Soon on jumping out, Flashforward shot into the lead and had a tightly packed field following him. Fairy Queen, Mountain Prince, Velocita and Mishri along with That’s My Master were all in close attendance. Bretton Woods has hemmed in between horses.

Velocita did not wait long to surge ahead and soon galloped away and stole a march. This move proved a cinch, as the rest were left to cover a lot of ground in the straight. Srinath with some strong riding ensured that Velocita did not weaken in the final stages. Mishri shifted to the outside and made a gallant bid, devouring ground with optimism. Rajendra had the filly in full flow in the final furlong but fell just short of collaring Velocity, ending a neck behind the winner. Mountain Prince ended a tame third. Fairy Queen can return with some positives having ended in the frame after being in the front for most of the seven-furlong journey.

Trainer Narendra Lagad saddled a fine double scoring in the day’s opener and the fourth race of the day. Flashing Sword (Warrshan – Rainbow Flash) provided an ideal start for Narendra and the punters alike as he strode to an impressive victory with a sizzling homerun. Getting off from the gates in a flash, Flashing Sword kept steel like grip on the race, dictating his own pace right through. Lake beauty and Auraria simply could match up and both wilted out of sight in the straight. Flashing Sword stuck close to the rails and shot further ahead straight as an arrow with the speed to match. He drew further away and romped home for a facile victory. Young offender improved considerably and was looking to finish second, but Star of Zoltan came alive when all was over to wrest the runner-up berth, pegging back Young Offender close to the winning post. Lady Black Star too improved to find a place in the frame.

Naren’s second winner came when lesser fancied Titleist (Emerald Cat – Noble Anchor) pulled off an emphatic victory to win the Div I of the Dr Sardeshmukh Maharaj Trophy. Favourite Red Passion was quick to lead the pack but was soon joined by Titleist on the outside. These two never allowed any other contender to get past. Entering the straight, it was clear that the race was confined to these two and Red Passion holding a thin advantage until the distance post. Titleist warmed up well by then and quickened well in the final furlong to snuff out the challenge of his long time companion. Titleist won drawing away. Red Passion managed to stay second just ahead of the fast finishing Golden Creek. The others were never in the hunt, though Josephine came from too far back and skirted around horses in the straight to end a far away sixth.

The Div II of the above race was won in a canter by Irresistible Hunk (Alnasr Alwasheek – Classical Elegance) who literally bullied the opposition to submission. Hitting the front right from start, Irresistible Hunk got stronger after turning for home and stayed away from any competition all the way to the post. Wild Imagination ran to get past Viva La Diva to finish a decent second and looks a good one to note over the scurry next time out. Viva La Diva ended third implying that if given time, she could soon have her day. Daughter of Destiny (Bluegrass Prince – Windermere Star) chose the “Daughter’s Day” to come good as she put in a strong finishing effort to shock Laurus Pride who looked good until the Adhirajsingh Jodha trainee appeared on the scene. Laurus Pride came into the straight with a handy lead and with Malischka getting nowhere; he looked good to carry on. Even at the distance post, he seemed clear of the rest, which is when Daughter of Destiny produced a brilliant gallop to overwhelm Laurus Pride close home. Musical Rhapsody turned up far too late, yet ran a notable third.

The Jodhas (jockey included) nearly pulled off a back to back double with Adams Vision, who all but won the last race. The heavily supported Octopaul came flying towards the finish and spoilt the party for Adams Vision. Octopaul rose from behind and came up with a cracking pace to just head Adams Vision on the wire. This was an exceptional run and Octopaul looks due for an encore. Calypso Queen ended a good third.