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Ancient Wonder Thwarts Rajasthan Royals’ Aggression

By Mahendra Mallya | 08 Oct 2011 | PUNE

Trainer Mansoor Shah leading Ancient wonder (Y S Srinath Up), winner of The Indictment Trophy

Firm favourite Ancient Wonder (China Visit – Dazzling Queen) was stretched to the wire by an aggressive Rajasthan Royals in the Indictment Trophy. The small field of five was tightly packed all the way into the straight at a steady gallop set my Desert Rule. Ancient Wonder and Rajasthan Royals kept each other company until the bend. Ancient Wonder slipped through close from the rails and Rajasthan Royals skirted around Demonstrator to make his bid.

Ancient Wonder was quick to get past Desert Rule who succumbed easily when countered. Ancient Wonder then shot clear of the early leader and had accumulated a handy lead when Rajasthan Royals produced his now famous last burst. Jockey YS Srinath had to dig deep into his reserves as Rajasthan Royals was getting threateningly close with each stride. The final fifty saw a thrilling battle before the winning post came to the rescue of Ancient Wonder who held to dear life by a slender margin. Rajasthan Royals did all but win the race and was a trifle unfortunate not doing so.

Trainer Magan Singh Jodha and jockey CS Jodha combined well to pick both divisions of the Animal Welfare Board Trophy. The Division 1of the race saw Royal Honour oblige a strong following.

Highway Express went into the lead soon on start and was closely followed by Aflame, Royal Honour was quick to settle behind these two on the outside with Oluchi along the rails and they had Silver Lining between them. The rest were never in contention. Victory Road reared up awkwardly and was withdrawn at the gates.

Highway Express led them in and was soon joined by Aflame who looked to quicken well. Royal Honour swooped on the pair and took charge readily to trounce the duo in quick time and pull away for a fashionable victory. Aflame did well and ran a decent second ahead of Highway Express and Oluchi stayed put to end fourth.

Borderline (Hymn – Romodia) followed up his good run last time and created an upset of sorts when he produced a forceful burst that paled the effort of Ishpingo who had received solid support in the ring. Super Hero led early and had Festival Night chasing him, Borderline made quick progress and was on the tail of Super hero at the curve, while Ishpingo was improving position. Once they turned for home, Festival Night faded out and Borderline came alive with a scintillating gallop. Although Ishpingo tried hard, he could not get anywhere with Borderline who was too superior on the day. Ishpingo finished on well and this indeed was a suggestive run ad Ishpingo will mark his day sooner than later. Super Hero ended third.

Awesomeness (Juniper – Nature’s Miracle) scored a fashionable victory coming from behind and passing them all to post a facile victory. Glorious Miss shot into the lead and had Hammerhead and Native Lady following her. Smooth Operator was fourth and Awesomeness another couple of horses behind but had the front-runner within strike. Glorious Miss kept going and Hammerhead too was staying on with Native Lady alongside. Smooth Operator in his eagerness to surge ahead shifted in throwing Native Lady off her stride. Meanwhile, Awesomeness with Gallagher astride was produced on the outside clear of the jostling that was going on and Gallagher got the Karthik ward to sail past to win comfortably. Glorious Miss ran a good second and Hammerhead too was a prominent third.

Alma Mater (Royal Kingdom – La Pieta) provided an encore with another power-packed run to add to her debut start victory. This one was as authoritative as the earlier one if not better. Up in the front bunch soon after the jump, Alma Mater galloped effortlessly behind Snow Blaze and Esmeraldo. Once they turned for home, Alma Mater went smoothly past Snow Blaze and quickened exceedingly well. Jockey Zervan seemed in no hurry as he let Alma Mater run on her own merits and only guided her past the winning post well clear of Silk Cut who tried hard but had to be content with the second spot. Star Prince ended third.

Out Of My Way (Majestic Missile – Miss Danehill) was another one who followed up his debut victory with another successful outing. Home Alone brushed up and seemed in a hurry to take control and shot ahead past the 600 m mark. Into the straight, Home Alone darted ahead and built a handy lead, but Out of My Way charged in, caught up midway in the straight and then after a brief tussle, out-ran Home Alone to score an encore. Red Tabasco did well to come from way back and run into place money.

Rain Forest (Hurricane State – Deep In The Jungle) this time came up trumps and held on in a grim final-fifty fight. The race was reduced to a two horse contest as the others made no impression on the duo once they turned for home.

Rain Forest had a handy three-length lead and was travelling well too. Always Smile got alive approaching the distance post and started to inch closer. Jockey Sandesh showed a lot of resolve as he vigorously rode out Rain Forest to a well-fought victory over a game Always Smile. Ashwa Prahar ended a faraway third.

Musical Rhapsody (Mischevious Music – Hungarian Rhapsody) was ably assisted by in form jockey Dashrath Singh. Settling well up the pace over a mile trip, Musical Rhapsody was close behind Fantastic Kingdom and Secret Magic as they took the home turn. After taking the turn wider than he might have preferred, Dashrath Singh worked up a good pace with Musical Rhapsody and charged past the front runners and sped away for a fluent victory. Secret Magic resisted a bit but never looked like sustaining her effort. Mischevious Z ran on to end third.

Grant Park (Gaswar – Olympic Way) had been running consistently and was finally rewarded with the sweet taste of success and a well deserved one at that. Grant Park moved up resolutely and over powered his rivals in style and survived an objection too. Flying Star ended a fair second. Ocean Girl disappointed after being prominent in the straight.

Master Craft (Razeen - Magical Moments) earned his maiden victory in a tight finish and its credit to trainer Asad Siddiqui for maintaining the fitness of the ‘grand old man’ Master Craft who is all of eleven years of age. Master Craft took over from Winchester soon on turning for home and then fought bravely to ward off stiff challenges coming from Peregrine Falcon and Flying Tackle. The trio finished abreast with a neck and short head separating them. Arabian Empire did well to finish in the frame, coming from a long way back.

Auraria (Bee’s Prospector – Miss Padmini) won a real thriller spoiling the party for Watch Out on the last stride. Doctor No took to the lead with Mypethoney and Watch Out in close attendance. Auraria was a bit slowly off but an alert Dashrath Singh coxed her to make up ground steadily and was well in touch with the front bunch at the turn.

Watch Out quickened soon on turning for home and was swiftly devouring ground. Auraria came from the outside and challenged Watch Out with less than a furlong to go. The duo fought it out and in the nick of time, Dashrath had Auraria’s nose on the wire. Watch Out was a trifle unlucky to have missed out. McQueen covered a lot of ground in the straight to run a notable third.

For the professionals, trainer Magan Singh Jodha saddled a double and jockeys YS Srinath, Dashrath Singh and CS Jodha scored a brace each as well.