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Ecstatica Wins IG Oktoberfest Trophy in Style

By Mahendra Mallya | 10 Oct 2009 | PUNE

Ecstatica (Y S Srinath up), winner of The Indo German Oktoberfest Trophy

The beer flowed at Pune racecourse Members’ Lawns and the band played authentic German music introducing a true taste of the most popular Munich Oktober fest celebrated in Germany and attended by millions from across the globe.

“The Oktober fest is a highly enjoyable event and a great tourist attraction. We have visitors from all over the world participating in the Oktober fest each year. It is a lot of fun, frolic and the party goes on into the wee hours,” explained Mr Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General – IGCC to Indiarace. “We attempt to bring in a German flavour to Pune and what better introduction than the Oktober fest? It was lovely and rewarding to see the people having a good time and I am happy to see the intent served so well and I am talking only about the first day. Sunday will only get bigger and better. The weather is perfect and the racing scenario only adds to the excitement. We are encouraged to come back next year with an even bigger event,” he concluded with a smile.

On the racetrack, Ecstatica (Senure – Star Shine) produced a fast finish in the straight. However, it was not all smooth sailing for the favourite. Tyumen provided the challenge to stretch the Ecstatica all the way to the winning post. Estatica could have also got into traffic snarls approaching the turn but the quick thinking Srinath decisively moved to the outside and chose to take the turn widest of all.

“I didn’t mind travelling a little distance more but did not want to get the filly stuck between horses,” said jockey Srinath to Indiarace. “She is light and small filly and was striding well. The horses were bunched up and I chose the longer path not wanting the filly to get any check at the crucial stage. I was wide at the turn but that hardly worried me as Ecstatica was responding with a nice rhythm and she readily went into the front. I though she won well although it was a hard race for her. She has had her share of fitness issues but she felt just fine today and she will be even better in Mumbai,” said Srinath

Suavemente worked up a huge lead early on but faded away at the turn. Tyumen seized the initiative entering the straight alongside was Chanakya. As they straightened Ecstatica bounded forward and surged into the lead. Once ahead, Ecstatica maintained narrow lead and was constantly made aware of the presence of both Tyumen and Chanakya. Srinath, with some hard riding ensured that Ecstatica remained ahead as they crossed the wire. Patek Philippe completed the frame.

Phenomenale (Montjeu – Contrarian) made an impressive comeback on the Pune track registering a not-too-laboured victory over Swahili in the Sir Sultan Trophy. Flashing Flame led the small field of five until past the 600 and soon Swahili took charge. Phenomenale was stalking Swahili entering the straight. Swahili led for a short while as Rajendra was alerting the Shroff trainee who lit up at the distance post. In the final 100 meters, Phenomenale proved too good for Swahili and won stretching the margin of victory. For a filly who sustained a hip fracture in Mumbai, Phenomenale showed fantastic fitness and trainer Pesi Shroff and Dr Feroz Khambatta who treated her, need to be complimented for their efforts and the result achieved.

Star Future (Diffident – Sure Future) won the Prudential Champ Trophy despite not having the best of starts. In fact, there was an objection lodged by M Narredu, the rider of Xisca for infringement at the gates, which was overruled by the Stewards. Star Future seemed all at see in her first assignment and jockey Imran Chisty had to give her a couple of cracks to alert her to the task. The gelding from trainer Adil Dajee’s yard soon improved and covered ground rapidly to be well in touch with leaders Rob N Rob, Star Vision and Ocean Clipper. Once into the straight, Star Future dictated the terms displaying better temperament in the second half of the race. He won drawing away. Xisca wove her way through horses and ended a notable third behind Ocean Clipper.

Angelo (Razeen – Alix) won the Strengthtostrength Trophy very impressively by over five lengths. Settling into the third behind River Memories and Tell Me More. Wilna, Rio Del Ray both disappointed and were never in the hunt. River Memories brought the well-spread field into view. Tell Me More was in distress at the turn and faded out. Angelo came alongside River Memories early in the straight, and needed only a tap from Suraj Narredu to surge forward and lengthen his strides away from River Memories who held on to the runner up berth.

Soophie (Pennine Ridge – Ganadora) won the Kir Royale Plate div I in a fluent manner. Perhaps with a tiny bit of self-inflicted anxiety owing to a ‘victory-taken-for-granted’ attitude of Srinath in the final few strides. Soophie was alert at the start and took the lead along with Rule Of Law. Cerntreofattention was slightly slowly off and remained at the tail end till well into the straight. Soophie shook off lead partner Rule of Law early in the straight and was kicking on - all alone in front past the distance post. Srinath looked over his shoulder and finding no immediate threat, relaxed earlier than he might have otherwise. Cloud Cover pushed for it and although Soophie was still ahead, got close enough to be in touching distance at the winning post. Centreofattention did very well to get into the place money.

Little Warrior (Rock of Gibraltar – Speckled Band) put his last start lung opener to good use and notched up a facile victory with surprising ease. Hitting the front as the gates flung open, Little Warrior never looked back nor did Rajendra bother to, in the literal sense. River Gem who was in close attendance along with Rising Glory initially, was completely overwhelmed by Little Warrior who scored the day’s most emphatic victory with absolute disregard to the field. Orion Star covered good ground to run second ahead of front running Rising Glory. Little Warrior looks good for an encore.

If Little Warrior’s margin of victory was the longest for the day, the very next race saw the shortest. Highland Vision (Alnasr Alwasheek – Prenom Carmen) and Adam’s Law fought out inch-by-inch of the final furlong. Adam’s Law led them homewards and Highland Vision never let the leader out of sight. Adam’s law was ahead by a small margin and Highland Vision came up with a serious challenge past the distance post. The duo fought it out stride for stride and Highland Vision managed to crane his neck longer at the wire. Arabian Empire did well to run third after losing some ground at the start.

Generalissimo (General Monash – Pas de L’argent) finally earned a well-deserved victory after hovering around some good winners in the past. He was taking on a relatively poorer set than he has met in the past and seized the opportunity when it arrived. Racing in the rear for the most part of the race, Generalissimo improved after the turn and stormed ahead midway into the straight. Walking Tall left Frangipani behind after a brief tussle but had no answer to Generalissimo’s onslaught.

Originally Native Strategy finished third, but an objection by the rider of Misschevious Trot against Native Strategy was upheld and he was relegated to the fifth spot. Boony Light was the beneficiary getting elevated to third.

Trainer Magan Singh Jodha had to loosen his grip slightly on the first race as Chopasni after shaping like a winner was surprised in the last few strides by Full Throttle. Jockey Nirmal Jodha ironically, worked much harder before the turn on Full Throttle than he had to in the straight. Favourite Gold Biscuit ended a poor third without making any impact in the race.

Among the professionals P Shroff was the lone trainer to saddle a double. Jockeys C Rajendra, YS Srinath and Imran Chisty scored a double each.