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Dear Liza Wins Paranjpe Juvenile Gold Cup

By Mahendra Mallya | 12 Sep 2009 | PUNE

Owner Mr. Farouq K Rattonsey & trainer S S Shah leading Dear Liza (P Kamlesh Up), winner of The Paranjape Juvenile Gold Cup

Dear Liza (Glory of Dancer – Inventive) won the Paranjpe Juvenile Gold Cup showing good consistency and marked improvement over her last two forward runs thwarting a late but stiff challenge coming from long shot Track Thunder in the final furlong. The favourite Blazing Spectacle and the next in demand Hunter Bay both were listless and failed to even figure in the frame. Dear Liza was up in front alongside Blazing Spectacle soon on start. Hunter Bay too was close up with the duo. Satsuma Star was not too alert at the gates but recovered quickly to be in the mid-bunch at the turn.

Into the straight, Dear Liza accelerated quickly and gained a few lengths and was comfortably ahead at the distance post. Blazing Spectacle was not galloping as desired and was fading away being passed by Peregrine Falcon who seemed the only one prominent. Track Thunder warmed up well but was a bit too late to show up. He, however, gained considerable ground under the whip and ended almost alongside the winner. Supreme Emperor was the one to cover a lot of ground and ran on to finish a close fourth on the tail of peregrine Falcon.

“I was confident that Dear Liza would give a good account of herself,” said Mr SS Shah to Indiarace. “She has been consistent and has shown good improvement during her prep work. She is speedy and I wanted her to go into the front early. Kamlesh did just what was asked of him and the filly held on nicely. I will rest her now and target her for the early race days in Mumbai,” said the veteran trainer, content that the filly had earned decent stake money along with a sparkling Gold Trophy presented by the Paranjpe Group.

Versaki (Verglas – Ghassak) stretched his run of victories to five. Nevertheless, the purists might not be too gung-ho about the manner. To my eye, he won well, although I felt he was erratic to an extent. He was up with the pace, rather too keen initially and jockey Rajendra had to use all his might to keep him in check. Versaki soon settled down and galloped smoothly just behind Priapus who led the field into the straight. At the turn, it appeared that every single runner in the fray had one common intent – to topple Versaki! They bunched up together each one spreading across the turf to get a clear run. By then, Versaki had easily gone past Priapus and sped ahead. Rajendra too must have felt some pressure as he cracked the colt approaching the distance post. Versaki responded by shifting out a little as though running a bit green but in the end, he never even gave a hope to Veera Wang who was clearly the next best after Versaki.

In Versaki’s ‘narrow’ 1¼ L victory and the timing of 1:55.18, rival camps may seem hopeful about him having some chinks in his armour, but make no mistake, Versaki has a lot more potential than he displayed on the day. He has the stamina and we have seen his speed. Versaki will only get better. His eyes ought to be firmly set on the Indian 2000 Guineas and with a degree of optimism as well!

Amore Mio and Arabian Champ won the Divisions I & II of the Yogender Singh Trophy in an identical finish with the winners prevailing by a hundredth of a second over their respective challengers.

Amore Mio (Razeen – Forest Treasure), who sailed smoothly past Fluent Victory and Suavemente soon after the turn, was given a run for her money by Estatica who came alongside almost immediately. The pair fought out the final 300 meters with the advantage clearly titled towards Amore Mio. Estatica too finished on powerfully and the pair were locked together at the post. Amore Mio was adjudged the winner with the skimpiest of margins. Both Suraj Narredu astride Amore Mio and Srinath atop Estatica were in their elements and the racing spectators must have got their money’s worth watching the two going all out for the winning post.

In the Division II of the Trophy, a similar ending unfolded. Arabian Champ (Major Impact – Freedom Cry) and Golden Knight provided a scintillating finish. Balas Best led the field homeward, but was struggling to sustain his two-length lead. Arabian Champ and Golden Knight were moving together and covering ground rapidly. At the distance post, Balas Best was overpowered by Arabian Champ and Golden Knight both going hammer and tongs. Kamlesh astride the hot favourite was vigorously pushing the Altaf Hussain Trainee while Sailesh Shinde was doing his best on the Goldie Brown colours. They fought every inch of the homestretch until the last stride. The winning post arrived just in time for Arabian Champ whose large followers must have had strained vocal chords even before the judge announced the result in favour of the favourite and with Amore Mio later in the day it would only get worse, or should I be saying ‘hoarse’?

The Rising (Forest Fair – Miss Padmini) won at lucrative odds and won well. Taking on a strong bunch of sprinters, The Rising hit the front from the start and grew only stronger in the straight. All the way until the straight, Arkhos was tracking The Rising. Athena and Premier Perception were at the rear end of the field, but not too far behind. They entered the straight in close order but The Rising accelerated far better than the rest suing up the issue long way from home. Arkhos ran on and retained the second spot from Premier Perception who managed to get past Elementto Angel on the last couple of strides. Athena failed to make a mark.

The Giant (Serious Spender – Cadenza) showed that he has improved considerably by putting on a strong run full of steam and corner glory in a close three way finish. Tromos was very jumpy even before the race and threw a lot of tantrums at the gates. Poor Srinath faced the brunt when Tromos grew fractious and threw him off. Then Tromos kicked back violently and broke the inner railing. Fortunately, no one including Tromos was hurt and the Club’s vet certified him fit to take part in the race. However, Tromos, though the prime choice in the betting, failed to show the energy in the race and made no impact at all.

It was The Giant who conserved his energy which came in handy in the final furlong of the gruelling distance when he defiantly fought off a stiff challenge from Thanda first and then from a peppy Clarion Call who finished on with a fiery burst as the three whizzed past the winning post. The Giant winning by his nose from Clarion Call and a neck behind came Thanda.

Sea Value flopped badly and Classic Ruler took the advantage of the tilt in scales and romped home leaving the hapless Sea Value to be content with the runner up berth. Classic Ruler, always in box seat, went for the run on the outside after Sea Value had taken over from Hidden Danger in the straight. A couple of cracks is all Classic Ruler needed to surge past Sea Value and stretch further away to post an emphatic victory.

Secret Talk (Warrshan – Winning Talk) won the day’s first race from the word go. Glory of Love garnered very strong support in the ring but just couldn’t come up with a winning gallop. Tracking the leader Secret Talk all the way to the straight, Glory of Love tried hard but to no avail. Secret Talk, with jockey DS Rathore atop, drew away and won readily. With this win, Rathore completed his first milestone of ten winners and henceforth is eligible to claim only 3½ kilo allowance and earned the right to use the whip. Strike it Rich covered a lot of ground to peg back Glory Of Love for the place money finishing behind Secret Agenda who has been consistently hitting the board.

For the professionals, trainer CD Katrak and jockeys Rajendra and P Kamlesh scored a double each.