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El Tropico, Forever Young Win Impressively

By Mahendra Mallya | 29 Aug 2009 | PUNE

Mr Vivek Jain Trainer Imtiaz A Sait leading Forever Young (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Mystic Memory Trophy Div-II

El Tropicano and Forever Young notched up impressive victories in the Divisions I and II of the Mystic Memory Trophy on Saturday’s races this week in Pune. Both were strongly fancied and won their respective races with a measure of comfort.

El Tropicano (Juniper – Nature’s Miracle), ridden by B Prakash escaped a close call at the start as The Squall veered towards his right just as the gates flung open knocking onto Chancellor. El Tropicano, who was in the adjacent stall, was alert and darted to the front in a flash thereby avoiding a collision. Chancellor was certainly hampered, but recovered quickly to be well in touch with the front-runners.

El Tropicano stayed in charge, as they turned for home with Tudor Regent, Star Blaze and Dear Liza in close attendance followed by Chancellor and Ashridge who too was a bit slow at the start. Into the straight, El Tropicano accelerated further and jockey Prakash went for the whip in the last furlong just as a corrective measure as the colt was drifting in slightly. Dear Liza did raise hopes slipping in through the rails but found the winner too good. Chancellor managed to pip Tudor Regent for the place money.

Suraj Narredu eased Forever Young (Diffident – Carectere) into the lead soon on start and had his uncle M Narredu for company astride Rio Del Ray for most of the early part of the race. Once into the straight, Rio Del Ray found it tough to match strides and Forever Young started to stretch away. Baskerville and Triunfo tried hard to get closer to the leader, but Forever Young was striding nicely devouring ground at a brisk pace. Suraj only assisted Forever Young into a lovely rhythm and the Imtiaz trained filly got into a fiery gallop to stretch the margin of victory without a single crack. The filly notched up a facile victory and may score again. Watch out for both Triunfo and Baskerville.

Suraj, in the earlier race, shocked the favourite Ekhabinskya close to the winning post. Ekhabinskya had taken over the running as the field settled down and shaken off the pretender Appreciate at the turn. Sea Princess and the others were a good five lengths behind. Approaching the distance post, Ekhabinskya looked in command even as Sea Princess moved to top gear. It was in the final 50 metres that Sea Princess came in charging with a menacing finish, and that was good enough to peg back the favourite, a stride away from the post. Sea Princess had timed her run to a nicety and literally snatched the race from Ekhabinskya.

The other interesting and the closest finish in the day was the Wandering Angel Plate. It was an ominous start for the tote favourite as he got knocked at the start as Expensive Affair swerved left. Stud of Gold lost position and had to race at the tail end of the field with a wall of horses in front nearing the turn. With no option but to move out, jockey Pradeep went for the outside run and made his bid the widest of all. Mister Fixit who led the bunch gave in to Morpheus who looked threatening at the distance post. At this juncture, Adams Pleasure surged ahead and Stud of Gold too moved to challenge. The duo fought it out tooth and nail all of the last furlong and were deadlocked at the wire. I would not have ventured to put my money on the photo finish verdict and the close call went in favour of the Bezan Chinoy trainee. Medtias Pride ran a good third despite being squeezed for room at a crucial juncture. Keep an eye on this Magan ward over a scurry next time out.

Moon Flower (Alnasr Alwasheek – Raptures) scored a fine encore, DS Rathore piloting the Nina Lalwani trained filly to a smooth start to finish victory. Hitting the front as they settled down, Moon Flower worked up a healthy pace and led comfortably. Appalina, Salute The Star, Tell Me More raced in a close bunch, while Starfall and De Nada followed a couple of lengths away and Fish Pilot never recovering from the slow start. In the straight, Moon Flower quickened further and galloped away without a care to what was happening behind. Salute the Star tried hard to catch up but in vain. Moon Flower was too strong in her finish and extended the margin of victory. De Nada laboured her way to the post and could not even stop Tell Me More from taking the place money. Tell Me More did well to outpace De Nada.

Western Challenge flopped badly yet again. Silver Screen bolted into the lead as if on a sprint opening up a huge lead through the backstretch. The Giant moved into second and controlled the pace well, in complete disregard to the leader. Western Challenge sat just behind The Giant while Lightening Cavalry was working hard to keep up. Itsallaboutracing languished in the rear raising no hope at any time thorough out the race.

Rule Of Law (Case Law – Spirit of Patxi) ran away with the first race of the day from the word go. Rule of Law hit the front soon on settling down and entered the straight with a handy lead. The on-money favourite Hammerhead was in chase all the time, but just couldn’t quicken. Secret Talk was the one who made a slight impact finishing on from well behind to easily get past Hammerhead for the runner up berth.

Super King (Warrshan – Star Gift) had to overcome a niggling traffic jam and tear through horses to flourish at the finish. Travelling along the rails until they straightening up, Sunny Chinoy astride Super King made the right moves at the right time. Prime Time led the field homeward and when he had to march on ahead, he fizzled out and ended fourth. Hickory tried to put up a challenge but could not sustain. Super King finished on fastest to break away from the rest. In the dying moments of the race, River Glory came with a late burst to clinch the runner up spot in an impressive manner.

Jockey Suraj Narredu was the lone pro to score a double.