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Sea Ruler Wins Wadia Trophy

By Mahendra Mallya | 09 Aug 2009 | PUNE

Sea Ruler

Cooji Katrak cannot put a foot wrong! He is having a terrific string of success and all the hard work is showing excellent result. The media shy and demure horseman is at his best and so are his horses.

On Sunday, Cooji dominated the Pune races winning four races including the prestigious FD Wadia Trophy (Gr2). For Cooji, jockeys C Rajendra and Imran Chisty too are proving to be ideal foils to accomplish the trainer’s racing agenda. His major patrons M/s Harish Mehta and Rakesh Wadhawan would be thrilled at seeing their horses achieve success with such consistency and adding to their collection of trophies.

Sea Ruler (E Dubai – Cool Ashlee) shot out the gates and settled alongside Red Dragon, both going at a comfortable and steady pace. Amore Mio was galloping right up with them and so too Irish Queen. I learnt later that jockey Alford felt Amore Mio wobble a bit and going by his gut feel, he did not press the filly who bowed out at the turn.

River Blossom was next, and a couple of lengths away were Blue Dannube and Messalina. Sea Ruler grabbed the initiative early into the straight and bounded forward opening up a sizable lead approaching the distance post. River Blossom was in chase, but was getting nowhere close. Astral was trying hard, but it was Messalina who was covering ground the best of all among the beaten lot. Messalina’s effort was pretty good, but not enough to make any impact on Sea Ruler who by then had sewn up the race. Sea Ruler is maturing well and Messalina looks a good type as well. River Blossom put in a decent show too, and will blossom to succeed soon.

Versaki (Verglas – Ghassak) enhanced his reputation in an impressive manner by pulverizing a decent class II set of rivals with a measure of comfort. Versaki thus kept his unbeaten record in tact with his fourth successive victory. Sea Princess was expected to offer some resistance but that was not to be. The filly surrendered tamely and even lost the second position to a more zestful Chios. Versaki dominated the opposition right through and once in the straight, Rajendra left nothing to chance and scored a clinical victory without much ado. Versaki has developed even further and looks even bigger and stronger than he did in Mumbai. The Haresh Mehta owned colt endorsed the “best in the business” tag attributed to him and with Katrak in charge of his fortunes, is sure to go from strength to strength. On Sunday, he was sheer joy to watch!

Sea Treasure (Warrshan – Aerodynamic) displayed a terrific final burst to collar Wild Torronaado in front of the grand stands to the delight his supporters. Wild Torronaado led all the way from the start and had Kiss Away and Hidden Danger close on her haunches till the turn. Highland Bounty was not too far behind and stalking him was Sea Treasure in fifth or sixth position. Into the straight, Wild Torronaado shook off the chasers, bounded forward to increase her lead, and at the distance post looked in command. Sea Treasure stuck to the rails and with a sustained effort started to gain considerably in the last furlong. With the winning post in sight, Imran Chisty got to work vigorously and the Wadhawan colt responded with a fiery final burst to flash past and stun Wild Torronaado meters before the winning post. The scramble for the third place involved four horses, with Kiss Away just managing to stay ahead of Swept Away, Highland Bounty and Hidden Danger. The way Sea Treasure darted ahead indicates that it would be worthwhile to keep following his fortunes even over an extra furlong.

Hereafter (Ontario – Here Goes) pulled off a hard fought victory and Rajendra’s powerful riding came in handy to contribute to the filly’s maiden victory. It became clear even before the turn that the race would be confined between the first two favorites – Hereafter and Forever Young. The duo pulled away from the rest and the fight got tighter when Appu got Forever Young alongside Hereafter at the distance post. Both went all out and fought out the last furlong. Hereafter had enough in her to stay ahead by half at the post.

Rokeby Venus (Mr. Mellon – Decent Proposal) struck when least expected to claim the Mayor’s Trophy with surprising ease. Sitting well off the pace, Rokeby Venus raced at the tail end of the field for most part of the nine-furlong journey. Black Falcon escorted the field till the turn and bowed out. Lone Monarch brought the field into view with Golden Knight in tow. Si Como No was gaining on the front-runners. With a little over a furlong to go, Rokeby Venus came up full of running to overwhelm the favorite Lone Monarch and romp home to a decisive victory. Lone Monarch had to play second fiddle and Si Como No could only manage to save the place money.

The day began on an auspicious note for the followers of money with the well-backed favorite Cloud Cover (Royal Gladiator – Cloud Nine) from Hormuz Antia’s yard pulling off a splendid victory. Running a close fourth behind the leader Sail Thru, Always and Classic Spirit, Cloud Cover shot ahead in the last furlong and did not encounter any resistance whatsoever. Beacon Light came from behind to peg back Always for the runner up berth.

Dangerous Belle (Storm Trooper – Lek) showed tremendous improvement over her last effort sixth. Graces was well in command until the last furlong and almost got there, but was shocked by Dangerous Belle on the wire. There was an awkward jostle in the final furlong, which prompted the stipes to initiate an enquiry as the winner on his way came in to Salawati who in turn bumped into Mysterious Heights. The order of placing however remained unchanged. Salawati saved the place money narrowly.

Cherokee (China Visit – Tehema) showed that she had indeed benefited from her last outing where she had run a forward race. Highland Music was the one who garnered the maximum support. On sheer paddock looks, the Antia trainee looked impeccable and the filly almost pulled it off. Leading from the start, Highland Music faltered only at the all-important post. Coming into the straight with a handy lead, Highland Music failed to capitalize and when Cherokee started to pose serious questions, Highland Music was found wanting. Cherokee though a trifle erratic in failing to keep a straight course, got past the hot favorite just a stride or two from the winning post.

The last race appeared to be a gift race for Bonny Light (Placerville – I’m A Nine Plus) as both his chief rivals – Excellent Story and Theodoros were withdrawn at the gates. Forward Charge who led the bunch into the straight, only allowed Bonny Light to pass him. Stud Of Gold marred his chances by going wide at the turn. He ran on to end a decent third and is worth keeping an eye over in his next outing.

It was trainer Cooji’s day as he saddled four winners, while jockeys Rajendra and Imran Chisty scored a double each.