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Red Romeo decimates Opposition

By Mahendra Mallya | 16 Jul 2009 | PUNE

Red Romeo

Red Romeo (Steinbeck – Allspice) owned by Shiven Surendranath, Dr Arif and Byram Jeejeebhoy, decimated his opponents and landed the Rosa Royal Trophy (Div I) with ridiculous ease. The half-money favourite Red Romeo floated into the lead as the gates flung open, and by the time they turned for home, it was a foregone conclusion he would prove far too good for his rivals.

Schnell, Portrush, Lago Medio, Pepe Junior just could not match up to this terrific burst of speed displayed by Red Romeo who is surely at his peak. Once in the straight, Red Romeo galloped away strongly and even a hard ridden Pepe Junior looked hapless in chase. Aquilo was the one among the beaten lot to catch the eye when he forced his way to claim the place money after tailing the field till the homestretch. Red Romeo clocked a fast timing of 1:9.80 seconds, just a split second off the course record of the monsoon track (1:9.58 seconds), without being fully stretched. Jockey C Rajendra later said to me in passing, that Dancing Green was lucky to keep the record.
The Div II of the Rose Royal Trophy looked a far more open affair with no clear favorite if one went by the trends of the market. Monopoly and Escravos were in front and the rest followed a couple of lengths away. The duo were stuck together at the turn but on straightening up Escravos (Don’t Forget Me – New Europe), owned by M/s Karachiwala, Vinay Kumar and H A Khan, got stronger while Monopoly implied that the shorter sprint was what suits her best. Jockey Appu drove Escravos homewards giving ample evidence in the process that he has shrugged off his accident on the Bangalore track and the aftermath as well, and is now back in business. Call To Arms returned a noteworthy second, finishing on past both Red Indian and Monopoly.
Reigning Pune Champion trainer Narendra Lagad was off the blocks with a fine treble, two of them accounting for hot favorites in their respective races.

On-money favorite Cherokee was the first casualty in the second race of the day. Onus Probandi (Burden Of Proof – Secret Star), property of the Classic Racing Syndicate, charged at the front runners past the distance post to collar Adams Law who had easily accounted for Cherokee by then. Onus Probandi who settled into the fourth position for most of the way warmed up nicely at the business end of the race to wrest the issue in a fighting finish. Adams Law shaped up well till inside the final 100 meters, but was overwhelmed by the timely finish of the Naren charge, well ridden by Stephane Breux, who made his first appearance on the Pune track memorable. Anamika woke up late in the day to peg back the favorite to run into place money.
Weizhou was singled out in the betting ring and was the only horse backed with conviction. Weizhou, however, found one better in Indian Summer (Indian Danehill – Clear Crystal) who gave the Classic Racing Syndicate a grand and lucrative double. Weizhou was in striking distance, settling right behind Cavaradosi. At the turn, Srinath took Weizhou to the front and the Faisal Abbas ward shaped up well in the straight. Indian Summer mounted his challenge midway up the straight and put in a powerful run in the final furlong. Weizhou who went smoothly into the lead turning for home, wilted under pressure and surrendered without much resistance. Swahili’s jockey NS Parmar could have been more tactful. After hitting the front, Swahili settled back in the sixth. Parmar then could not escape being tightened by Cavaradosi who was dropping out of serious contention and lost precious seconds at a crucial juncture. On hindsight, seeing Swahili’s final burst, I am of the opinion that she could have given both the winner and the runner up a run for their money had Parmar handled Swahili better!
Naren’s third winner came in the three year olds’ maidens race, Stephane Breux lending good support in the saddle to notch his personal double. Crème De La Crème (Royal Gladiator – Quite Fancy) took charge soon after the start and not one in the field could match strides with the grey filly who got into perfect rhythm early on and kept the momentum going right through. Royal Gesture and Celtic Manor, who chased the filly, were completely outpaced in the straight. Neither Begum Shaherbanoo Lagad’s filly nor the jockey broke into a sweat and the win was comprehensive enough to raise the expectation of an encore.
The Wiggles Plate saw an exciting finish between Romantic Impact (Neeraj Rawal) and Ikaria. Ishtar, who led the way till past the 600 bled and fell out of contention. Prince Lochinva guided the field homewards but was soon passed by Romantic Impact ((Major Impact – Romantic Heights). Ikaria, who was never too far from the action, soon began to inch closer. Dancing Glory too moved up on the outside, but failed to quicken. The final furlong saw a scintillating battle with Ikaria even passing Romantic Impact momentarily before mis-timing the bob of the head at the wire. Romantic Impact just managed to nose out Ikaria.
The start of the day was ominous for the followers of favorites as the public rage Real Dream went down after shaping like a winner till close home. Sent on a start-to-finish mission, Real Dream made every post a winning post one except the all-important winning post. At the distance post Real Dream, who enjoyed a couple of lengths lead, came under pressure and Shelar got working atop Molta Bella (Hymn – Evidence of Faith) to collar the leader a stride before the winning post.
First Empire and Rockbey Venus garnered most of the betting. Red Dragon (Major Impact – Zillion Figlia) upset the duo with Srinath atop guiding the Dallas Toddywalla charge to a facile start-to-finish victory. Approaching the distance post, Red Dragon came under the whip and Rockbey Venus seemed like offering a stiff challenge. However, Red Dragon surged ahead at that stage and put the issue beyond doubt long way from home.

The Division II of the Cupid plate was won by Polariser (Black Cash – Slide By), while the upper division was won by Adallia (Senure – Lannkal), who survived an objection from the heavily backed Major Wager.

For the professionals, Narendra Lagad saddled a treble and Dallas Todywalla a double. Jockey Stephane Breux scored a brace as well. Manjri Stud Farm had a good day with four of the winners coming from their farm.