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Imtiaz Sait delivers treble again

By Usman Rangila | 30 Aug 2003 | PUNE

Anmol (Bajerang Singh up) winner of the Nebraska Plate, being led in by trainer Imtiaz Sait and owner Ashok Ranpise

Bookies all over the country have always looked forward to the Pune racing season, which is conducted during the monsoon. One peep into the record books would be enough to give an idea as to why the turf accountants have such affinity towards the short stint of racing at this venue. The unpredictable nature of the racetracks is just one factor that has played a vital role in the final outcome here, which normally results in windfall gains for the bookies. But, not any more; the golden era seems to be over. At least this is what the current trend at Pune reflects.
Star performer Imtiaz Sait’s obvious intent to excel and the all round support received by his three eventual three winners, left a bitter taste in the mouths of the community that has more often than not had the upper hand over the punters. As if this was not enough, the victories of Special Place and Alzira, the two hot picks of the day of the moneybags duly obliged. 
The fact that Platinum Shock and Absolute Dominance scored over other fancied runners brought no succour either as the betting volumes were in these two races were insufficient to cover the losses.
Taking into consideration the calibre of the opponents in the fray against both Special Place and Alzira, the outcome of the two respective events this duo were competing in was a forgone conclusion. No wonder if these races were of academic interest only for those who refuse to buy money by betting on on-money horses. Both Special Place and Alzira gave no anxious moments to their supporters.
Anmol, Sasha and Trace of Magic had won recently and were pitted against each other in the Nebraska Plate, a terms race for three-year-old juveniles. The terms favoured Sasha, who had finished a close second to Silver Blue in Class III. There was very little to choose between these three horses and the odds offered against them were a testimony in itself. As the betting stabilised, Trace of Magic attracted much of the support followed by Anmol. Sasha, surprisingly, found very few takers in the market forcing the bookies to up the odds against her. But once the horses started moving out of the paddock, the flow of smart money was seen in only one direction and that was towards Anmol. S.N. Chavan took off on a start to finish mission with Trace of Magic but it turned out to be an act of flattery to deceive her followers. Trace of Magic stood exposed when she succumbed without much ado before the assault launched by Anmol. Sasha toiled at the wrong end of the field throughout and even failed to grace the finish.
Some negative vibes emanating from Premier Passion’s camp sent the odds against the Imtiaz Sait filly soaring. Still there was a significant section of punters who refused to be swayed by the inside information while some were blissfully ignorant about these developments. They were amply rewarded and the bookies left to bear the brunt in the end. Steely Dan ran far below expectations and so did the other fancied horses allowing Always Certain and Temple Tune grab the minor places. 
The Polynesian’s long and agonising search for success finally ended when the Young Senor progeny measured front-running Forgotten Dreams in the final lap of the Rajaram Chhatrapati Trophy. Much was expected from Betfair but the filly found herself in superior company and had to settle for the fourth place. Forgotten Dreams held on grimly to the runner-up slot with Wild Storm close on her haunches.
Platinum Shock rallied well to spoil the party of Eastern Command, who had stolen a march over the field and very nearly pulled off a silent coup. The was some frenzied wagering coming the way of Al-Gibran, which as usual went down the drain. Al-Gibran ran like a dud and so did Yvresse, White Lie and Inkling. The inexplicable performance dished out by this trio belied their present form and there was hardly any logical explanation in sight.
The year-long hibernation of Avaleur could not diminish his zeal and the speedy son of Don’t Forget Me showed a clean pair of heels to his rivals. Bajrang Singh got straight down to business with Avaleur as the gates flew open and though favourite Tarragona raced in striking position, Bezan Chenoy’s cadet marched on to earn his corn bill. In losing out on the second berth to Daol, Tarragona proved that she was far from ready for this encounter. Truly Scrumptious met  interference from Prabhuti at the most crucial juncture of the race and could not recover from that setback. 
Absolute Dominance was in a galloping mood and despite cutting an erratic course in the straight, jockey Mansoor Khan kept the Shiraz Sunderji ward out of harms way and logged the second career success of the son of Sir Bruce. Quick Decision made his exit from the stage much before the climax of the mile journey could arrive. Dollar Bill who was always in chase of leader Rigged failed to accelerate and finished thus.