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Rave stops playing hide and seek, earns maiden success

By Usman Rangila | 05 Oct 2003 | PUNE

Rave (P Kamlesh up) winner of The Classic Story Trophy being led by Owner Sunil Jhangiani & Capt. Jamshed J appoo & trainer C D Katrak (extreme left)

The Fillies’ & Mares’ Stakes, the main attraction in the card and run over nine-furlongs here on Sunday, had a couple of interesting developments which were baffling for sure. Firstly, despite their contribution towards prize-money and gifting the trophy, Sony Entertainment Television (SET), the latest sponsors of this event, were curiously unwilling to lend their name to the race. Secondly, six out of the nine original contestants had never won a race beyond a mile during their career so far.
Yet, the spotlight in the betting ring revolved mostly around Romantic Heights (Diffident-Menorah), a brilliant performer over seven-furlongs, and to some extent on Kia Ora (Miswaki-Free Thinker) and Name of Love (Placerville-Million Girl). Try hard as one could, the lingering notion of the glorious uncertainties of this game coming into play at the end refused to fade from the mind. The worst fears of the betting community came true when rank outsider Cacophony shocked Kia Ora and Ippodamia in virtually the last stride.
As the favourite Romantic Heights was kicked by Reconquista on her way to the starting gates, the vet played safe by withdrawing her from the contest and the field was reduced to eight. Malesh Narredu astride Kia Ora from the S. Padmanabhan’s yard took the easiest option available to him and hit the front with the got-abroad filly. She never came under threat till the last 300m where Mark Gallagher-ridden Ippodamia joined the issue. The latter was unable to wear down her adversary but they continued to go stride for stride. It looked like Kia Ora was going to kick on but Cacophony (Razeen-Hourglass) flew in the hands of Pramod Belose to hit the wire first and broke the group-race winning sequence of RWITC chairman Khushroo Dhunjibhoy’s colours. Name of Love strode on to complete the frame. It was indeed a much improved performance from the mare trained by Magansingh Jodha considering the fact that she had ended a faraway fourth behind Divine Protocol in a handicap race just eight days ago.
With the Pune season coming to a close, the three-year-old filly Rave decided it was time to stop playing hide and seek with her admirers. The fashionably bred daughter of Placerville out of Angel Heights, who trains in the yards of Cooji Katrak, was a winner right from the word go and kept increasing her margin with every stride she took over the six-furlong journey. None from among her ten rivals dared to challenge Rave as she romped home in the hands of P. Kamlesh. 
Another three-year-old filly, Strike Zone, provided Cooji his second winner of the day. Unlike the previous occasion when Samurai Sword got the better of her, C. Rajendra kept Strike Zone (Storm Trooper-Pleasant Melody) up to her task and warded off the late threat posed by Antilles in the concluding event of the day. An encore was well within the reach of Dr Anil Kumar’s ward, who shared the favouritism with Imtiaz Sait-saddled filly Enduring Image, but Strike Zone proved to be a thorn in his way. Having performed well in both his earlier outings where he was well up with the pace, the strategy was questionably altered on this occasion which might’ve proved costly for Antilles. Truffles was a game third while Enduring Image, who remained in the hunt till passing the final corner, made a quick exit to finish fifth behind the early leader Applause.
Rajendra’s perseverance atop the on-money favourite Second Jewel paid off as the Imtiaz’s charge came with a sustained run from the wrong end of the field to pip Fiddle Faddle right at the post. The filly nurtured by Subhag Singh and ridden by young Aadesh Kumar was being hailed as a winner after she took charge from Princess Maha at the top of the home stretch.
The curtain raiser, the Classic Touch Plate, went through after three horses were entered at a later stage by Magansingh Jodha and Narendra Lagad. Ivor Fernandes’ charge Inkling made ample use of this opportunity to log in her maiden success. White Lie, who had run just two days before, once again came with a late flurry to end runner-up ahead of Solidarity and Milestone. The last-named found the weight a stopper yet again.
Dr Anil Kumar-trained Las Mareas was a medium of a heavy gamble that reached its logical end only because of the powerful riding of Mark Gallagher. The mare, who was on a weight reducing mission since the day she left trainer Vinayak’s yard, took off tardily from the gates. It was due to Mark’s workman-like job that saw her rally and pin down Star Above, who took upon herself the task of the leading the field in the straight as none of the other runners were inclined to but their best foot forward. 
Sudden Glory, who had failed in the hands of C. Rajendra in her previous essay, galloped resolutely in the hands of Hanumant Singh and put her neck in front of Checkmate, who at the age of twelve still keeps alive the hopes of his master Asad Siddiqui. Princess Helen once again ran like a dud causing a lot of money to flow down the drain.