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Table Dancing gets better of Green Paradise at the wire

By Usman Rangila | 20 Jul 2001 | PUNE

It was on the last day of the previous Mumbai season that Green Paradise had run as an on-money favourite and tasted defeat at the hands of none other than her owner-mate My Solitaire. No prizes for guessing it right that both Green Paradise and My Solitaire hail from yards of the champion trainer from our own backyard Dallas Todywalla.
On Friday, Green Paradise was again installed favourite to win in a modest field of eight vying for the Loyal Manzar Trophy. There were two other horses from Dallas’ string, Intel and Table Dancing, whose names figured in the list of contestants. Though there was no lack in demand for Green Paradise in the betting ring, the odds for Table Dancing did get squeezed under pressure of some smart money. There was agony again in store for the followers of Green Paradise. 
Green Paradise yet again flattered to deceive after assuming control of the running when the gates opened. Table Dancing moved resolutely under the guidance of R. Rupesh and got the measure of Green Paradise virtually in the last couple of strides. There has been a predictable end to these encounters and such incidents are becoming quite too familiar for race-goers these days. Those with fickle minds don’t think twice before declaring malpractice as the motive. Though there is hardly any substance in these allegations, professionals like Dallas are themselves to blame for allowing an avoidable situation like this to arrive. 
In Mumbai, about a week before Green Paradise ran, Dallas was quoted in an interview that Green Paradise was in great form and that he fancies her to win quite easily on the last day of the season. Quite contrary to his statement, My Solitaire went on to win the race. In response to a query from this correspondent as to why he does not avoid having more than one runner in a race, a visibly upset Dallas had then shot back, “So what if I have more than one runner in a race. Why should I lose an opportunity to win the race by having only one runner?” The intentions are seemingly good but does it necessarily mean that the punter should not back what is supposed to be the best horse in the field? 
Magansingh Jodha-trained Vengeance (Reasonable-Sharastamina) won far more easily than expected at the start of the day to start the sequence of form horses winning in the next three races. The odds for ante-post favourite Vengeance spiralled as Boldwin caught the market fancy. But Boldwin never raised any hopes of success as Vengeance got off smartly from the blocks to give P. Belose got an armchair ride to victory.
Jockey C. Rajendra started his Pune campaign on a winning note when he piloted the odds-on favourite Sunstreak (Don’t Forget Me-Sequence) to her maiden victory in the Remarque Plate. The bay filly trained by Shapoor Mistry’s private trainer Sarosh Mody was hard-ridden to keep late finishing Fidillo and Frequency at bay. There was further success waiting for this combination in the form of Crimson Rage (Don’t Forget Me-Maumann). The bay gelding had to work his way up the straight to collar Arabian Commander who had established a runaway lead in the early stages of the race. Mariazella ran a disappointing third ahead of Double Up. The last named came in for sustained support in the betting but failed to put up a worthy show. 
Earlier Timbavati got admirable assistance in the saddle from Mark Gallagher when snuffing out the runaway bid of Reaching Out in the Carbon Star Plate. Touch Wood didn’t run anywhere close to the expectations of her followers and ended a dismal third. Trainer Magansingh Jodha has cited that the fly-jump which Touch Wood took from the gates led to her downfall. Okay, let’s give Touch Wood the benefit of a doubt.
There was more to their wounded pride than the obvious sarcasm in the rechristening of Runaway Queen as Bookie’s Delight by the Poonawallas of their four-year-old property. But that was not to bring about any change in the fortunes of the disgraced daughter of Placerville. Though it should be mentioned here that more than anybody else it is the trainer and the jockey who need to take the blame for her defeat. For, Runaway Queen was fractious on her maiden appearance at Mahalaxmi and was slowly away from the gates when ridden by I. Shaikh. Subsequently she lost under suspicious circumstances when entrusted to C. Rajendra. Apprentice F. Aaron was then entrusted with the task of steering Runaway Queen in the filly’s last endeavour at Mumbai. The pressure told on the young lad and his inexperience was one of the contributions to the defeat of Runaway Queen. 
After a well-deserved rest, the least one could’ve expected from trainer Altaf Hussain was that he requisition an experienced jockey to partner his rejuvenated and renamed ward Runaway Queen. But he chose repose his faith in his nephew I. Shaikh who after a good jump fell back. There after it was only panic that was visible in his riding and no wonder if Bookie’s Delight failed to produce her best. Silver Sea, the friendless property of Dr M. A. M. Ramaswamy, surprised even her trainer when winning this event in the hands of B. Prakash from Speakeasy and White Lie. Silver Sea was to leave for Chettinad to stand as a broodmare but was forced to stay back due to the non-availability of accommodation in the float that left Pune a few days earlier.
Spice Boy won almost start to finish in the Great Guns Plate to upset the applecart of fancied Flensburg. The Mallesh Narredu-partnered filly refused to quicken and ended a tame third but saved place money from her owner-mate Queenstown who warmed up late. Southern Star too found her galloping shoes late to end an impressive and close second behind the winner. Half-way through the race, Victory March, one of the other fancied runners in this field, got sandwiched between two horses and lost her footing to finish down the field. 
Line of Control provided the biggest of upset of the two-day racing programme when Zadmal Singh-trainee won in the hands of jockey K. P. G. Appu. Napoleon The Great ran a blinder of a race only to succumb to Line of Control at the fag end of the race. Dream Lover ended a fair third ahead of Thunder Clap. With a quartet of rank outsiders finding their place on the judges’ frame it was no surprise that the entire tanala pool remained unsolved!