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Mighty King Rules in Pune

By Mahendra Mallya | 04 Aug 2012 | PUNE

Trainer Vinay Lagad leading Mighty King (Shrikant Kamble Up), winner of The August Handicap

Vinay Lagad trained Mighty King had to dig up all his might to shake off a stiff challenge from Angel Child and to an extent from Act of War as well to stay ahead on the wire an bag the prestigious August Handicap in a thriller. Mighty King (Black Cash – Si Gentille) bred at the Equus Stud and owned by Khushro Jalnawalla, sat well in front right on the tail of the leader Lavender Brown with the rest hounding him close behind. Act of War and Angel Child were in the mid-bunch as they straightened for the final run.

Mighty King accelerated well soon on turning for home and Lavender Brown felt the pressure, making way for Mighty King to take charge. Angel Child started to warm up a wee bit too late, while Act of War too looked very much in contention as they came into the final furlong.

Mighty King had worked a great tempo and although he didn’t actually speed away, he was stubbornly staying put at the helm. Angel Child drew closer with every stride and Act of War alongside also was working hard to stay in contention. The winning post could never have come sooner for Mighty King as he held both challengers at the wire, with Angel Child in particular, finishing dangerously close.

The other scintillating battle was like a perfect script for an action-packed race, the very reason that fills the gallery. Capriole and Blue Ace had an equal number of supporters and they were in huge numbers. The betting swayed in a see-saw manner between the duos. The race too was a heart thumper!

Blue Ace decided to take a call and make the running. Capriole was quick to read the strategy and set about to chase his closest rival. Sledgehammer and Icon did not really make any impact.

The race came to a boiling point right at the top of the straight. Blue Ace held the advantage and working up an aggressive momentum. Capriole (China Visit – Silken Star) owned by the Vachha and Meherally and bred at the Usha Stud, produced his expected acceleration and soon joined Blue Ace. The pair fought out the latter half of the homestretch as the shouting grew in the stands. Capriole returned with his head high, the very reason he snatched the nose verdict. Blue Ace fought bravely and went down with equal honours.

Sunderji added another victory later in the day with the Haresh & Manav Mehta owned well backed favourite Brave Vision - a Manjri Stud produce. Capitano and Festival Knight were quickest out but they were soon outpaced by Charlie Cool who got going at a fast clip. Brave Vision settled in the fourth with Josephine and Spirit of Ecstasy in tow.

Brave Vision moved to one behind Charlie Cool coming into the straight and began to wear the leader down. He looked under pressure briefly, however, in the final 100 m, Brave Vision drew away to an impressive victory. Charlie Cool did well to retain the next best spot, while Festival Knight earned well deserved place money. Josephine looked a bit raw and could show improvement in her next.

This Ones For You (Glory of Dancer – Our Royal Highness) owned by the Nathani family, was the day’s best performer. The Rehanullah Khan trainee was at his awesome best and looked a picture in the paddock.

On the track, This Ones For You, bred at the Alpha Stud, sat alongside Maladasun up in front and looked well in command even before they turned for home. He charged forward, full of running and as they turned for the final run, This Ones For You proved too superior to his rivals. He simply surged ahead in a canter and dished out a very fashionable victory with a lot left in him. I would be surprised if he doesn’t chalk up another one in his next.

Blue Sky (China Visit – Blue Ridge) owned by breeder Ameeta Mehra dazzled to victory in a flashy show of speed. Blue Sky took over from early leader and hot favourite Scorch, the latter very heavily backed at the race time.

Scorch put in a poor show and finished in the rut taking some very heavy money down the drain. Blue Sky on the other hand, was very positive and put in a lively gallop in the home stretch. He thundered forward and easily bounded past Scorch and galloped on to compile a facile victory. Stringsofmyheart ran on to claim second. Forest Legion did well to wrest back the third place, while Moonscape indicated that he needed this run.

Legends Order (Diffident – Lawn Order) from the stables of Adil Dajee scored an encore and was equally impressive this time too. He seemed in no hurry as he stayed away from the limelight allowing Laurus Pride, Tell Me More and Rose Bowl to guide the field.

Tell Me More came alongside the leader and was being ridden all out, when Legends Order owned by the Mehtas made a positive move forward midway in the straight. He struck well and strode away to post his second victory in as many outings this season. Rose Bowl did well to end second.

The Poonawalla Stud Farm bred Divine (Placerville – Tide of Fortune) showed a much improved performance topping his last start third with a comprehensive victory. Divine hit the front as they settled down and took charge form the early leaders. In the straight, Divine and Chasing Memories made it a two-horse contest as the pair drew away from the bunch. They fought a hard battle, but Divine always looked in control. He just about registered a 3/4 L victory. Chasing Memories will live to fight another day and Satyamev Jayate improved towards the end to figure in the frame behind Speed Up.

Blush (Fasliyev – Eastern Sky) trained by Naren made it a very easy start-to-finish victory. She worked up a lovely pace and stayed ahead all the way to the winning post. Fantastic Kingdom, who started to chase the leader, ended up doing so with Arabian Chief bagging the third spot.

The Wadhawan owned Star Mountain (Placerville – Mitzvah) produced a power-packed stretch-run to overhaul arch rival Oriental Sapphire early in the straight. Oriental Sapphire led them all the way into the straight and when Star Mountain got going, found it hard to counter the strong assault. Star Mountain proved too good for the set and scored an emphatic victory.

For the Professionals, trainer Sunderji and jockey Sandesh scored a double each.