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Star Future Pulverizes Top Class Opposition

By Mahendra Mallya | 08 Sep 2012 | PUNE

Trainer H J Antia leading Star Future (A Ashhad Asbar Up), winner of The Akkasaheb Maharaj Trophy

Star Future (Diffident – Sure Future) owned by the Wadhawans and bred at the Poonawalla Stud romped home to a surprisingly easy victory in what was anticipated to be a tightly fought contest - The Akkasaheb Maharaj Trophy. There was no clear favourite for this won and Ancient Wonder at 7/2 was the shortest priced contender.

Off the gates, it was a quick scramble for position as the eight-horse field was clustered until the home turn. Star Future led them marginally, with the rest hounding him. Weizhou, Amadeus, Portrush on the rails were closely followed by Attila, Bespoke, Ancient Wonder and Nefyn.

Star Future, from the stables of Hormuz Antia devoured ground briskly soon on entering the straight. He was off and away and within split seconds had clearly left his rivals far behind. He entered the final furlong all by himself torching the turf with a sizzling gallop. Carrying the bottom weight (49 kilos), he posted a mammoth six-length victory and returned to the winner’s enclosure after a long gap of two years and ten races. He had last won a mile race in Sept 2010! The manner of victory does imply that he is back to peak form and his near future looks bright indeed. Star Future was certainly the star of the day!

The other big race for the day was the September Handicap, a mile race for three-year-olds. Dr MAM Ramaswamy’s Supreme Minstrel (Rebuttal – Misteriosa) bred at Hazara Farm came alive with a supreme gallop to runaway with the race. Favourite Burgundy Rose shot into the lead soon on start and looked good to carry on the way she entered the straight. Home Advantage Rembrandt Supreme Minstrel and Honest  Pleasure comprised the front bunch.

Into the straight, Burgundy Rose had a handy lead but could churn out a better effort as Supreme Minstrel came to challenge. Rembrandt too, was not finding his best. Supreme Minstrel shut out the suspense by accelerating well and soon was out of bounds for the rest. The Karthik trainee galloped resolutely to stretch out to a solid victory with widening margin.

The Odds On Trophy was the supporting event – a Class I handicap over 1400 meters. On paper it appeared a two-horse race and that theory was given credence on the track as well. Scarlet Pimpernel and Dancing Glances were the prime fancies. They fought out the final 400 m in a thrilling match of strides. Dear Henry rocketed ahead and soon built an exaggerated six-length lead. Dancing Glances, Pepe Junior and Scarlet Pimpernel were close to one another with Vittoria at the tail end.

Dear Henry went out like a bulb soon on turning for home. Scarlet Pimpernel moved aggressively between Dear Henry and Dancing Glances, ripping through the two forcefully. Dancing Glances was up to the challenge and joined Scarlet Pimpernel and the pair got involved in a grim battle. Scarlet Pimpernel had a very slight upper hand coming into the final furlong, but Dancing Glances who was always looming large on the outside, went all out to gain the advantage close to the winning post, finally winning it by half a length. The Altaf Hussain trained Dancing Glances is owned by the Sopher Racing Syndicate and bred at the Poonawalla Stud Farm.

Trainer Dallas Todywalla had a brilliant day scoring off three winners out of five runners. It could have easily been four, had his ward Rising Power not been pipped on the post by King Julien by a short-head. The roll started with his first ward of the day – Manjri Stud bred Swift Memories (Major Impact – Memories of You) owned by Mr Shapoor Mistry and Mr Rusi Sethna.

Brunello and Swift Memories were the joint favorites and this race too unfolded true to the pre-race predictions, confined to just these two. Always quick at start, Swift Memories led the four –horse field with Tara, Brunello and Cypress Point in tow. They went about their motions and there was no change in the order until the half way stage when Cypress Point got past Brunello. Approching the 1000 m mark, Swift Memories was travelling well, with Tara staying close to her, but Brunello seemed to have lost focus as he fell back a couple of lengths
to be last. On hindsight, this proved fatal for the MK Jadhav ward. “He did that last time as well,” claimed Jadhav. “However, he got away with it since it was a relatively weaker opposition and he recovered in time to coast to a victory,” said Jadhav. “This time, Swift Memories did loosen her grip on the race and galloped on. You saw he covered a lot of ground, but in the final 150 meters or so, that left him little time to convert that effort into a winning one. True to this assessment, Swift Memories drove home the advantage and on her part, did well to gallop on and notch her second career victory on the Pune turf.

In the very next race, Dallas’ Limitless Hills (Placerville – Riyatifia) owned by the Wadhawans and bred at the Poona Stud, emerged a clear winner justifying the faith of scores of followers. He waited in third behind leader Spirit of Mercy and Agni Baan until the home turn. Lyrical Symphony was just going through the motions while Enlightenment planted at the gates and taking no active part in the race.

Spirit of Mercy led them homewards and was striving to keep the momentum going. Agni Baan was galloping but getting nowhere. Limitless Hills, powered by Zervan, produced a scintillating gallop to zip past Spirit of Mercy and sail to a fashionable victory.

Mountain Force (Placerville – Frost Queen) another from the Wadhawan string, bred at the Poona Stud Farm, was the third winner of the day for Dallas Todywalla. This one too was an easy victory with Mountain Force making light of the top weight (61.5) she carried. Suntan Beauty shot into a runaway lead distance ahead until the 800 m mark. Mountain Force and Perfect Strength started to cut down the lead together and the pair entered the homestretch well clear of the rest. Once into the straight, Prakash eased Mountain Force into the lead. Perfect Strength watched helplessly as Mountain Force marched on ahead giving him no chance whatsoever to even offer a fight. Mountain Force surged away lengthening his strides majestically to score a ‘no-sweat’ victory with complete authority. Perfect Strength did well to take the runner-up berth.

The four year old son of Placerville, King Julien (Placerville-Star Spangled) from the stables of M.K.Jadhav produced a scorching gallop on the home stretch. to nip the favourite Rising Power, in the shadow of the winning post. Racing at the tail till passing the club house, King Julien started to move around the field under A,Sandesh, as they took the final turn and with a sizzling turn of foot, bridged the lead that Rising Power had established, to score an encore.

Altaf Hussain’s Princess Khatoum (Placerville-Princess Xena) finally shed her maiden ranks, in the division II of the Glasnost Plate, the opening race of the day. The favourite Jacqueline Smile went to lead the field very early in the race and was tracked by Princess Khatoum all the way into the home stretch. Inside the last furlong, Jacqueline Smile started to weaken and with a couple of back handers from apprentice Akshay, the ‘Princess’ surged ahead and staved off the late challenge of Daughterofdestiny.

New Wings (Hymn-Noble Balerina) from the stables of Magansingh P Jodha picked up her first win in the higher division of the Glasnost Plate, the concluding race of the day. Alejandra was in front on entering the last furlong with New Wings on its haunches. Pound Foolish started to move strongly on their outside and apprentice Shammi Khan on New Wings realizing that he may not get a clear path, switched towards the inner rails and the filly responded readily to spurt to victory. Pound Foolish took the second spot ahead of Alejandra.

For the professionals, Dallas Certainly was the star pro of the day sending out a fine treble. Trainer Altaf Hussain sent out a lucrative double.