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Smart Strider Sprints to Panchshil Million

By Mahendra Mallya | 16 Sep 2012 | PUNE

Trainer Karthik Ganapathy leading Smart Strider (Trevor Patel Up), winner of The Panchshil Juvenile Million

It was a day of glamour glitz and gallop at the Pune racecourse, which featured the Panchshil Juvenile Million and the DNA Trophy on Sunday. Jackie Shroff headed a fair contingent of celebrity models and as usual had the crowds cheering for him. A unique Venetian theme human statues adorned the members lawns and for a brief while, the paddock as well. The day had its appreciable blend of showman ship and crisp racing.

Smart Strider (Red Clubs – Celtic Memories) had grabbed the headlines for the pre-race indiarace selections as the prime choice and as predicted, reappeared to take the headlines post race as well. Catharsis was the prime favourite as eleven contenders lined up for the start.  Rising Power led for a while before Incentio took over past the 800. Ice Zone was on constantly improving positions while Forest Legion, Smart Strider and Catharsis strode along close behind in the front-bunch.

Into the straight, Ice Zone picked up momentum to surge past Incentio and had a good clip going. Smart Strider unleashed a fiery gallop to get up to match strides with Ice Zone and the pair easily left the others behind. They fought it out in the final furlong and in the closing stages Smart Strider was a lot more resolute in clinching the prestigious Million in a close ¾ length finish. Catharsis ended a quiet third without ruffling any feathers and her performance was surely below par. Rising Power manage to stay in the frame but the one to cover much ground in the straight was Barringo.

Mr Atul Chordia and Mr Sagar Chordia along with Jackie Shroff jointly presented the symbolic Gold Trophy to trainer Karthik on behalf of Dr MAM Ramaswamy. The Hazara bred bay gelding was ridden well by jockey P Trevor.

The DNA Salver was the supporting event and in recognition of the media partnership between the Daily News and Analysis and the RWITC. Thirteen maidens went to post and Que Sera Sera garnered the maximum support mainly for her last start second. It’s another thing that he failed to live up to that expectation.

Zoom Zoom started the roll and led a tightly packed field all the way into the straight. Scarlatti and Al Attaturk were in hot pursuit while Stormy Princess (Stormello – Superlative) sneaked through from the rails. Past the distance post, Zoom Zoom was fighting hard to stay ahead when Stormy Princess produced a spirited gallop to slip past and drew away to post a comfortable victory. Zoom Zoom held on for the runner-up berth while Scarlatti ended in the money ahead of Que Sera Sera. Stormy Princess is owned by M’s Haresh and Manav Mehta and bred at the Hazara Farm.

Jockey P Trevor was the star of the day returning with three victories. Besides Smart Strider, he piloted rank outsider Beer Hand and Fireheart to impressive victories.

Beer Hand (Ontario – Artic Show) pulled off an easy victory with a strong finishing effort. He settled into the fourth or fifth spot after breaking out of the gates quickly not too far behind the leader Lola. Nearing the turn, Lola who was in charge, had Pumba, Victorious Cause, Soli Deo Gloria and Beer Hand all closing in to make the final run. Lola was ridden out but had no answer when stable mate Beer Hand gathered momentum and shot past her. Beer Hand sailed clear and none from behind could muster enough speed to catch up. Beer Hand won unchallenged to score his maiden victory in style. Beer Hand is owned by Mr VM Singh, Mr Zain Nathani and Mr Khushroo Battiwala and bred at the Capricorn Stud.

Trevor scored another impressive win atop Fireheart (Oath – Tribal Fantasy) who showed impressive speed in shooting out of the gates and finishing off well ahead of the rest. Fireheart went streaking ahead with Starsonboard in second; Sheer Romance and Blue Ace were close with them as they turned for home, with Ice Empire some distance away. Fireheart tore ahead and sealed the issue long way from home showing lightening fast momentum. Ice Empire did well to gain considerable ground to finish on well beating the rest comprehensively. Starsonboard ended third and Blue Sea who was next in demand after favourite Ice Empire, ended a tame fourth. Blue Sea may have need this first run and he did not too badly for a debut although he could not showcase much in this attempt.

Fireheart is the property of the Illuminati Racing Syndicate, trained by Narendra Lagad and bred at the Pratap Stud.

Stringsofmyheart (Antonius Pius – La Moraleja) showed good improvement over her last couple of runs and came into her own to win the Yana Trophy. Stringsofmyheart jumped out smartly and took over the running with Matilda alongside. Winter Wind and Encore were next with Phosphor following a couple of lengths behind and Lake Paradise too far back to make an impact.

Stringsofmyheart kept galloping as they straightened for home and quickened further to shut out the opposition without too much strain. She won with something to spare and did not encounter any resistance. Winter Wind labored to second while Phosphor ran on to finish third. Stringsofmyheart is owned by Mr & Mrs Shapoor Mistry and bred at their Manjri Stud Farm.

Neath (Major Impact – Machrihanish) won the opening race of the start to finish and neither Limitless Hills nor Chemin De Fer bothered her.  Neath justified the cramped odds offered on her and marched on right from the start to score her second victory on the trot. At the rate she is going, another one may be coming soon over a trip.

Trainer Hormuz Antia scored a lucrative double with his wards Mountain Regiment (Black Cash – Calorescence) and well-backed Voyager.

Mountain Regiment shot into the lead soon on start and worked up a good lead. Favourite Blue Sky rushed to the second spot striding alongside Dovers Hill with Pure Elation, Saints N Sinners and Caribbean Queen in that order.

Mountain Regiment maintained a healthy lead as they turned for home and Dashrath Singh then started to coax her to accelerate further. Mountain Regiment obliged willfully and sped away leaving no chance for either Blue Sky or the rest to get any closer. Pure Elation improved a wee bit, but broke a blood vessel at some juncture to end third.

Mountain Regiment is owned by the Wadhawan camp and bred at the Equus Stud.

Voyager(Razeen – Naseem El Fajr), owned by M/s A Rashid, Arun & Nikhil Nayar and R Rashid and bred at the Usha Stud, won just like a heavily backed horse ought to win. He stayed settled in the mid-field with a bunch of horses ahead and made adept moves to be prominent at the turn. Lazor Razor slipped through the rails past Grand March and Adams Vision who were at the helm. Voyager sprang to the front and it was all over. Voyager gathered break-neck speed and stretched away to post an authoritative victory making the rest look mere mortals.

Trainer Imtiaz Sait’s Invictus (Roaring Fever – Eishin Paris) owned by Homi Mehta, Mrs Anaheeta Mehta, Mrs Laine Luthria & Jehangir Mehta romped home to a facile victory striding impressively in the straight. A thickly crowded bunch turned for home headed by Rose Bowl, favourite Augustus, Intequam and Flying Kiss. Invictus moved along with them as they turned for home.

Augustus was quick to take charge and soon had Intequam raise a challenge the duo going stride for stride when Invictus lit up and forced his way to the front with a spirited gallop. Invictus, with Dashrath Singh astride swooped past and in split seconds to win running away. Flying Kiss did well to take the second place getting past Augustus and Intequam.

For the professionals, trainer Hormuz Antia saddled a double and jockeys P Trevor scored a fine treble while Dashrath Singh scored a double.