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Rosalind Compiles a Stylish Hat-trick

By Mahendra Mallya | 22 Sep 2012 | PUNE

Mr & Mrs Vijay B. Shirke & trainer P Shroff Leading Rosalind (B Prakash Up), winner of The Konark Builders Turf Challenge 2012

Favourite Rosalind (Placerville – Free Radical) bolted to her third successive victory this season to win the Konark Builders Turf Challenge 2012 in a truly fashionable manner. The Pesi Shroff filly, owned by Mr Vijay Shirke, Miss Avanti Shirke & Miss Gayatri Shirke and bred at the Poonawalla Astonish Stud Farm, looked the winner even as they entered the straight for the final run. Crawl

Tag Along Tommy raced to the front soon on start with El Classico quick to move into second. Rosalind was right up with them and travelling beautifully. She cruised past them and led coming into the straight. The race ended there as far as Rosalind was concerned. In a smooth action gallop, Rosalind sped away effortlessly and won by an impressive margin. Faramarz, who was nowhere in the thick of action in the early part of the race, produced an eye-catching finishing effort that got him the runner-up berth. He covered considerable ground making his way through the inner rails and got past Victorious March and half a dozen other contenders to do well in his first assignment in Pune this season. Victorious March ran on to chase the winner but could not stop Faramarz taking the second spot. Over a shorter sprint, Victorious March could be handy.

The Mysore Race Club Trophy was a frustrating crawl and with just two horses in contention, one much older and on the fringe and the other on the rise, this was not the best exhibition of a top class race. Clarion Call, the older one was the on-money favourite. The entire race was agonizingly slow.

Veteran trainer SS Shah’s Spirit of Mercy (Tirol – Cozumel) took the lead and switched off to amble at a very friendly pace. Clarion Call who normally dictates the pace or is up with it, decided to wait and watch. They trudged through the backstretch in the same order all the way into the straight. Clarion Call tried to make a forward surge once in, but Spirit of Mercy, who had not burnt any fuel until then, kicked on to complete the task. Only, Clarion Call was too close for comfort all through the straight. Spirit of Mercy did not really confirm that she is a champion stayer. The initial slow pace had a lot to do in her warding off Clarion Call. Besides, Clarion Call himself was not looking his best in the paddock. Spirit of Mercy is owned and bred by Mr Champaklal Zaveri.

Either side of this race, trainer Malesh Narredu led in winners to score a double on the day. His ward, Angel Crown (Steinbeck – Altimara) coroneted himself at the cost of main rival Grand Design. The Aap Racing and Stud Farms property bred at the Usha Stud, picked up his second successive victory with a start-to-finish demolishing of the four-horse field.

Cypress Point had a terrible start as he lost over 15 lengths before he raised a sane gallop. He gradually caught up with the bunch beating Sheriff home. In the front, Angel Crown dictated the pace and showed no hurry in quickening until required. Grand Design went past Sheriff approaching the 600 and was right on the tail of Angel Crown at the turn. Jockey DK Ashish, who is enjoying a nice positive run, started to ask Angel Crown to get forceful. Jockey Malcolm Kharadi did the same. Angel Crown was just ahead as the two started to fight the issue out. Angel Crown always had the upper hand and in the final stages, pulled away from Grand Design to win convincingly.

Narredu’s Helen too notched her second consecutive victory, doing well to beat favourite Good Looking close home with a last ditch effort. Favourite Good Looking, who was also looking for an encore following her impressive last start victory, shot past Minute To Win It in the straight and sailed ahead looking good to score. Jockey DK Ashish brought Helen into second and started to chase Good Looking down. The favourite worked hard to stay ahead but in the final fifty, Helen gained ground with a fluent gallop to peg back Good Looking by a neck. Royal Honour warmed up far too late but could only end in the money. Bathsheba was a tad slow at the jump and ended one off the frame close behind Aflame.           

Trainer CD Katrak’s complaint against jockey Akshay, about not following instructions when on board Queen of Venus last time out, was given credence as stable-jockey Kamlesh showed out with the filly this time to score a convincing victory.

Queen of Venus (Steinbeck – Al Dente) owned by Haresh and Manav Mehta and bred at the Usha Stud notched up a two-length-plus victory with authority. Unlike last time, Queen of Venus hit the front soon on start and matched strides with Ice Skates and Hurricane Wind alongside. Once into the straight, kamlesh rode the filly out to surge forward and ensured with timely but sparing use of whip she stayed ahead and kept the momentum going, eventually winning the race without being extended. Eveready improved positions to end second ahead of Hurricane Wind and Ice Skates.

It would be interesting to see how the stipendiary stewards view the complaint now that Queen of Venus won with such ease compared to her not-so-close fourth last time.

Trainer Faisal Abbas saddled a back-to-back double with Windsor Queen and Blue Mellon mid-way through the race card. Windsor Queen was a hot favourite at on-money while Blue Mellon was offered a healthy 5 to1.

Windsor Queen (Ace – Amber Windsor) had emerged clear and looked safe to pull off an easy win. She was quick to take charge round the turn, as she got past the tiring New Heights and stormed ahead. Coming into the final furlong, Windsor Queen and jockey Imran Chisty were in complete command well clear of the rest when Menage A Trois warmed up to finish on fastest. The challenger had to cover good ground and with 100 to go, Menage A Trois was cutting the lead down at a rapid rate. The winning post came to the rescue of the favourite as Menage A Trois fell short by a mere head. A single stride more and the result would have been different!

Windsor Queen is owned by Mr& Mrs Mohan Thakur, M/s Shagun & Shikar Thakur and bred at the Poona Stud Farm.

Faisal’s Blue Mellon (Mr Mellon – Yversse), owned by Mr Gulamabbas Karachiwalla, Ms Farah and Mr Fareed Karachiwalla and bred at the Ruia Stud, played out a well-designed plan to land the spoils in the very next race. Jockey Sunil nursed the bay gelding who was carrying the top weight (61.5 kgs) at the rear end of the field and was a couple of lengths behind the bunch for most of the nine-furlong journey.

Savage Garden showed the way with Desert Eagle in tow and the rest following close behind. Savage Garden was clearly struggling on turning for home and was fighting hard to stay in contention. Desert Eagle lost pace and Tipping Point surfaced with a gritty gallop. Tipping Point shot past the front-runner with Fifth Gear showing some resolve when Blue Mellon arrived having skirted round the field.

Jockey Sunil made all the right moves at the right time and brought Blue Mellon from the outside to catch up with Tipping Point close home. Blue Mellon covered a lot of ground to peg back Tipping Point and win by a narrow margin. Tipping Point ran a gallant second as he too was in the rear until the final 600 with only Blue Mellon behind him at that point. Blue Mellon’s was a great effort as he was giving chunks of weight to Tipping Point and Fifth Gear who ended second and third respectively.    

Mountain Lion (Mr Mellon – Taj Mahal) finally roared to his first victory without anxiety even though Herzeliah ran him close at the winning post. He stretched out in the straight to build a handy lead which did prove handy in the end. Herzeliah, who was not in the picture in the final 300, came with a speedy finishing effort, but just failed to get a grip on the winner. Mountain Lion, trained by Hormuz Antia and ridden by Zervan, is owned by the Wadhawan Group and bred at the Ruia Stud.

Bayblues (Gaswar – Ummagumma) owned by Mr Geoffrey Nagpal and Mrs Charonne Nagpal won the concluding race of the day. The second-in-demand had it easy after favourite Samburu faltered at the start. However, he had to stay focused and alert to the constant threat from Lightening Thunder who was looming large in the homestretch.

Gottawearshades spurted ahead and piled up a huge lead only to run out of gas soon on turning for home. Bayblues, by then had worked his way into the second spot. Bayblues came on with a strong gallop and shot ahead with 300 to go. Samburu was never in the hunt after a tardy start, but tried to slip in through the rails midway in the straight. That attempt too was cut off when he got stuck behind horses. Lightening Thunder produced a lively finishing effort, but had too much to do, first to cover considerable ground and then to get the better of the winner who never let his guard down. Lightening Thunder had to settle for the next best slot and in doing so he implied that he was ready for another day. Bayblues won by a comfortable margin in the end. Blush finished on improving to take the place money.

For the professionals, trainers Faisal Abbas and M Narredu scored a double each while jockey DK Ashish partnered Narredu in both his wins.