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Sunday provides some respite for battered punters

By Usman Rangila | 12 Aug 2001 | PUNE

Reflecting (B.Prakash up), winning the Mystic memory trophy from Altazano (Bajrang Singh up)

Failing to hit the wire first astride public choices can sometimes prove to be dangerous for the health of a jockey. At least this is what jockey Mallesh Narredu discovered after he drew a blank astride three favourites on Saturday. Sore after these failures, Mallesh then became a victim of mysterious viral attack on Saturday night that prevented him from fulfilling his riding engagements the next day. Bad news certainly for the ardent fan following of Mallesh but that was not to have any adverse impact on the overall outcome on Sunday when the results appeared far more cheerful in comparison to those witnessed a day earlier.

With Rhythm Divine showing a clean pair of heels to her rivals in the first race of the day, it appeared as though the punters would continue to suffer. But the victory of Reaching Out in the very next event restored some sanity to the proceedings. As more than half of the participants were unwilling to show any keen interest in the race, Rhythm Divine led merrily all the way and held on gallantly to stave off the late bid of Winning Melody. The fancied duo of Bold Decision and Multi Millionaire ran below par when finishing off the board.

Showing plenty of initial speed, Rajeev Pandey-ridden Reaching Out (Cristofori-Dancing Memories) made amends for her defeat against Timbavati. The Gladiator proved no match for the Dallas Todywalla ward and ended a tame second.

The encouraging performances of the three-year-old gelding Oath sent his breeder-owner Sultan Singh in search of greener pastures for the son of Wattlefield out of Cuirie. The Delhi-import found a new home with trainer Imtiaz Sait who had previously taken charge of The Proletarian, jointly owned by Sultan Singh. After an easy outing at the recently concluded Bangalore summer season Oath had stripped fitter and he made full use of the handicap to strike on his very first appearance at Pune. Delhi-based jockey Rajinder quickly had the bay in front for the mile journey of the Chief of Kagal Trophy and that is where he stayed all the way home. Machrihanish came menacingly close at one stage but the weight difference sealed her fate.
An improved performance was what the punters expected from Millenium Star after his narrow defeat at the hands of Osprey on the first day of the season and they were not disappointed at all. Millenium Star was in close attendance of leader Heroic till the final furlong where he managed to catch hold of him and went on to win fairly easily. Not letting the lack of experience come in his way, rookie rider Nirmal Jodha gave a spirited riding display on Millenium Star and was rewarded with his first career win. His joy was doubled when he piloted Vengeance, another trainee from the yards of Magansingh Jodha, to a fine victory in the last race of the day.
Lady trainer Nina Lalwani led in her first winner this season when Heaven Sent easily accounted for The Silken Thomas and Saranyu in the Torrential late. Asprilla yet again was not in a mood to gallop and ended a dismal fourth.

The decision of trainer Arti Doctor to put blinkers on Aphaia proved to be a right one as the well-bred daughter of Simply Great out of Summer Place gave a thrashing to rivals in the Fetchmefortune Plate. C. Rajendra who replace Mallesh in the saddle astride Aphaia had very little to do except not falling off the saddle after the filly found herself all alone in front and there was no change whatsoever till the winning line came.

An inspired ride from jockey B. Prakash atop Reflecting (Razeen-So Romantic) saw the filly saddled by Dallas Todywalla bring an abrupt end to the aspirations of Altazano to make every post of the Mystic Memory Trophy a winning one. Altazano was a winner at every stage of the race except where it mattered most. Count Dracula laboured hard to save place money from the late finishing Saytarra.