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Ambrosia Storms Home to Score an Encore

By Mahendra Mallya | 19 Oct 2012 | PUNE

Trainer P Shroff leading Ambrosia (Trevor Patel Up), winner of The Kojagiri Plate

Pesi Shroff trainees Ambrosia and Koh Samui dished out power-packed victories to win their respective races in style. Both horses were prime favourites never-the-less,  a double would have fetched handsome returns.

Many who watched Ambrosia closely in the paddock felt that the filly was on heat. Not to leave any chance to pounce upon an opportunity, the bookmakers too shot the price up by almost 20% at race time. Effectively, the quote on Ambrosia rose to 14/10 from the opening odds of 12/10.

Ambrosia (Razeen – Adored) put paid all apprehensions and flew through a bunch of horses to score her second victory on the trot this season. It looked a difficult task for Ambrosia when the heads turned for home. Ambrosia and Capital Attraction, another fancied runner, occupied the last two positions all the way until the turn. Sergeant Major had them all the way into the straight, with Sumo prominently poised in second. Those closest to the lead were Mountain Song and Lorelei. Capital Attraction made his bid from the outside while Ambrosia braved her way through the middle. Mountain Song received a bad check and fell out of contention. Ambrosia moved ahead aggressively and bullied those around her to shot into the lead through a narrow gap. That was a master stroke by jockey P Trevor and he sailed ahead smoothly to win from the hard ridden Capital Attraction.

Ambrosia is improving with every run and ought to be followed in her first outing in Mumbai. Capital Attraction too ran a good race. Sumo disappointed as he had all the chances at the turn. He however managed to finish a reasonable third.

Koh Samui (Senure – Nojoom) finally came good and how! Koh Samui was restless in the gates and there is where she caused some anxious moments. Once the jumped out, she was travelling smoothly. She got to the front turning for home and once in the straight, Koh Samui dominated the rest. She sailed clear without firing on all cylinders and posted a very easy victory with a lot to spare than the nine-length official verdict that she heaped upon her rivals. She now looks to have come into her own and lived to the expectations not only her connections, but many who are in the know as well. Koh Samui, in Mumbai needs watching.

Trainer SK Sunderji started the day on a very positive note scoring back-to-back double early in the day.

The first race of the day was a thriller with the top two choices fighting it out all the way to the finish. Prince, the next in demand after favourite Heavenly Prize, was quick out of the gates and led from the word go. Heavenly Prize too was alert to cause and sat on the haunches of Prince. Sweaty Betty and the rest were never in the hunt.

Prince had a thin advantage as they turned for the final run but Heavenly Prize was looming large and battling hard to take the lead away from Prince. This pair fought out right through the final furlong and in the last couple of strides, heavenly Prize managed to wear Prince down.

Sunderji’s  Augustus (Warrshan – Soutern Star) won even more impressively and unlike in the earlier race, faced no confrontation. Stuntacular led the field homewards and jockey Zervan did not wait too long to take charge and once he did, he was far too aggressive and fast for the rest. Unknown Rebel was ridden out to take the runner-up slot, while Stuntacular did reasonably well to claim the third spot from Queens kiss, the latter emerging from the dead-last position to fill the frame finishing in a heap with other horses. Sleuth seemed to be in distress ending way down the field nearly 20 lengths behind. 

Maple Star (Mull of Kintyre – Sonic Symphony) shook off all doubts about her lay off and the poor show in the Bangalore Classics by turning out looking fit and ready for the new challenge in Pune. She was back to her winning best and showcased her talent winning her first race in Pune.

The Karthik trained filly was confidently ridden by P Trevor as they lay in wait at the rear end of the field all along the mile race. Lake Paradise tried the runaway tactic, but failed to sustain once the race took a serious turn. Grand Design showed up to head the field for a brief moment, but succumbed to a duel attack that came from either side. Living The Dream made his own passage between Lake Paradise and Grand Design, while Maple Star made her bid  from the wider outside. In the final furlong, it looked that Living The Dream was giving Maple Star a run for her money, however, when Maple Star got going, she looked a lot superior. Maple Star won by a sedate margin and without pressing on it.

Sacred Soul (Placerville – Pre Eminent) claimed the upper division of the Yogender Singh Trophy thus underscoring that her last out stunner was no fluke. Sacred Soul was a lot more forceful and announced her presence the moment they turned for home. She tore ahead of Glowing Stream and marched on to establish a winning lead approaching the distance post. Forward Charge tried hard to cut down the gap bet Sacred Soul had a fiery momentum going and she won untroubled, well ahead of Forward Charge. Pound Foolish did make a brief presence early in the straight, but could not match the fast gallop of the winner and ended a tame third.

The lower division of the race was claimed by Deep Purple (Mr Mellon – Scenic) trained by Subagh Singh and ridden by jockey TS Jodha.  This was a successful coup as Deep Purple garnered decent amount of wagering from the connections and jockey TS Jodha pulled it off with a neat start to finish victory, even affording a look over his shoulder in the final few strides.

Deep Purple led all the way, but until the turn Tell Me More and Light My Way kept him company. It was once they entered the homestretch that Jodha switched Deep Purple on and the gelding showed some alacrity to stretch out further away from his rivals. Tell Me More was laboring soon on straightening up and worked hard for his place in the judge’s frame. He was however, relegated to fourth as Sizzling Love and Arabian Fighter came steaming in but found the winner hard to beat.

Smooth Operator (Senure – Flyme To Themoon) from trainer Rehanullah Khan’s yard showed his superiority as he responded to his rider Sandesh’s call to win by a narrow margin. Waiting in the fourth position behind Warrior Prince, Tag along Tommy and Capitano, Smooth Operator forced his way through the gap between Warrior Prince and Tag Along Tommy to surge into the lead. Sandesh kept urging Smooth Operator on and the late bid by San Rafael had little impact on the winner. San Rafael ended on the tail of Smooth Operator while Tag Along Tommy held on to earn place money.

So True (Warrsha – So Shocking) brushed off his eight month layoff and made his first appearance this season count with a determined start to finish effort. There was casualty soon after the start when Gararo dislodged the jockey and ran freely all through the race. Fortunately, the riderless Gararo did not interfere with any of the other horses thus avoiding another accident.   

So True had to be weary of the riderless Gararo as the latter came alongside in the final furlong, but that actually proved a blessing for So True. There was pressure mounting as horse from the rear were catching up rapidly and So True herself was starting to drift outward. Gararo’s presence on her outside ensured that So True did not drift out all the way and this did help in the final verdict. Desert Eagle came with a fast finish and just failed to pip So True. Had there been a longer drift, So True may easily have pegged back on the post.

For the professionals, trainers SK Sunderji and Pesi Shroff saddled a double each while Jockey P Trevor was the lone jockey to score a double.