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By Mahendra Mallya | 26 Jul 2013 | PUNE

Trainer Karthik Ganapathy leading Indian Touch (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Pennywise Trophy

The rain Gods showed mercy for the race track and the Pune races, unlike on Thursday, saw much better weather. Although the going was ‘yielding,’ neither the jockeys nor the horses showed any discomfiture while on the track. The monsoon track played true to its nature and the day’s program went on smoothly.

Indian Touch (Kheleyf – Indian’s Feather) justified the cramped odds offered on her (10 to 7 on) and caused no anxiety to her supporters. She took off in a flash and soon darted to a comfortable lead even as the others were jostling for positions. She came in clear of the rest with Phelps, Fleetwood Mac and Sydney trailing her into the straight. Once in, Indian Touch gathered momentum on her own and strode majestically to thump the opposition by a good seven lengths. Phelps and Fleetwood Mac ran on to claim the minor placing and Dixie Delight got the better of Sydney for a place in the frame. Indian Touch showed a lot of class in her manner of victory and surely is a filly with a future.

Hidden Goodness (Placerville – Riza) posted a fine victory in the Secret Romeo Plate for horses in class II. The small field of six were closely bunched but for Augustus who was tardy at the start.  Saints N Sinners led them with Running Sun close on his heels. Swift Memories and Sugar Loaf raced on the outside, while Hidden Goodness stuck to the rails.

On turning for home, Saints N Sinners shifted out which gave a welcome opening for Hidden Goodness. Jockey TS Jodha didn’t waste a moment as she poked through the narrow gap and went for the kill. Running Sun put up a challenge and the duo were safely ahead of Swift Memories, who was not exactly firing on all cylinders. In the final hundred, Hidden Goodness had acquired a commanding status and looked home and dry. Running Sun did cover some ground but could not topple Hidden Goodness.

Yellowzone (Phoenix Tower – Merwaha) too off to a delightful start and didn’t take too long to settle into a good rhythm at the helm. She was followed by Zoraavar, Super Bolt, Midnight Run and Remember Me. Hail The King and Neptune’s Ocean did not make much impact on the race.

Yellowzone grew stronger coming into the straight and soon left the struggling Zoraavar behind. Yellowzone picked up good momentum and won easing up giving jockey Dashrath a very easy ride to victory. On this performance, Yellowzone should give another good account of herself in her next start.    

Trainer Dallas Todywalla picked up the day’s last two races to end on a happy note. First Pitbull (Major Impact – Star Qualities) overwhelmed his opponents with absolute ease. He entered the straight with a handy lead and then marched on ahead. Last start winner Gararo tried hard to catch up, but Pitbull never slackened his grip on the proceedings. He looked a winner long way from home despite Gararo making a serious bid early in the straight. Mountain Song fought on to end close behind Gararo. Favourite Edwina was never in the hunt and may have needed this run.

Silver Streak (Verglas – Optimal) was strongly backed to on money at race time and the speedy filly was off to a blinding start. She maintained a strong stranglehold right through the race and none from behind showed any zest to offer a challenge. Silver Streak won as she liked and over the sprint, she looks top of line. The short Pune straight too is to her liking and she snatched that advantage to the hilt. Sansani ended up a faraway second. Walk of Life did well to beat a good bunch of younger horses to the place money.

Imtiaz Sait trained Cypress Point (Out of Place – Dixiana Sky) won the first race of the day. Jockey Dashrath Singh had to work overtime on the mare and he started getting her going way early from the 800 meter mark onwards. Tell Me More by then had just got the measure of leader Princess Khatoum. Tell Me More, the favourite, took over in the straight and was lunging towards the winning post when Cypress Point launched her attack. She narrowed down the lead and joined Tell Me More in the final furlong. After a grim battle Cypress Point sustained his pressure and got past in the final few strides to post an exciting victory. Tell Me more fought hard and was an able second. Brave Fighter ended a faraway third.

Emerald Fortune (Emerald Cat – Fabulous Fortune) rose to the occasion and dished out a clean as a whistle victory going for it right from the start. She entered the straight with a solid lead and marched on ahead full of vigour to romp home a clear winner. Indiscrete improved tremendously from the rear to finish a notable second. Adams Spirit, who had lost a couple of lengths at the start was the fastest in the final furlong and covered a lot of ground to grab the attention while finishing a good third close behind indiscrete.

For the professionals, trainers SS Shah and Dallas Todywalla saddled a double each, while jockeys Sandesh and Dashrath Singh rode out a brace each.