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By Mahendra Mallya | 22 Sep 2013 | PUNE

Trainer M Narredu leading Falcon (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The S.A.Poonawalla Multi - Million (Gr.2)

Falcon (Razeen – Tarnished Lady) swung into top speed well into the homestretch and caught favourite Dynamo who had threatened to run away with the race at the entrance to the homestretch. Bombardier too made his presence felt and managed to pick up the runner-up slot pushing Dynamo to third.

Dynamo, for the first time in his short career decided to go for it start to finish. In both his earlier starts, he was off the pace in his last run and then recovered well to finish third. So it was rather surprising to see Dynamo dictate the pace right through. Well, it surely would have been for a reason and it nearly paid off too.

Dynamo settled beautifully early on and cut a nippy pace. He stayed comfortably ahead with Bombardier and Indian Touch following him a couple of lengths behind. Falcon, Providence and Trance ran in a huddle with Isadoro at the tail end most of the way.

Dynamo looked well in command as the others looked hard at work. Past the distance post and one might have been forgiven to conclude that Dynamo would hold on to his lead. However, Falcon first upped the ante as he came charging towards the finish. Perhaps seeing his stablemate giving it all, Bombardier also lit up and made a powerful finishing bid. Both the Malesh Narredu wards in Mr Jaydev Mody’s silks got past Dynamo to bag the top two placing in the prestigious race.  Dynamo was a graceful third while Trance could not match up to expectations. She probably needed this run and it would not be wise to ignore her.

Dr CS Poonawalla along with son Adar did the trophy presentation honours and Malesh Narredu gleefully received the trophy on behalf of Mr Mody. Suraj Narredu rode ably to pinch the victory timing his run to perfection. The three prizes topped by the Maruti Alto car went to three lucky winners out of the 21 correct entries. Mr Zavaray S Poonawalla along with his family members and Mr Adar Poonawalla gave the jubilant winners their respective prizes. The lucky draw, interestingly were picked by the junior most of the Poonawalla family.

The Villoo C Poonawalla Gold Trophy too had an interesting finish as debutante Mauna Kea (Sakhee – Deraasaat) owned by the Vijay Shirke family emerged from a near improbable position to spoil Rajsamman’s party closer home. Jockey A Sandesh’s never-say-die attitude came to the fore as he coaxed Mauna Kea to produce a brilliant final burst to topple Rajsamman’s run to victory. Rajsamman flashed out of the gates to shoot ahead of the field and he went at a crisp pace in a trice.

Rajsamman was way ahead of the rest at the turn and galloped on to amass a sizable lead and was all alone in front with under 300 to go. The rest including Mauna Kea appeared to have fallen too far behind and Rajsamman looked well in command. While the rest couldn’t match up to Rajsamman, Sandesh brought Mauna Kea alive, and the MK Jadhav trainee suddenly gathered electrifying momentum to storm pass the leader with an awesome finishing run.  Rajsamman was plain unlucky to have been overwhelmed by an almost freaky blinding run. Mauna Kea was simply too good and sure is worth a watch next time out. Santa Maria did not make much impact on the race but improved towards the end to figure in the frame. Advance to Contact ran a better race to earn place stakes.

For the Shirke-Jadhav camp, it was a back to back double as they had struck in the earlier race as their well supported two-time winner this season – Ainra completed a commendable hat-trick defying the handicapper and fighting off a determined late challenge from Capitano.

Ainra (Placerville – Refresh) sailed smoothly into the lead and had Emperor of France and Capitano close behind. Ace Angelfire, Bourbon Street came next with Dream R Mine travelling wide all the way. Ainra kept his good work going and was unperturbed as Emperor of France started to apply pressure. Capitano made his run from the outside. Ace Angelfire was stuck behind Ainra and jockey Neeraj Rawal fell for the rail-opening temptation. He just could not wriggle out when needed and paid the price. Capitano grew stronger but was a tad too late to make it count. While Emperor of France fell back slightly, Dream R Mine progressed with a sustained bid to finish a noteworthy third. 

The Mysore Race Club Trophy also saw a humdinger with top fancy Sharaarat (Ace – Shamaal) getting through by the tip of her nose. National Glory led them in with top weight Turf Lightning in tow. Sharaarat was a couple of lengths behind with Monza tailing the field all the way into the straight. Midway up the straight, Sharaarat warmed up, picked up speed with a resolute gallop to zip past the two in front, and looked on course to a facile victory. His backers had barely begun to count their money when Monza came in with a steaming run to all but pip the favourite. The winning post did bail out Sharaarat and his followers, as a stride more and Monza would have snatched the verdict. It was that close.

Zambezi (Steinbeck – Ammeter) was heavily fancied to win the Flaming Ace Plate and he obliged with a timely gallop to score an impressive victory. The Imtiaz trained dark bay gelding looked the part in the paddock, much fitter than ever. He sat at the rear of the front bunch with only Tara behind him.

Zambezi started to improve past the 800 and as Savage Garden took charge from long time leader Bonobo, jockey CS Jodha started his chase. Savage Garden was fighting on when Kaizer drew level. Zambezi came into the final furlong with a cracking gallop to haul the fighting pair and fly past them to score convincingly.

Jockey CS Jodha went on to score another one in the last race of the day with the friendless Windsor Queen (Ace – Amber Windsor) from Faisal Abbas’ yard. Jockey CS Jodha settled Windsor Queen in a close second spot right behind leader Erotic Flame and whipped ahead into the straight. He left the others do the catching up and a fired up Windsor Queen began galloping strongly with a determined run. My Freedom started to cover ground once he got an opening in the centre. Cream of the Crop too was making an effort from the outside and Champakali was making her presence felt. They were heading for a four-pronged finish as Erotic Flame faded out, but Windsor Queen had enough legs to ward off the trio in hot pursuit to emerge the clear winner. My Freedom did well to stay ahead of Champakali and Cream of the Crop at the finish.

Trainer Narendra Lagad chipped in with a double taking the first and the eight races of the day. Marengo (Warrshan – Princess Helen) was the hot favourite at cramped odds and he showed immense grit winning despite reportedly having bled during the race, implying that despite the blood vessel rapture, guts and determination can carry a horse through to victory.

It did look a herculean task at one stage when Padmakosa amassed a huge lead and tried to run away with the race. Marengo improved to second and looked in danger of giving too much leeway to the leader. Just as Padmakosa was shaping like a winner, Marengo surfaced with a sizzling run and thundered past the long time leader to score an emphatic victory amidst loud cheers. Nirbhaya improved towards the end to end close behind Padmakosa to earn place money.

Naren’s started the day with unfancied Rubens (Glory of Dancer – Kalahari) running to glory shocking hot favourite Ace Jet. Rubens was up in second behind Augustyna and surged ahead with a forceful under the handling of I Pasha to catch the favourite unawares. Ace Jet improved from the mid-bunch to be second on straightening up but by the time her could realize, Rubens was home and dry. Scalanaya ran on to finish third.

Trainer Hoshidar Daji had another productive day at the office with one more well-backed horse from his yard proving a money spinner.  Casino Jack (Danehill Star – Sacristia) worked his way up to be one behind the leader – favourite Lightning Thunder coming into the straight. Lightning Thunder after looking good most of the way, could not sustain at the business end and could not prevent Casino Jack slip into the lead. Once ahead, Casino Jack kicked on gamely and stretched out purposefully to sustain his bid all the way his maiden victory in his ninth start. Romantic Beauty wandered around the turf to run second ahead of Lightning Thunder.

For the professionals, trainers Narendra Lagad and MK Jadhav saddled a double each while jockey A Sandesh returned back to his winning spree with a treble and jockey CS Jodha marked his day with two winners.