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By Mahendra Mallya | 02 Aug 2014 | PUNE

Mr Rajesh Monga leading One Kept Secret (A Sandesh Up), winner of The P Hadow Trophy

Saturday's races at Pune went on expected lines as six of the seven races saw either the favourite or the next in demand coming through. Zidaan, who dropped a bombshell, was the only rank outsider to shock the pundits, picking up his first victory over the mile and notching up his third career win from 19 starts.

One Kept Secret (Black Cash - Bonjour Tristesse) fully justified the heavy support he garnered to clinch the P Hadow Trophy, the feature event of the day. Jockey A Sandesh settled the Sunderji ward in the fourth spot as Greek God shot into the lead with Mykonos on his haunches and Jimbo keeping One Kept Secret company until the turn. Ultrasonic was not too far behind, galloping with Papakura alongside, the rest were trailing about three lengths away. 

Greek God led them homewards and quickened to leave Mykonos behind. Sandesh produced One Kept Secret soon and the Rajesh Monga owned gelding unleashed a power gallop to trounce Greek God and company to score a fluent victory to the delight of his large number of supporters. One Kept Secret was undoubtedly the fittest one in the bunch, however, Greek God too showed some zip to let only the winner pass him after hitting the front.

Sandesh returned the lone pro to have scored a double on the day when he guided trainer Rehanullah Khan's Doc Holiday (Senure - Autocop) to a splendid victory in the last race. He was off the block quickly and settled in third behind Vixen and Saturday Affair soon on the jump. Dyna, the prime fancy, looked a bit rusty and her long lay off was clearly her undoing. She was way to far behind as the trio in front went at a crisp pace.

Vixen took the turn about five off and Sandesh didn't need a second invitation to take the gap. He bolted ahead and Doc Holiday responded with a fiery gallop to sail away and out of reach. Saturday Affair kicked on ending chasing the winner. Dyna warmed up only when all was over, but she covered good ground to finish close alongside Saturday Affair. Dyna finished on well and promised to do much better in her next outing. Targetmaster was the one to progress nicely to catch the eye at the finish. He was languishing towards the rear and wove his way through horses to figure in the frame, right alongside Satuday Affair and Dyna. He may need a slightly longer distance, another furlong probably and he could strike early.

The Northern Command Plate was a battle of the debutantes - Staristocrat and Egyptiana, the two prime fancies. Blackbean was the most alert at the gates and he was off in a flash to dictate the early pace, doing well to jump out of an outside draw to lead them all. Staristocrat (Multidiemnsional - Only Royale), Born To Win and Egyptiana quickly formed a close-knit foursome just behind the leader with Saporelli a length behind this quartet.

At the turn, jockey DK Ashish took some calculated risk to poke through the pair in front, while NS Parmar atop Egyptiana came from the outside. There was some rough riding an jostling between the two top fancies as they went all out in the straight. The matched stride for stride approaching the distance post, but once in the final furlong, Staristocrat showed a lot more resolve to stretch away from his challenger. Ashish rode out strongly and passed on his determination to his mount who was resolute in the final furlong. Saporelli ran on to end taking place money. Born to Win filled the frame but he had a good educative outing.

Zidaan (Mull of Kintyre - Adam's Delight) stunned favorite Top Commander and the rest with a spirited run in the homestretch to floor the punters. He was the only one with a run-benefit and he could not have booted home this advantage any better. First favorite Top Commander looked on course when they rounded the bend, He stormed past early leader Cactus Cash soon into the straight and dashed ahead to shape like a winner at 400. Janis Jay was up next but couldn't find her rhythm and faded away. Zidaan and Shining Path then arrived with a flourish to shock Top Commander as they left him cold. up and coming young jockey Yash Narredu rode his heart out and managed to thwart the lively challenge posted by Shining Path to snatch the narrow verdict meters from the winning post.

Grenadine (Amadeus Wolf - Hekayaar) obliged the followers of favorites as she improved upon her previous run to secure a maiden victory in her fourth start, her first at Pune. Jockey Trevor was constantly urging her on in the latter half of the nine furlong race and when Bonobo led them into the straight, Trevor was in striking position getting past Savage Garden to be one behind the leader. Dreams of You was switched on past the 600 and he too got closer to the action in front at the top of the straight. Grenadine shot into the lead with 300 to go and Dreams of You set about in pursuit. Grenadine showed a lot more resolve as she kicked away to bring about her first victory sparing just under two lengths to Dreams of You at the finish. Dreams of You should strip fitter after this run.

Starsonboard (Mull of Kintyre - Start Queen) was the shortest priced winner of the day. She caused no anxiety on the turf, but an objection lodged against her rider by Plan B's jockey was the only the niggle she her backers may have had to face. The stewards too were quick to overrule the objection which was for interference at the gates.

Starsonboard got down to business soon on start and never looked back. She strode away nice and clear and once in the straight, she carried on her good work to steer clear of them all. Plan B came in with a late charge bu could only manage to narrow down the margin of victory, keeping it to just about two lengths. Starsonboard though, never looked in any trouble at any stage and won without actually having to fire on all cylinders.

Dazzle N Daze (Sedgefield - Dexie Dahlin) played true to the bookmakers' ring trend as he was the lone horse that was backed with conviction. The odds on the Magansingh Jodha ward plummeted continuously and by starting time he had dislodged Morals as the prime favorite.

Morals was sent out on a start to finish mission over the mile race. He did all the hard work up in front and came into the straight with a handy lead as well. However, when it mattered most, Morals failed to show any grit or fighting spirit and went down tamely when Dazzle N Daze arrived. He surrendered meekly and even lost the runner up slot to the late charging filly, Chasing Dreams. Dazzle N Daze settled to chase the leader all the way into the straight and then cruised ahead to dart away to score a very comfortable victory. Apprentice Daman could not have asked for an easier ride to victory.