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By Mahendra Mallya | 09 Aug 2014 | PUNE

Mr Geoffrey B Nagpal & trainer S K Sunderji leading Angeling (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Strengthtostrength Trophy

Punters enjoyed another day of fancied horses coming to the fore and no major upsets were seen on Saturday at the Pune races. The day however, brought in the sad news of the demise of Tehmul Todywalla, father of top trainer Dallas Todywalla. Tehmul was an avid race goer and was one among the most regulars to be seen at the racecourse. He and his wife were inseparable and couldn't be missed on  any given race day. He breathed his last in the wee hours early Saturday morning.

Jockey A Sandesh forged ahead in the jockeys' tally with an astounding four winners on the day. This included the feature race of the day, the Strengthtostrength Trophy for maiden three-year-olds, partnering SK Sunderji's Angeling (Lord Admiral - Golfing). Sandesh kept the Geoffery & Nishant Nagpal-owned filly up with the front bunch along with Something Special and Valentino.  Illidan, who shared most of the betting honors with Frankanella, was slow off the blokes losing lot of ground to recover extremely well to end an eye-catching second.

Sandesh was quick on the button and made all the right moves. Lying handy second until the turn, he stepped on the gas at the turn and amassed a useful lead soon on turning for home. Angeling responded readily as she darted to the front and accelerated to bound forward. Frankanella struggled to keep the chase on for too long. Valentino failed to quicken and fell back. Illidan was making up lost ground all the way and he one must say soaked in the pressure very well. Breaking off from about eight lengths deficit, he was under more pressure as Zervan constantly urged him on to join the bunch at about the 1000 meter marker. He made progress all the way through, but had to travel on the wider out, taking the turn wide as well. He covered a lot of ground but did not have enough to get to Angeling. Sandesh had smartly gone ahead early in the straight, and with Angeling working up a fine rhythm, it was almost impossible to get even close to her. On that count, Illidan was impressive in finishing less than two lengths off the winner. Illidan is the one to note for the near future.

Sandesh had earlier brought home three other winners. He started off with a fine victory partnering the C Rajendra trained Capilano (Phoenix Tower Barrybunnion). Capilano was the most heavily backed horse in the fray with Burgundy Rose and Speed Baby next in demand. That trend was spot on as they finished in that order on the track as well. Burgundy Rose and Capilano held fort all the way into the straight. Burgundy Rose fought hard to build on her slender lead, but within a few strides Capilano picked up momentum. He galloped away powerfully to take charge in the final furlong. Burgundy Rose fought on to ensure the runner-up berth, while Speed Baby kicked on to finish a close third.

Sandesh then partnered the shortest priced favourite Lucky Pineapple (Phoenix Tower - Miss Danehill) to a solid victory. Lucky Pineapple was quickly off and settled along the inner rails to share the lead with Elaheh and English Lass. Jockey Kavraj Singh took off with English Lass and shot ahead turning for home. Lucky Pineapple fell back to third as Elaheh also progressed to second. Sandesh skirted around the duo and started to bridge the gap. He caught up with English Lass and passed the leader fluently to seal the race in the final furlong. English Lass ended a good second. Golden Lily saved the place money finishing ahead of Senor D. Lucky Pineapple looked good in the paddock and this win on debut was impressive. His finishing spurt did give an impression that he would relish longer trips.

Full Moon (Mull of Kintyre - Moonstorm) was definitely the easiest of rides for Sandesh. The Rehanullah Khan trained filly was knocking on the door for far too long and today had to be her day. The 7/10 favourite hit the front smoothly soon on start and found none who would match her brilliance. She came into the homestretch on a tight rein and Sandesh merely guided her, as she darted ahead to canter home. Dreamz Unlimited was a faraway second while Blue Flame earned the place money. In this form, Full Moon can be expected to provide an encore. Speed is certainly her forte.

Young Yash Narredu was again busy on the day. He secured a good priced double to the delight of crowd. The Faisal Abbas trained Dreamland (Diffident - Vindication) was out for an encore and was the joint favourite at 5/2 along with Peritomoreno.

At the start, Habibians veered inwards sharply and fell back to last. Peritomoreno and Dreamland stuck together leading the bunch all the way into the straight, with Warrior Prince hot on their heels. Into the straight, Dreamland upped the ante as he surged ahead, but was under constant pressure as Warrior Prince and Edit Piaf were waiting for one false move from Dreamland, snapping at his tail. However, Yash packed a punch in his finish and surged further ahead in the last 150 meters or so, to take Dreamland to safety and ensure his victory with a fair measure of comfort too! With 200 to go, it looked heading for a close finish. Edit Piaf ended a good second and Warrior Prince impressed too. while finishing a close third. Peritomoreno faltered when it mattered most as she was right there in the front at the top of the straight, yet faded away alarmingly.

Yash brought home a winner for dad Malesh with another superlative effort astride Superlicious (Placerville - Betfair). The fight was fierce initially as the surge for the early lead was rough and Yash had to check his mount more than once, thereby losing crucial position early in the race. By the time he settled down, Pepe Senior, Mountain queen and Desert Wings had all taken up vantage positions. Favourite Oriental Rocky managed to stay in fifth or sixth with Glorious Opinion and Vanguard on either side. Superlicious found herself in behind this bunch. Yash moved his filly from the outside, weaving his way to find the inner rails. That proved a master move.

At the turn, Pepe Junior left a slight opening along the rails as he turned for home and seeing this opportunity Yush niggled Suprelicious into that gap. Pepe Senior battled on and had Desert Wings challenging him from the outside. Oriental Rocky tried to make a fight of it and appeared to be in contention, but his could not sustain. Mambo Magic never got the opening and lost his chances there. However, Superlicious took total advantage of the luck of the race and she galloped spiritedly through the rails to speed past them all and land the spoils defying the penalty and scoring an encore.

Tatiana (Phoenix Tower - Memories of You) was given a peach of a ride by jockey Dashrath Singh. he showed no hurry as Tatiana was rather too far back in the early part of the race. He gradually improved position and by the half way mark, was travelling comfortably and not too far from the thick of action. Yash Narredu displayed some tough riding skills and even bullied senior jockey Trevor when coming out near the turn and making a run for the lead. He shoved his way past Feast of Love and soon was driving Delightful Lady into the lead. Tatiana didn't wait too long and timed his run precisely. He joined Delightful Lady at the distance post, the two tussled for a couple of strides and then Tatiana gathered speed and surged ahead to register her first victory on the Pune turf and her second career win in style. Casino Jack improved considerably in the straight and flew towards the end to win the fight for place money involving Burn, Feast of Love and Cyclopes.

P Trevor showed good presence of mind and brought out a surprise element when he forced his mount Midnight Run (Noverre - Storm Sparrow) much earlier than expected. Brown Dynamite and Star Prince in trying to outpace one another had amassed a runaway lead soon on start. Favourite Hot Pepper was a good five lengths behind this duo and Midnight Run was another three to four away in fourth. Trevor made good progress past the 1000 and was alongside Hot Pepper and just a length of two away from the front-running pair.

Sensing that the pair in front was tiring and Hot Pepper was stuck behind the two along the rails, Trevor seems to have decided on the spur of the moment to run away to the front. He was seen urging midnight Run vigorously even before the final turn and by the time Hot Pepper could find this way through the rails, Midnight Run was way too far ahead. Trevor kept Midnight Run going and used the whip tactfully in the straight to ensure that the MK Jadhav ward stayed clear of any last minute surprises. Midnight Run with plenty to spare and Hot Pepper had to be content with the runner up spot. Open Offer ended a tame third.

Cartel (Ace - Eishin Paris) from Imtiaz Sait's yard set the trend of fancied horses keeping punters busy lining up to collect return on investments almost right through the day. Although Copperglow was the ante post favourite, Cartel too garnered sizable betting.

Jockey CS Jodha settled Cartel behind early leader Light of Arabia who charged ahead to lead by meters early on. Copperglow and It's High time battled through and got close to the leaders past the 800. Cartel, who was travelling easy right through, surged past the tiring Light of Arabia and established a handy lead as they turned for the final run. CS Jodha egged Cartel on and the top weight showed clean pair of heels to snuff out any challenge in the straight. he strode majestically out in front, with Jodha ensuring he stayed focused until the winning post. \he never let his guard down, tapping Cartel now and then and winning the first race handsomely. Copperglow fought hard to regain the second spot which It's High Time had managed to wrest from Copperglow early in the straight.

Sandesh was the top pro of the day with four successful returns. Apprentice Yash Narredu made his presence felt with a brace.